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The House of Hunt traveled across five states to celebrate family, create art and have a grand adventure at Folsom Street Fair. It was my eight year anniversary of attendance at the internationally renowned event. While each year carries its own treasured memories and its own unique magic, this year I had the honor of being asked to be on the Folsom poster. The posters are almost as famous as the event itself and the opportunity to be cast as a fetishistic version of Sarah Palin was thoroughly irresistible.

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Top left to right: Lieutenant of QHG, Mr.Wizard ( Kalib DuArte), Liliane Hunt, Captain of       QHG, Tyke Puppy, Mr.Song, Second Lieutenant of QHG. Kneeling left to right: Faery 2 (Princess Cream Pie), Faery 1 (Jessi K). Image by John Goyer.

 

 

As some you may already be aware I am now residing in Portland, Oregon; Folsom is in San Francisco and the Twisted Carriage does not fly unless it’s on her own private plane. So Friday morning at 5:00 am we began a thirteen hour drive with Tyke, the Twisted Carriage, my three bio dogs otherwise known as The House of Chi and The Junkyard Pack on the back seat. Sandwiched in between them was a crate of champagne, props, costumes and my favorite wine from Willamette Valley Vineyards. My gown and fascinator sat on top of the Twisted Carriage. You may of course wonder what mischief The House of Hunt and The Junkyard Pack discussed in a car for thirteen hours. Well, aside from practicing the top secret handshake, buffing up on our lines for our even more top secret ritual and street performance, not much aside from various renditions of the HoH theme songs of which there is Tyke’s version and mine. I will let you guess who has the thoroughly irreverent version. I am not at liberty to discuss anymore other than it involves a pterodactyl.

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Far left to right: Faery 2 (Princess Cream Pie), Mr.Wizard (Kalib DuArte), Lieutenant QHG. Center: Liliane Hunt, Captain QHG, Color Guard (Paulo Batista). Image by John Goyer.

 

We arrived at our home away from home at about 8:00 pm, a charming house in San Francisco with a delightful view overlooking the City. Moments later Matt Gray friend and owner of  (Get it up Drone Video) based in Seattle and Paulo Batista Color Guard for The Queen’s Horse Guard arrived on our doorstep from San Diego.  The House of Chi announced their arrival with a chorus of barks that they reserve especially for significant occasions. Later that night Jessi K, (one of our two Faerys) arrived with a gift basket for The House of Chi.

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Left to right: Matt Gray and Tyke Puppy. Image by Pup Gadget.

After a limited amount of sleep we awoke to sunshine, coffee and more visitors. Princess Cream Pie  Faery 2, brought over a tiny new recruit to the faery division of HoH.  Needless to say he passed the audition and we look forward to his upcoming contributions. At some juncture Mr.Wizard (Kalib DuArte) appeared, he has a way of doing that without even The House of Chi noticing, he also disappears just as quickly. In all the years I have known him and in a room full of people no one has ever figured out how he does it. Just recently Captain of The Horse Guards asked me where Mr. Wizard was from.  I pondered it for a moment and answered, the universe, although that was a guess and I couldn’t be completely certain.

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Far back, left to right: Mr.Song, Mr. Wizard (Kalib DuArte), Lieutenenant QHG, Faery 2 (Princess Cream Pie), Liliane Hunt, Second Lieutenant QHG, Captain QHG. Image by MisterKen Photography.

Almost as mysterious as Mr. Wizard is the famous Mr.Song of Mr.Song Millinery.  Years ago the Post Office lost my hat for four days, it happened to be one of Mr. Song’s exquisite hats and by a twist of fate and my complete misunderstanding of time zones he answered a phone that he never typically answers.  We then became acquainted. Occasionally if the fates align and he happens to be in town, Mr. Song will hat me for the event. Thankfully, the fates did align and he arrived with earrings to match my Christian Dior choker and advice on a bent feather acquired in transit, emergency averted.

