Indianapolis “Press” Week…A Review of Midwest Fashion Week’s Last Night

The following historical description is listed under the history section by Wikipedia. “The first New York Fashion Week, then called Press Week, was the world’s first organized fashion week. Held in 1943, the even was designed to attract attention away from French fashion during World War II, when fashion industry insiders were unable to travel to Paris to see French fashion shows. Fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert organized an event she called “Press Week” to showcase American designers for fashion journalists, who had previously neglected their innovations. (Buyers were to admitted to the shows and instead had to visit designers’ showrooms.) Press Week was a success, and fashion magazines like Vogue, which were normally filled with French designs, increasingly featured American fashion.” This definition is in any basic fashion text and took us less than five minutes to look up under “purpose of a fashion show” online.

In writing a review you must first understand exactly what you are reviewing. Thus the major problem with the finale of Midwest Fashion Week; was the gala a fashion show or a fundraiser? The reason we ask is because we’ve been to our share of fashion shows, nationally, and press are treated exceptionally well and are actually given exposure to the collections, models and typically an up close look at the designs being shown on the runway. We’ve also been to our share of charity events and fundraisers, nationally, and press are rarely present unless they have made a donation or bought a ticket as we always do and have documentation to prove. Anyone who knows us, professionally, personally or from background research, knows we are philanthropists and huge supporters of charity, having thrown several fundraising events ourselves. Per Sola Adelowo, executive director and co-producer of Midwest Fashion Week, “The Gala was a fundraiser for Down Sydrome and the closing fashion show for MFW.”

So, let’s investigate this further. First, we were sent the media information from Indyscene because we write a social review column on Indyscene. The information sent from MFW to Indyscene was an outline of the week’s events. We then contacted Berny Martin, founder and producer of MFW and asked for media passes to Saturday’s events, unclear about whether or not this was strictly a fundraiser or a fashion show who informed us, without any other information, that passes…not media passes or seats to the gala…just passes, with no explanation, would be waiting for us at “media” check-in.

Now let’s pause on this for just a moment. Never once were we informed we would be expected to purchase tickets to be part of the event and actually participate in the event. At this point, we’re probably sounding rather petty and appearing as if we wanted something for free. Hmmm…do you know who we are or how we live? Trust us, we can more than afford to buy tickets to any event we choose to support and we had actually brought a check with us to make a rather substantial donation, but we were never given the chance as we were treated like second class citizens. Since we were given no information regarding the event, we contacted Sola the day of the event and asked what time we should attend, were there certain things they wanted us to experience so we could write and talk about them. We ended the e-mail with “Excited for tonight and hope we get to personally meet you!” We have yet to meet Sola, regretfully. We finally did receive a response from Sola…at 11:40 p.m. while we were at the after party at Hyde…while Sola sat ten feet away from us on a couch in the VIP section.

So let’s review our amazing evening. We were extremely excited to attend this event. As a therapist who has previously worked with down syndrome children and having had a mother who worked for years as an educator with children of autism and down syndrome, this was a fundraiser close to our hearts. Not to mention that we are deeply involved in fashion, nationally, and are attempting to endorse the fashion industry in Indianapolis. When we arrived, we went to the “media” desk and signed in. On the two page, stapled media list, were literally tons of media representatives who had already checked in. We were not given press passes and told to go upstairs where the media were segregated. Hearing this, we were a little apprehensive. Once we arrived upstairs, we saw three tables and a spread of lunch meat, bags of potato chips, a bowl of pasta salad, bread rolls and plastic carafes of water. Oh…and plastic cups. No one met with us. No one introduced themselves to us from MFW and no one explained what we were supposed to do or what the outline for the evening would entail. We were not given an itinerary of the night and are unable, without research which we refuse to do, write about the specific designers or entertainers, because we were not given a press kit or press information as we are ALWAYS given. Below us, far below us, was the gala event. We could barely see the stage or make out anything specific on the runway. After a few moments we ran into another “media” representative who is also a friend, and sat with her for the next hour. Our initial reaction was to turn and walk out. We have never, NEVER, been as humiliated as we were walking into this event. And the kicker…our friend, a woman from a New York based fashion website and ourselves were the only three, not MFW organized media, upstairs. So, where was everyone else?

