The organization and planning of the Leather Contingent began in January, with the organizers Jay Hemphill and Michael Holeman, two of the loveliest gentleman to work, plan and take tea with. By May the corralling of the ponies from across the states began and deciding who would have the honor of carrying our Leather Marshalls Race Bannon, Leland Carina and our two VIP’s Tyler McCormick and Aaron safely along Market Street for the entirety Pride Parade. The ponies who made the cut were Splinter and Whimsy, Tinny, and Sparky. Standing and trotting in soaring San Francisco heat,(yes I did mention San Francisco and heat) to give our VIP’s the experience of a lifetime, an honoring of their service to the community, by the community honoring them.
So as the followers of Liliane Hunt’s personal diary will know, Ms Liliane knows a little thing or two about clothes. It began with my Grandmother, who never walked out of the house without her hair and make up immaculately done. She modeled when she was younger and consulted my very small opinion on which blouse to wear with which suit. It was she who taught me about couture and the art of tailor made clothes. My mother inherited the gene by making period costumes and teaching me how to sew by hand. I remember a sewing project once where, at the age of around six my teacher declared my work to be done on a sewing machine, my mother marched my teacher over to the window and told her to look again. My teacher, needless to say back down and admitted she was incorrect. Then there was Shirley, to put it briefly she is and was a remarkable women, who lives and lived a remarkably international life. She entertained on the finest of levels, knew what was the best and why it was the best and did it all herself. Looking back, I can see the women who have influenced my life and encouraged me to step forth and create beauty and art and to always keep it real. People who know me know that I take what I do seriously, what I wear seriously, but never take myself too seriously.
So typically for Pride and Folsom I have something custom-made, or buy couture. Its my thing. I create my art through my clothes and indulge my fetishism. I also know a thing or two about quality and service. Service, in many ways is my profession and lifestyle, I know it when I see it and when I don’t. Excellent quality and excellent service do not always come hand in glove, even if the glove is couture. I have in fact begun to wonder if the rarity of good manners in everyday life and the desire to not just sell you something, but provide you equally excellent service has begun to fade. If it is indeed a dying art. When I design an outfit for an event I know it will be photographed, so the fit, must be just right, I take into consideration the designer that I am advertising, and the message that I am delivering. Sometimes knee-high Frye combat boots, a couture evening gown with leather opera gloves and an absolutely exquisite hat give exactly the right message. My handsome entourage for San Francisco Pride were a pack of combat puppies, a leather puppy, a wolf and a pony, so one needs to be practical about these things.
With every big event there is always something unexpected that occurs. The House of Hunt endeavor to make things look as seamless as possible, but each year there is always something. This year it was the postal service, they lost my hat, in fact they didn’t just lose my guaranteed delivery package, they hung up on two of the people who called to enquire how my beautiful hat had vanished. I then called the office of Mr. Song Millinery to ask what do about my missing hat. My event was Sunday and today was Friday and I still had no hat. I didn’t know that I was speaking to the designer himself until half way through our conversation. Instead of hanging up and blaming the postal service, we began to strategize. He phoned friends and knew someone who worked on an airline. We discussed if we could fly another hat from Detroit to San Francisco to arrive in time for Pride. Fortunatly, the following morning, the hat appeared. I held my breath and opened the box, it was exquisite. An absolutely beautiful work of art. I immediately phoned Mr. Song to deliver the good news, the hat had arrived and I loved it. I also mentioned that SF Pride is not exactly Royal Ascot, but we do indeed have our own home-grown royalty and couture most certainly does not go unnoticed.