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Far left to right: Lieutenant QHG, Second Lieutenant QHG, Faery 1 (Jessi K.) Center: Liliane Hunt. Image by John Goyer.

No HoH event is complete without the arrival of The Queen’s Guard, Head of Security for the entire House. Whenever we do any public event security is essential, I have absolute confidence in his ability to handle any situation owing to the fact that since he joined the team we have not had a single situation. His arrival is announced by the deep growl of his Harley which he rides from Utah to wherever we need him. He reminds me of a cowboy from an old West movie, and he can also make very good coffee.

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Far left to right: House of Hunt Security and QG, Captain QHG . Center to right : Liliane Hunt, Color Guard Paulo Batista. Image by Roger Landon Hall.

Finally with the family together and the Junkyard Pack joining us, the festivities began. In fact the festivities continued for such a long time, that I actually had to sound the royal gong and make them go to bed. What felt like five minutes later the alarm sounded and cowboy coffee was thrust into my hand, Lord Black announced the arrival of Andrea Costigan Ortega of Salt Spell Beauty my makeup artist for the day. I will let the photographs speak for themselves, we have worked together  three times now, two Folsoms and the Folsom Poster. She has become a beautiful and enormously talented part of the family. With make-up and hair done, I was now ready for my dress.  I absolutely must take a moment to sing the praises of Valentina European Alterations. Since I moved to Portland I had obviously bid farewell to my San Francisco tailor and  with no small about of trepidation I set Tyke on the task of finding somebody capable of understanding how to tailor a formal gown. The funny thing is when I met Valentina I knew, she exuded that quiet confidence of someone who knows precisely what they are doing. When I put my gown on the morning of Folsom it slid and contoured against my skin like a custom made glove.

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Liliane Hunt, image by John Goyer.

Dress, jewelry, and boots on with fascinator in hand, we headed to the vehicle. Meeting us at our rendezvous point was our documentary filmmaker extraordinaire Roger Landon Hall of Infinite Mind Media and our entire fantastic family. Captain of The Queen’s Horse Guards at the front of my carriage dressed in a custom suit of armor made by an elite British armorer, rear guard Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant. Typically the Royal House does not responded to rumors and there has indeed been one circling that the Lieutenant of the Horse Guards is none other than the Dogtator himself.  I will neither confirm nor deny this rumor. I can confirm however that excellent caviar was served at the after party.

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Left to Right: Tyke Puppy, Lieutenant QHG, Captain QHG, Second Lieutenant QHG. Far right: The Twisted Carriage. Image by Pup Gadget.

Second Lieutenant pounded the drum and off we went to Folsom as one big happy family.  Old friends and new greeted our arrival. Depending on whether I liked them or not depended on whether they received a royally wicked apple. The sun beat down on us without mercy; she was cruel, beautiful and unforgiving as we worked our way through the crowds. One of the radiant qualities of Folsom is the diversity of the individuals one encounters, all manner of creatures in all manner of dress, “Bow for the Queen!” and “The Queen of Folsom!” were shouted as we marched onward. The faeries darted hither and thither returning each time the carriage moved away and disappearing as we stopped.

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Image by Ajax

At some juncture Mr. Wizard deemed that the ground felt right for our ritual. The carriage was brought to a halt, the ground prepared and a circle formed to summon the Lord of Beasts at Folsom. Mr. Wizard called the quarters, we did our chant and called Cernunnos to us and the hairs prickled on our skin as we heard him answer. Yes we did that, right at the front gates of Folsom, just a magical ritual from the dark forest of the Pacific Northwest. After that we left; we made our way back home with the drum sounding the heartbeat of our procession.

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Left to right: Mr. Wizard (Kalib DuArte), Lieutenant QHG, Second Lieutenant QHG,                    Faery 1 (Jessi K). Center: Liliane Hunt. Image by MisterKen Photography.