Today we emailed Sola asking about the process Midwest Fashion Week takes for accommodating their media? We asked how some were placed in the gala dining area and others weren’t? Her response, “The roof ballroom does not allow sitting for individuals that have not paid for dining. So to accommodate the media there was space in the front of the ballroom and close to the runway to make it easier to take pictures or to observe any one designer’s work up close.” Ohhhhh…well, we were never told that so we were literally huddled behind two children up in the rafters. Literally. We couldn’t even see Andi Hauser of Indy Style who emceed the event. “However,” she wrote, “some media sponsors such as WISH TV, FOX 59, and The Recorder dined in various locations throughout the ballroom. We also had several members of the media purchase their own tickets so they could dine before beginning their work when the show started.” Interesting, because we were never given this option. We don’t know Sola personally, or at all really, but we looked at her Linkedin profile. She has a rather impressive professional background, especially her being the Founder and Certified Image Consultant of ImageCube. Even more interesting, if you read her profile, you’ll find she has been a featured personal image expert on the Fox 59 Morning News Show, Indy Style TV, and the Recorder-On-Air-Report. Our question is if “media” is purchasing tickets for the event than are they really “media”?

After several hours of being at this event, we were so hungry we almost left, but stayed because we wanted to see the fashion show. Even though none of the food upstairs looked appetizing, we ate some pasta salad, shared a roll and had two bags of chips. We need to apologize because until we received the email from Sola today, we hadn’t understood this was actually a “hospitality station” for the models, volunteers and stylists. Basically, “media” passes meant we were allowed to just walk in and witness the event from afar. Again…literally. Well, we didn’t even need to do that because we know several people that walked in, didn’t check in and sat in the ballroom.

This was not a fashion show. This was not about fashion. This was a charity event. A very nice, charity event we’re sure. We can’t review that because we didn’t experience it. What we could see we thought was ok as far as charity events go. It was neat to see models with down syndrome walk the runway and it was inspiring. We know Mike Rypel, who told us he produced the event, and we’re well aware that Mike knows what he’s doing when it comes to throwing an event, so we’re sure the charity and gala part were all good. We hope they raised a lot of money because it’s a charity which deserves a good fundraiser.

As far as the fashion show, well that’s a different story. But before we discuss this let it be clear that we watched the show from the second floor, far away without ability to see detail, which is sad because we were excited to see designs from some of our friends such as R. Lynda and Antonio Fermin. It was so hard to see, especially with two children in front of us, but we’ll attempt to give a review anyway. First of all, if we’re attempting to make Indianapolis a serious focal point of fashion, why aren’t we bringing a designer who someone actually cares about and is interested in seeing their designs. Actually, Althea Harper, runner up to Project Runway Season 6 was at the event but was not highlighted or mentioned during the show. If you’ve done your research, as we have, you would know that Althea has shown at every Mercedes Benz fashion week in New York City since being on Project Runway. Althea also studied and worked under Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen, Anna Sui and Vivienne Westwood. Althea had a lot to say about the show. We would know because we hung out and partied with her until the after party closed. The girl is not only gorgeous and talented but the real deal. Interestingly, she informed us, that “media” and “press” are treated exceptionally well at New York Fashion Week.

The runway was cheesy. The tapered material looked tacky. The spotlight was on the DJ instead of on the runway. Designers should always walk out after their models. That’s pretty basic stuff. In talking to Althea she told us that fashion shows are always about the models and that the quality of the show is completely about the models picked. So, people want a real review of the fashion show, here you go.

Most of the models couldn’t walk. In fact, only a few appeared to have any walking experience. While we loved many of the designs, there lacked a cohesiveness in any of the shows. No theme carried the designs together. A plus-sized model is a size 8-12, unless there is a purpose for bigger girls. But, we actually loved the designs of the designer of plus-sized clothes. We can’t really comment on anything else because we couldn’t see the show. Most of the models were used by all of the designers therefore the models ran from downstairs to the changing room upstairs, easily seen by anyone in the dining area or upstairs. Every designer had pieces we loved, being able to see them closer as the models walked upstairs, but we don’t know who matched what designer as we weren’t given a press release as previously mentioned.

In the past, we’ve heard rather bad things about Midwest Fashion Week, but now we’ve experienced it first hand. We loved the student show and were treated extremely well but to have been treated so horribly in return later in the week is confusing. Ian Stikeleather was responsible for taking care of us at the student show so maybe he should be made more responsible in the future for further events. He knows how to treat “media”.

During the show Andi Hauser commented that Berny Martin “sets the bar” for Indianapolis. Well, that wouldn’t be our opinion. In our opinion the two people setting the bar in Indianapolis are model Emily Nyberg and student designer Lorry Plasterer. These two women are so far above their game that the Indianapolis fashion industry should be chasing them down!

By the way, SEXIEST of the evening goes to Polina Oscherov! This incredible photographer has amazing style anyway, but wow! Out of control!

Thanks for the photo booth Mike! We love those things and are seriously thinking about buying one for our house.

Well, until next year. WAIT! We forgot. This will officially be our last year to support or endorse Midwest Fashion Week. And before everyone gets all hyped up threatening us with ridiculous claims, all of the information in this column is backed by factual evidence or is our opinion, as stated.

And for the record, fashion shows may be about the models, but they started…because of the “media”.

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

The Kids Play Dress Up…The Student Show at Midwest Fashion Week!

So it’s time for Midwest Fashion Week again in Indianapolis. In the past, we’ve had really mixed experiences, but this year we decided to go into it with an open mind. That being said, why should we expect anything less than we would see on a runway anywhere else if the Midwest fashion industry wants to be taken seriously. While this is a young community in Indianapolis, one of which we are supportive, the reality is real artists have the same level of passion, drive, commitment and determination whether they’re living in Wanamaker, Prague or Milan. No excuses.

Tonight was the Emergence Fashion Show, displaying the works of student designers from the Midwest. We didn’t really know what to expect when we were invited by Ian Stikeleather. When we arrived, we immediately ran into several prominent faces in the local fashion community who we have come to call close friends. We chatted it up with Kaitlin Elyse who showed her newest designs from her T. Party line Saturday night at the Blu Martini. We were so impressed with Kaitlin’s recent show that we’re currently in the process of figuring out what we want to order. What was the theme of her show? Haters. Love it! We also ran into local fashion designer extraordinaire Nikki Blaine and photographer Polina Oscherov who we recently did a shoot. Amy Beers and Nightlights TV were also in attendance taping the entire event, interviewing designers and local celebrities in the fashion community as well as modeling herself on the runway. We chatted it up with Berny Martin, developer and producer of Midwest Fashion Week as well as well respected fashion designer of Catou, who was laid back and hilarious, proudly talking about this week’s events. We have to commend Berny on exposing Indy to some style and fashion we wouldn’t have witnessed without him. Nikki Sutton, famed local stylist and architectural designer…Wow!!! Absolutely gorgeous. We hadn’t had the opportunity to meet her before and we were so impressed. Definitely someone we hope to get to know better. Later, Nikki introduced us to Spanish bridal designer Antonio Fermin and his guest, decorator and socialite Julie Oliver. These two were so much fun, and we ended up laughing late into the night with them accompanied by Nikki Blaine and photographer Abdul-Shaheed Aaron, as we closed down the new Bazbeaux.

But onto the good stuff. The show. We were lucky enough to be seated front row center right next to Denisha Greene of Mode Magazine, who entertained us the entire evening. And here’s what we thought…first of all, we understand you’re students and we commend you for putting your stuff out there and taking the chance to have everyone watch you, but we’re firm believers you should never put something out there that you can’t stand behind. No matter how little time you had to prepare, the numerous pins and unsewn hems were embarrassing. And in reality, it made three designers stand out above all of the rest.

Obviously this isn’t a contest, but if it were Jennifer Spriggs would have come in third…but a very close third to second place. Her pieces didn’t even look like student pieces. They were sellable and intriguing and seemed to come from a very private place. These clothes, unlike many of those seen from the other designers, made the female models look attractive. Most designers had at least one good piece, but Spriggs, from Cincinnati, had a uniformity and a theme that was mysterious and alluring to the eye. Definitely someone to follow in the future.

Second place would go to Lorry Plasterer from Indiana University. Ok, this girl hand dyes her pieces and when you get up close, the detail is immaculate. Even the inside of the pieces were ornate and precise. One model wore a wool jacket that looked more like burlap but was incredibly soft and wearable. “Don’t you just love this material?” she said, behind cute, dark rimmed glasses. Not only are her designs playful, creative and eye-catching, they made the models look amazingly beautiful and besides Lorry, the models themselves were even excited talking about the pieces. She appeared so genuine and passionate about her art, which she seemed more like to us, an artist not a designer, that we are definitely intrigued to see more. And we also thought she’d be a blast to take out some night. So Lorry, there’s you’re invitation!