This is not where the story ends, I am not at liberty to reveal the details of the after party but only to say the case of champagne was indeed drunk in its entirety and that somebody brought vodka and caviar.

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Color Guard (Paulo Batista)

The following day we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to the home of Nancy Peach who had generously gifted me the 15 by 10 foot painting “Liliane Hunt”.  She was constructed in six panels totaling 150 feet. Wrapped tightly and securely she was carried aloft our vehicle where she sat for the next thirteen hours. That my friends is the story of how Hunt and Junk did Folsom 2016.

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Nancy Peach standing in front of the Liliane Hunt Painting

My undying loyalty and thanks to The Junkyard Pack for taking this journey with me across two state lines and for so gallantly taking up the reigns of the Queen’s Horse Guard. Thank you to the rest of our family who worked so hard to make this such a grand affair and to the photographers that braved the fierce heat and sent me pictures! Finally last but not least thank you to Tyke, Logistics Puppy and Producer of The House of Hunt events.

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Tyke Puppy, image by John Goyer

 

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Belated Beltane blessings to one and all who celebrate such things!

Liliane Hunt and Wizard by FlickerBob8888As I have previously admitted, my move to Portland has been rekindling some of the old fires. Last night, I conversed with The House of Hunt Wizard, who is gracious enough to be our Wizard both on and off the stage.  He is an excellent resource for all things seen, and unseen. I happened to mention my Beltane celebration and my childhood memories of May Day festivities that with hindsight were steeped in pagan traditions. Mr. Wizard chuckled.  Yes, we do refer to him as “Mr. Wizard” or “The Wizard”, and declared that I am nesting.

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So there you have it folks, the Evil Queen, (a self-claimed title I acquired on my 40th birthday) is nesting in the North West.  All that we need now is for the announcement that I have baby bats in the loft and I will be done for.

House of Hunt by Jared MechaberSpeaking of nesting, my everyday drinking glasses are still missing. They are hidden somewhere in the depths of the storage unit, possibly mislabeled or just deeply buried. I am making do with a set of whiskey glasses bearing a hand etched design of a coach and horses on them.  They were a gift, and yes I am still amused by them.

The other item that has been holding me back with regards to fully nesting is the lack of seating. For anyone who visited me in San Francisco, they were of course familiar with my Moroccan style set up; silk cushions, a daybed and waterfall surrounded by a lush indoor garden. The situation lent itself perfectly to House of Hunt soirees and intimate gatherings.  My apartment was on the top floor with windows that covered half of it, very private and with a view.

Beltane Blooms by Liliane Hunt

My Portland home has a very different set up. I am in a loft with 20 foot windows, and rather than living full time behind twenty foot blinds, I have created a screen of plants. My orchids exploded into blooms and people really started to stop and stare into my windows.Freckled Orchid Now to be fair, you can always tell when it is just about the plants. The focus is pretty direct and I genuinely love sharing the garden. However, occasionally people stare beyond my wall of the plants, enticed I suppose by what lays beyond the sea of green. It is always rather fascinating when I meet that gaze, when the voyeur is caught and experiences being observed by another voyeur.Freud

I wonder, “What Freud would make of that?”

Jed riding saddleSuffice it to say, the day bed is now residing in the upper level of the loft and I have been in dire need of a seating arrangement that extends beyond; formal dining, two thrones, a saddle or the floor.  Frankly it is a bit much, even for my theatrical sensibilities. It has taken me two months to find something that I actually liked, and I wasn’t joking about the thrones. As of Saturday my living room arrangement courtesy of Indonesia, will be making its way to the U.S. and to Portland and then finally my home.

April Feast by Liliane Hunt

Occasionally an opportunity presents itself and you simply have to embrace it or them, even it means entertaining with floor cushions tossed around your tea table.

Beltane Berries by Liliane Hunt

The “them” to which I refer are a family that I love just a little more each time we meet, kindred souls, if I had to put a name to it. You know who you are, let us plan some magic, mischief and mayhem in 2015.