And of course first place. Now, before, like always, we’re criticized for picking favorites for various reasons, let us just say the reason we’re picking this designer is because their show was originally created, styled appropriately and the designer’s personality made us want to see more. Once we were home and we looked at their website, FLC International, we were even more impressed, reading the story behind their process and being able to see their designs as a entirely actualized business. Fred Schwier from Indiana University. This kid is so incredibly realized that his show completely flowed. Before we even came to the Emergence show we had been told to look for his pieces. Several male models walked out in these amazing Bermuda shorts, with material from Ghana, resembling Miss Celie’s One Size Fits All pants from The Color Purple, in a way that made us itching to have several pairs to wear to all of our events this summer. He also makes these amazing grey shirts, baseball hats and pants. In the last two years, we’ve had the opportunity to interview tons of celebrities on the rise and meet people from all over the world that when we were in their presence we realized they were going to be the next big thing. This kid…is the next big thing. Watch out!

We were incredibly impressed with the echelon of the models in this year’s show and wanted to give a special shout out to Ebony Smith who told us she’ll be leaving Indy sometime in the near future to move out west. We think this is a great idea for her as we stood in awe, yet again, as we stared at her incredible physique and facial structure. The girl is incredible.

We especially wanted to comment that we were absolutely intrigued by Emily Nyberg, one of the models who resembled a mix between Grace Kelly and Elaine Irwin. She walked the runway with an incredibly, confident signature walk we’ve never seen and even when she fell, yes…she fell, she just kept on walking. Amazing. Several people we talked to about Emily mentioned they felt she was too short for true runway and while this may be true, one of dear friends, Marissa Hobson, the newest supermodel and representative of Pantene, measures in at less than 5’4. A word of advice from the guys who interact on a daily basis with beautiful women all over the world…hit it fast out of Indiana! It’s your time to make it big in the big leagues. Contact us if you want any help…we have, well maybe a few contacts…Trust us folks…this girl is the next big thing!

We were incredibly impressed with the student show this year, especially the organization thanks to Ian Stikeleather and Berny Martin. We wish all the students the best of luck…oh and Fred…we were serious about that offer!

We can’t wait until Saturday to see the fashion show at the Gala event. Prepare to see us as we put our own spin on “Black Tie”. And then it’s on to Nashville for the boys of raannt to see Kelly Cutrone, Christian Siriano, Betsey Johnson, Gustavo Cadile and Traver Rains formerly of Heatherette for Nashville Fashion Week.

Eyes Open…We’re Watching!

Zoe Inspired!!! The Secret Life of a Personal Stylist!

The first time we saw her, standing across the room from us at a charity auction, looking 8 feet tall in enormous heels, leggings, a severe black jacket and a little hat, we knew we wanted to meet her. We saw her for the second time, surrounded by an entourage of personal assistants, seated front row for the fashion show at the launch of the online fashion magazine Fashion Wrap Up…and we knew we needed to meet her. So we posted something about her being a “mystery” lady in the world of local fashion in our gossip column on IndyScene and she quickly responded. Since then, it’s been late night phone calls until 5am, her becoming the personal stylist to the boys of raannt and the constant flow of creative energy and advice inspiring all of us through our friendship to help us become stronger and more stylish. Just last weekend, Zoe participated in Model Wars in Chicago and took home the prize of second place. She is constantly planning fresher and more creative fashion outlets in her shows and styling to keep her at the top of her game. Let one thing be very clear…Zoe is very demanding. She knows what she wants and she does not apologize. She is constantly reinventing herself and challenging those around her to rise to her level. But what we have seen, that she allows very few to see, is a small fracture of simplicity, compassion, authenticity and kindness that allow even her feelings to be hurt every once in a while, which she wears on her sleeve as a reminder to push harder. Because at the end of the day, after the stockings are shed and the chains and little hats are put away, once the makeup is removed and she is simply Zoe, she is reminded that she is a woman like any other woman, which is what she brings to her styling every day. The goal to make every person…feel as utterly beautiful as she feels inside each and every day. And for that we are immensely grateful for the one and only Zoe Renee Ashely Huse…

1. Tell us the background story on Zoe Renee Ashley Huse?
I am 28…a Total Aries-Sassy, Creative, Bossy, Fun and Loving…A Workaholic-I average 90hrs a week between My Fashion Businesses and My Full Time Job! A Huge Animal Lover I currently have 8 and would love to have more. Hot Pink and Neon Green are my two Favorite Colors and With Me What You See is What you Get.

2. What first inspired you to enter the world of fashion styling?
Hmmm! I have always had my own look and had a small following of people even in High School that always wanted to borrow my clothes. I would have a check list of who borrowed what and when, and check them in and out.
My Senior Year of High School I decided to go Into Fashion as a Career. I had always seemed to follow Fashion and Finally realized it was my one and only calling. I never looked back. I went to college and got an Associates in Fashion and Minored in Business. When I graduated I worked at a number of Retail Places including a Little Jewelry Place where I got some Buying Experience. I decided about 5 years ago to start my own business as a personal shopper and it kind of morphed into fashion styling as they go hand in hand. People liked what they saw and decided to hire me to style photo shoots and fashion shows and eventually produce them. Its kind of Blown Up from There…

3. What was your style like at age 10? 15? 21?
10: I have always Loved Big Sunglasses and mixing prints and patterns even at 10 years old. Keep it mind it was the 80s so that was totally acceptable! I also was a fan of Hats then.

15:Is When I started Vintage Shopping. Some Cool Plaid pants, Leather Pants, Leopard, Pleather, Sky High Heels, Tight Vintage Tshirts. I was kind of a Diva. I refused to wear the same thing Twice so if I wore it Once you Never Saw it Again! I remember my Two Favorite Stores being Wet Seal and Goodwill & Value Village.

21: I went through a Huge Bandana Phase, Vintage Tshirts, Lots of Jewelry, Bright Colors and Prints, High Heels, Bell Bottom Pants and Jeans, Vintage Clothing from the 60’s & 70’s, Anything Glittery, Ties, Clutches.

4. Who do you believe are the three greatest designers of all time?
Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, DIOR
A Mix of these Three & a Little Gwen Steffani would be My Dream Wardrobe

5. Who is a fashion designer every stylist should admire, but you really don’t appreciate their work?
I think Every “Designer” has an affect on a stylist for the Wearable art they create.
I can’t think of a specific designer who’s work I don’t appreciate as a whole. Of course there are pieces I don’t love, but I know of all the blood, sweat and tears that go into their work and appreciate that in itself.

6. If you could sit in the front row of any designers fashion show, who would it be?
Can I only Pick One?
Oh There are just so Many…..
“Every” Designer showing at New York, L.A. and Paris Fashion Week
I could just get a sleeping bag and camp out show after show after show and be completly content
But if I had to Pick Alexander McQueen and Betsy Johnson for the Show they put On

7. What are your thoughts on Rachel Zoe as a stylist?
After reading her story of how she came to be where she is, I have a higher regard for her than I have had in the past.
I don’t think her taste level is where it should be for her position in the fashion world…but I have only seen a small part of her styling.
I also Don’t agree at all with her LOVE OF FUR* Faux Fur Yes! Real Fur HELL NO!

8. What are three components every successful stylist should have?
1. The Eye to see what others don’t
3. DRIVE & Ambition

9. What male and female celebrity has the best current style?
Female: Gwen Steffani
Male: Johnny Depp and Kanye West

10. Who are two people whose style will be remembered historically and why do you think they contribute to the world of fashion?
I can’t just pick two……Every Decade has One or Two HUGE FASHION ICONS! People that we always ahead of the times and mixed it up in just the right way that they were a piece of walking art from Coco Chanel & Audrey Hepburn to Marilyn Monroe & Jackie Kennedy to Edie Sedgwick to Madonna & Lady Gaga-Just off the Top of my Head

11. Who are two people in Indianapolis that have great style and why did you pick them?
Eutemia Stockman- She always looks classy and fashionable as well as expensive. I have never seen that girl not put together from head to toe. She can wear a $2 shirt and make it look like it costs $200.

Fly Won- She is the Thrifting Queen and can Put together the coolest outfits. I love her accessories and she always has the most Unique and Funky Creative Outfits.

12. At 28, your business incorporates several different aspects including styling, shopping, closet design and organization, jewelry design and marketing for small businesses. What does it take to be successful as a young business woman?
I am building a Fashion Empire, Not just a Business. This is my Name, my Life, My Career. One thing you will learn about me Very Quickly is I dont do Anything SMALL*it gets 150% from me or I dont do it at all! I would say determination, being a workaholic and having some huge goals are three things I have found equal success. I wouldn’t say my life revolves around Fashion but instead Creativity and that is is a huge part of all the aspects of my business.
I take this Business very seriously. Who needs Sleep when you have Fashion?