Muggs and Mutts1Speaking of magik, mischief and mayhem, I was delighted to don my leather and attend the Muggs and Mutts fundraiser at Embers, Portland. The evening was benefiting the Oregon AIDS Memorial Fund.  This organization is dedicated to the recognition and preservation of the history of the AIDS crisis.

It was wonderful to finally put a name to a face or a dog tag to a pup. The evening was interspersed with drag performances, a pair of witty MC’s and puppies… lots of puppies.  I have always been a fan of a great drag show, I mean let’s face it I am a lady who likes to dress high femme and so appreciate others who do the same, and do it well. It was a nice mix that evening, older and younger performers, each with a certain something that arrested and intrigued, amused and captivated.

It would be entirely remiss of me to not give further mention to the pups. I was sincerely touched by the welcome from PDX-PAH for myself and Tyke to Portland.  Everyone we met that night was just lovely, friendly, warm and engaging. We look forward to meeting you again PDX-PAH.Liliane Hunt and Tyke by Eric Li

 

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The House Of Hunt - By Jared Mechaber

The House Of Hunt – by Jared Mechaber

 

The House of Hunt Horses- By Max Luo

The War Horses Sparta and Hexx by Max Luo

 

Preparations for our annual Folsom pilgrimage begin in January, when The War Horses Sparta and Hexx, request the Folsom itinerary. Slowly the wheels of creativity begin to churn in my mind, waiting for the spark of inspiration, that will reveal our theme for the year. This year carried a special significance, namely the seven year anniversary of my first Folsom attendance and the beginning of The House of Hunt. imagesSeven is a particularly powerful and auspicious number “seven is the number of the natural world. There are 7 days in the week, 7 notes on the musical scale and 7 directions (left, right, up, down, forward, back and center). “

 

Liliane Hunt - By John Mallery

Liliane Hunt and The House of Hunt by John Mallery

 

For my readers who have never attended Folsom, perhaps it may seem odd that I might use the word pilgrimage and consult the numerological significance of each year. However, if you have known Folsom and immersed yourself fully in its experiences, then I suspect you will know precisely what I am taking about! There are good years, great years and years that are epic.  2014 can be characterized by a single word, epic.

Liliane Hunt with Sparta and Tyke   by John Goyer

Liliane Hunt with Sparta and Tyke
by John Goyer

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t let me fool you into thinking that everything just casually fell into place.

The House of Hunt - By BoBoChee

The House of Hunt by BoBoChee

At 9:45, the morning of Folsom, just after Lori Nichols had intricately braided and twisted my hair into place for Draco, the exquisite dragon made by the milliner Mr. Song, I received the news that the makeup artist I had an appointment with was going to be a no show. By the divine grace of the Gods a super talented individual by the name of Andrea Ortega rose to the challenge of providing glamorous makeup for the Evil Queen at a moment’s notice. She did an absolutely stellar job incorporating the iridescent quality of the dragon and the purple hues of The House of Hunt colors.

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Liliane Hunt and her War Horses by cpony

 

Picture if you will; Lori and I just after makeup discovering that our Uber driver was also going to be a no show, the gps on our phones no longer working and us running down Market Street.  Me in my floor length purple gown with the sweeping train, attempting to flag down a taxi New York style. Both of us aware that every single member of The House of Hunt was at the rendezvous point with the Twisted Carriage all geared up and waiting. Thankfully, we batted enough lemons already that morning and a cab appeared.

Liliane Hunt and Lori Nichols- By D&R

Liliane Hunt by D&R Photography

 

 

 

Lori (pictured behind the rear of my carriage) had ridden a midnight train to San Francisco. The Horses flew in from another state.  Our Security rode a Harley across two states, for two days and the Wizard rode his sports car over the Golden Gate Bridge, pointy hood flying in the wind.

I have to admit, setting out on any House of Hunt adventure feels epic. We don’t do small adventures, just big ones. Half-assed doesn’t cut it, go big or go home.  All for one and one for all, and finally The House of Hunt motto: Non Sibi Sed Suis.

The House of Hunt - By cpony

The House of Hunt by cpony

“Would you care for an apple? They are quite fresh I assure you. The Wizard collected them only this morning!”

 

Jessi K - By Acrofish

Jessi K by Acrofish

Jessi K, Lady in Waiting, head of HoH media outreach.

Tyke Puppy - By Paul Tracy

Tyke Puppy by Paul Tracy

Tyke Puppy, Crown Equerry.

HOH Security - By Acrofish

HOH Security by Acrofish

HoH head of Security, Queen’s Guard.

 

 

 

 

 

Like any relationship, it is often the trials and tribulations that bring you closer together. There is no mistaking we are a team, a fabulous eclectic family of artists and adventurers from across the country. Coming together throughout the year, to support one another in our endeavors. Creating our unique brand of fetishistic performance art, drawing on all the elements of; music, dance, costume, special effects, lighting, and theatre. Seven years ago as The House of Hunt was just beginning, the Wizard suggested I attend Folsom. Seven years later, HoH flew and drove half way across the country to celebrate our auspicious anniversary together.

The House of Hunt - By Acrofish

The Filmmaker and The House of Hunt by Acrofish

 

With heartfelt thanks to our fabulously talented filmmaker Roger Landon Hall of Infinite Mind Media, HoH is forever indebted and thrilled to announce that the 2014 Folsom video is now live!

Much gratitude to Mr. Song Millinery and the creative genius Luke Song, milliner to the Evil Queen. “Draco”, the dragon fascinator, was his exquisite creation and much admired throughout the entire event.

Lori Nichols, incredible stylist and go to lady on the big day.

If you would like to book an appointment with Lori Nichols, mention the Liliane Hunt Gold Seal of Approval, first time clients will get $5 off their next service.

Sincere thanks to Andrea Ortega who did a phenomenal job with makeup.

Many thanks to the amazing photographers who sent me the incredible images you see in the blog post.

Finally, scritches to my Tyke Puppy who is my; right hand with four paws, grammar ninja, head of logistics, Crown Equerry, and rock star puppy. Thank you.

Liliane Hunt and Tyke - RichardGreenstoneFolsom14

Liliane Hunt and Tyke by Richard Greenstone

 

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The Queen of England once used the Latin phrase Annus horribilis to describe the year of 1992, I shall in turn steal it from her Majesty.  Collectively between Tyke and myself, we have lost four close friends in the last three months and it has been absolutely brutal. Whilst trying to make my way through muddiness of  grief I had a series of epiphanies, my first was that I should probably tell someone I was struggling with the enormity of it all and not just assume that they already knew.  My second was that life is somewhat like a game of snakes and ladders.  We all climb up the ladder and fall down the snake.  Even if it appears that the people around us, have never set eyes on a snake, or let alone fallen off one.  My third epiphany was the futility of making myself crazy about the things I had no control over and the fourth was that this too shall pass.

Liliane Hunt - Image by John Goyer, Luke Song, Mr Song Millinery, Liliane Hunt, Ms Liliane, The House of Hunt, Avante Garde, Portland, PDX, Model, Fashion, Pacific Northwest, San Francisco, West Coast, Performance Artist, Performance Art, theatre, Theater, Stage Show, Hunt, House of Hunt, Dior

Liliane Hunt – Image by John Goyer

My latest photo-shoot, I discovered I forgotten my blouse and packed a mismatched pair of earrings.  I could feel myself becoming frustrated and that inner voice chastising and judging  my lack of organizational skills. With a valiant effort I silenced it and opted for the rather new territory of trusting it would all work out.  I am not saying it was easy, this is new territory for me and there are days when it requires a concerted effort to stick with the plan of believing that at some point the fragmented pieces do come together.  There are moments when I feel that inner critique tutting and that voice getting louder and then I take a deep breath and spank it, spank it as hard and as thoroughly as I can, until there is silence.