13. Define SEXY…
I think Sexy is all about The Essence you Give off, its more a Confidence to me then A Look.

14. What are three movies that inspire you or contribute to who you are?

The Notebook, The Little Mermaid and All the Sex in the City TV SHOWs & Movies

15. If you could only listen to three CD’s for the rest of your life and they couldn’t be mixed, what would they be?
Anything by the Beatles!
My favorite songs are I am the Walrus & Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

16. Sexiest city, club, store and restaurant in the world?
Sexiest Store:Agent Provocateur, City:Paris. I have yet to be in the Sexiest Club But I would have to say a Classy Strip Club & Restaurant Anywhere a HOT Naked Man is laying on the table with a delicious Pizza On his Body [Similiar to a Naked Sushi Woman but a Man with Pizza]

17. The holidays are here! Be specific and tell us the perfect sexy gift for a man and the perfect sexy gift for a woman?
A Sexy Gift for a Woman-Her Man giving her a Candlelit, Full Body Massage with Oils and Then Whip Cream, he will be wearing nothing but a Red Jock Strap and a Santa Hat

A Sexy Gift for Him-A boudoir photoshoot of her in some very skimpy Agent Provocateur Lingerie on the bottom, and nothing on the Top, a Garder Belt and some Red Manolo Blahnik High Heels

18. This week you will be participating in Model Wars. Tell us about Model Wars and about your participation in this event. Model Wars is a Contest of 30 Designers between The Midwest
Indianapolis, Milwalkee, Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis Against Each Other! Its not just a Fashion Show but a Play and Fashion Show Together. The Most Unique and Creative Concept Wins $10,000 in Cash and Prizes and the Title of Winner. They will also eventually compete against New York.
My part in the Show is I am producing and styling my team of 27 people including 2 Make Up Artists, 2 Hair Dressers, 8 Models, 4 Designers and some Extras that aren’t models but will be participating in the Play part of the show.

19. Where do you see Zoe Renee in 5 years? 10 years?
I have a very set 6 year goal of being a multi millionaire and being in the same place Rachel Zoe
is at this moment. Up to 10 years I can only see the Business getting even bigger and styling Celebrities and Producing & Styling
Fashion Shows at Fashion Weeks in L.A., NY and Paris. I also see myself owning a boutique with my Jewelry and possibly some
of my designs and maybe some of friends I have accumulated over the years. I also see myself having a child or two by 10 years
from now.
Living in California preferably San Francisco and keeping a home here in Indiana as it will always be Home.

20. Boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?
Depends on the Situation: Jockstraps and Nothing at all in the Bedroom and Boxers when walking around the house. Briefs for Photo Shoots.

Thanks Zoe!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

the boys of raannt…unveiled!

It’s been a crazy year. We’ve stayed in business and met tons of amazing people! We’ve won several awards, been listed on National websites, entertained celebrities, written for three other major websites, been on the radio, hosted a weekly gay night called FLESH, thrown two fashion shows and a charity event and we continue to try and raise our own bar to do more and more, bettering ourselves and the environment around us, especially the social environment.

It is officially raannt’s one year anniversary and we wanted to do something special this week to make it even more special! Recently, we were contacted by West A. Ferguson on Twitter, who told us he was a fan of raannt. He also told us he thought we had a pretty huge gay following, especially younger gays. We asked him who he would like to see us interview next and he replied, “Hmmmm…the boys of raannt”. And so we told him if he sent us 20 questions, we would write up an interview and let everyone see what’s behind all the hype! And so it goes…

1. What are three interestingly random things we would want to know about you guys.
Alex: I’m bilingual, I’m in a hip hop dance team here in Indy, and I was born in Venezuela and moved here when I was 12.
Peter: I’m been clean and sober for over 15 years. I’m an only child. I’m obsessed with Willie Nelson.

2. Is your current job, you dream job?
Alex: Its not, I love the job that I have right now and I’m learning a lot… But the more and more I move forward with raannt the more I would love to work in PR or in the social event department of a magazine.
Peter: My dream job constantly changes. Currently I’m a psychotherapist in private practice. (Read my work related blog at Thoughts From the Couch!) Honestly, my dream job would be to write novels and drink coffee daily.

3. If you’re not working where you want to, then what is your dream job.
Alex: Public Relations would be great!! Or working for a Magazine
Peter: Like I said, writing full time and having my work published. I’m currently shopping literary agents and publishers.

4. Just for kicks: Team Jennifer Aniston? or Team Angelina? We’re all ears with this ongoing celebrity feud.
Alex: I personally love Jennifer Aniston! She’s sssooo pretty and She looks like a mean girl but isn’t, but we don’t really know if she really isn’t, which is what I like about her!
Peter: Team Angelina. I’ve never understood the Jennifer Aniston obsession. I love everything about Angelina Jolie; especially her mystery.

5. What are three “nevers” of your life. for example: I will never wear hot pink. Lol
Alex: I never say “I never” because I just never know!
Peter: I will never jump from a plane unless it is my only way out and I will never swim with sharks unless I’m swimming for my life.

6. Some young gay/lesbian actors have this belief that coming out might slow down or put an end to their careers. Do you believe Rupert Everett was right in saying: “It’s not that advisable to be honest. It’s not very easy. And, honestly, I would not advise any actor necessarily, if he was really thinking of his career, to come out…”.
Alex: I think it’s really up to them, being gay/lesbian shouldn’t defined their work and professional life, its personal and should stay that way.
Peter: I don’t think we’re in a position to put our careers first, especially when our coming out might be a positive example for others, especially younger gay people. When I was younger I felt all alone because there really weren’t any gay role models. I guess I’ve never thought of myself in the closet, and I don’t really care. If someone else can’t accept me…it’s not my problem. It’s just not about me. But I don’t think I have to flaunt it in someone’s face either.

7. How do you feel about society’s reaction to those actors that choose to come out?
Alex: I think they’re interesting, you can totally tell where these reactions are coming from; for example in major cities they report it and move one, but in the Midwest they linger with the idea or thought of someone they liked as being gay/lesbian… To each its own I guess.
Peter: I think society, and we’re part of that, will criticize or over-analyze whatever celebrities do. I can’t understand what it’s like living their life, so I try not to judge. I do think that many actors have been embraced by society because it’s just not that big of a deal anymore to be gay.

8. On the subject of gay youth, can we please discuss Glee? haha Do you feel that the subject of disappointment and misunderstanding between Kurt and his father represents a theme that is mis/over-used within gay culture? Are there not good relationships between gay sons and their fathers?
Alex: I personally don’t watch Glee; I feel like it’s the nerdy brother of Gossip Girl and 90210. All of these shows are filled with the same idea of young pretty sex and steam fun drama that we like to watch… But!!! I will say that in all 3 shows they have introduced gay issues and their stereotypes.
Peter: I don’t watch Glee either, although I’m planning on buying the seasons and catching up because the show is just getting way too much hype for me to not witness. My father and I have a great relationship and honestly, my being gay has never been an issue. He is a surgeon, and as a man of science, he believes my being gay is genetic makeup.

9. While growing up and coming of age, can you guys remember if it was hard to respect or believe in a religion? If your memory goes back that far 😉
Alex: Umm!! Yes my memory goes back that far!! And actually it was a little difficult for me to respect it and this is probably why I choose to not have any religious believes.
Peter: I do not consider myself a religious person. I consider myself a spiritual person. And honestly, my issues with religion have less to do with being gay and more to do with my addiction and recovery. Honestly, I’ve never found anything in a church that is for me, but I do have a great respect for people that find that kind of faith. I think religion or spirituality is personal and should be left that way. It’s a personal relationship. I don’t think most people would understand my spiritual beliefs, based on love and learning, and quite frankly, it’s none of their business.

10. With your views on religion, do you believe that marriage is for everyone? ( I only ask because I would not want to assume that all the gay community feels the same way)
Alex: I personally think that marriage shouldn’t be a religious benefit or right or anything, I actually think it shouldn’t be tied down to religion because its about loving the person you’re marring, not the religious you share or believe in.
Peter: I do not believe marriage is for everyone, whether gay or straight. I do struggle with couples who engage in committed relationships but have an open relationship, but then again, I guess that’s none of my business either if it works for them.

11. Okay, I’m going to give into a stereotype and comment on your amazing skin Raannt boys! You guys must have pretty interesting skin regimes, considering you both have amazingly beautiful complexions. So how do you guys do it…you know should know that this information will help the skin condition of all your fans! 🙂
Alex: Wow thanks!!! I actually had horrible skin when I was in High School and hated my face!! But I grew out of it, I do still get break outs here and there and still hate them, but its part of me and all I have to do is make fun of them and move on.
Peter: Honestly, my friends from high school would laugh at this question because when I was a teenager, I never had any acne and they were jealous. I think mostly it’s genes, but my mother always taught me to wash my face with bar soap, which is typically not what is recommended, but it has always worked for me. Also, I drink tons of water.