Funny thing about that photo shoot, it really did all come together in the end, who needs a blouse anyway.

Liliane Hunt - Image by John Goyer, Luke Song, Mr Song Millinery, Liliane Hunt, Ms Liliane, The House of Hunt, Avante Garde, Portland, PDX, Model, Fashion, Pacific Northwest, San Francisco, West Coast, Performance Artist, Performance Art, theatre, Theater, Stage Show, Hunt, House of Hunt

Liliane Hunt – Image by John Goyer

 

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Liliane Hunt by John GoyerAccording to my mother she can trace our family history several generations back to French silk weavers, and I blame them for the fetishism we all inherited. My grandmother schooled me at a very early age that there was a distinct difference between ready to wear and something that was couture. Couture is something that is an experience. It’s not just how it looks or the way it’s made, but it’s also how it makes you feel. Wearing something beautiful, something that has been exquisitely put together, is not just satisfying to the senses, it goes beyond that, it breathes life into you.
I have often heard people say hats don’t suit them. It is my belief they have not met the right hat or indeed the right Milliner. It is important to pay attention to your hat, it frames your face and it speaks volumes on your behalf. I have been wearing and collecting hats for about twenty years and I am quite serious when I say one of the reasons I need to move is because I have ran out of room for my hats.
I have not met Mr. Song yet, but I feel like we already know each other. It is not simply what he can do with feathers that make his hats so remarkable or the exquisite attention to detail; it’s much more than that. My suspicion is that part of Mr. Song’s success is his ability to understand the character of his hats and match them so seamlessly with his clientele. Mr. Song is the Mad Hatter extraordinaire, and I am the artist and the fetishist. This is match making at its finest.Liliane Hunt by John Goyer
Estrella arrived on a Friday in a large, crisp, white box with the unmistakable Mr. Song Millinery heraldry. The box was her temporary carriage and I could hear her purring from inside of it. Upon releasing her, the light bounced off the black rhinestones intricately sewn onto her body and she lit up the room like a thousand stars in the night sky. She is both brilliant and majestic. Her velvet black feathers conveyed the black swan, dark and sensuous. She majestically demanded the Christian Dior neck piece to accompany her, a suitor worthy of her attentions. The grey pearl studs stood in attendance, both seen and unseen. She had no time for the ostrich boa; it was too frivolous for her sensibilities, she permitted one courtier, the ostrich cape by Leon Max.

Liliane Hunt by John Goyer

 

 

Fetish (derived from the French fétiche; which comes from the Portuguese feitiço; and this in turn from Latin facticius, “artificial” and facere, “to make”) is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others.

 

Photography by fabulously talented: John Goyer

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I had a fabulous time presenting at Folsom Fringe on both Friday and Saturday with Tyke Puppy and Little Wolf.  I decided that as October and November were bursting at the seams with events and classes, the sensible thing to do would be to take things easy and not do Folsom Street Fair in the outrageous over the top way tradition had previously dictated. However fate intervened.

First, it placed around my neck a vintage Christian Dior necklace, then as I sat in makeup the morning of Folsom, three ponies conspired together over breakfast and met with Tyke Puppy.  When I arrived at my cart they were all rigged together, three black ponies accented in silver and purple that matched my hat, my dress and my make up, well what is a lady to do? I gave a tug on the reigns and off we trotted.

This Folsom Tyke Puppy, looking rather dapper in his vintage Edwardian ensemble, ran security, pony hydration and managed to lead us to the SF K9 Unit Howl on time! To be fair he didn’t get much chance to pup out, although I did get reports of him scampering off at one point and behaving outrageously and then running back.

The Folsom video will be up as soon as possible, so stay tuned! Our photographs made there way on to SF Gate, SF Weekly, Huffington Post,  and Golden Gate Express the news for SFSU…so much for low key!

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