12. Speaking stereotypes: {because I totally brought up these topics so that they wouldn’t correlate *sarcasm*} Do you think there are definite roles for each person within a gay/lesbian relationship? Like bride and groom/man or woman?
Alex: I personally think that if I’m with a man it should be a man, just like me. I like guys who are guys and If I wanted a girly guy I might as well be with a girl.
Peter: I’m with men because I am attracted to masculinity. That being said, what works for me, isn’t for everyone. In our relationship, we have no set roles, entirely.

13. @CortneyStiggers wants to know: What do you like about one another?
Alex: I love how silly Peter is, he pretends our dogs have voices and are actual people and plays and talks to them… Silly but it makes me smile.
Peter: I love Alex’s confidence. Also, he is not only my fiance, but my best friend. He is willing to tell me when I am wrong about something and to tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. He challenges me to be a better person.

14. Another fan (@starsintheskies) asks: Individually, which do you prefer: words of affirmation, quality time together, physical touch, receiving gifts, or acts of service?
Alex: I like a bit of them all… I’m personally not a romantic person so all the mushy mushy stuff isn’t for me but I try my hardest to do it for Peter.
Peter: All of them, but romance and passion are really important for me. I think validation in a relationship is important and I definitely think quality time, no matter how it is spent, is vital. Although I love gifts, they don’t say much in a relationship. Physical touch…a must!

15. Which emotion is stronger: Anger or Love?
Alex: I think they’re both pretty strong and there wouldn’t be one with out the other.
Peter: Anger is a secondary emotion which we give power. Love can overcome anything.

16. Looking back in the past: What will you always remember about your childhood? Is there anything that you will always remember.
Alex: I think I will always remember the big family gatherings and trips to the beach. Venezuela is where I grew up and we got to do a lot of fun stuff while I was there!
Peter: What…I’m not still a child? Hmmm..I’ll always remember my teacher reading, “Help I’m a Prisoner in the Library” during a blizzard in 4th grade. I’ll always remember my mom and I dancing in the rain, and eating grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup on snow days. And sailing on Lake Michigan with my dad.

17. What family traditions have you brought into your own life?
Alex: I don’t think I have any… well that I can think of.
Peter: Interesting that he says that because I’ve learned a lot about Venezuelan Christmas traditions. It’s really important for me that we don’t go to bed angry and that we kiss each other good night.

18. With the anniversary of your blog, what impact do you hope to leave with your readers?
Alex: I want them to keep wanting more! I feel like they more they want the more drive we will have to be able to give them that, and by doing so growing as a page and place for people to go to and have fun reads!
Peter: At Pride Day this weekend we had a transsexual woman come up to us and thank us for our blog, saying we had given a voice to gay and trans people. Other people thanked us for giving gay people a mainstream voice. I guess I didn’t realize we were doing that, but it’s important that now that we have a voice, we use it correctly. I hope to leave readers knowing that we’re just two guys, accomplishing our dreams and trying to make the world a better place. Laugh a little bit and find love in the glitter…life just isn’t that serious. It’s over all too quick!
19. What are three platforms do each of you support?
Alex: Eating Disorders in Youth, Aids Foundation, and anything that will keep kids dancing!
Peter: Animal rights, especially for elderly dogs. Teen addiction and recovery. National equal rights to marriage.

20. Describe your life in a six word sentence. Mine (for example): Young sexy love never dies ugly 😉
Alex: Loyal Loving Crazy Sassy Sexy Dance
Peter: Life is short. Live it up!.

21. Taken from the raannt box o’ interview questions: on each other…boxers, briefs, jockstraps,…or nothing at all 😉 {your readers are dying to know}
Alex: I love sleeping in my boxers! And to go out cute sexy briefs!!
Peter: I love old school boxers, especially with buttons but typically nothing at all…And Alex looks great in a jockstrap!

So there it is…we hope you enjoyed it!
Thanks to West Ferguson for the interview…and to all our sexies…

Eyes Open…We’re Watching!

Spotlight 2010…LOVE…

Love. Red. Ribbons. Lots of them. Smiles. Embrace. Voices carry. Dancers tango on an orange dusk wind across the stage. Children sing innocently just moments before a seven foot drag queen discos her Last Dance across the stage to Donna Summer. Front porch soliloquies so southern they make you want to throw in The Color Purple. At last the jazz heats up the stage a frying pan simmering rendition while strings collide melodically and prose weaves together our heartstrings, our hands held over the arms of our seats in the auditorium. Ribbons. Red. Lots of them. Love.

Spotlight 2010…A magical journey and cacophony of 18 of the best performers in Indianapolis all together tonight at Clowes Hall, raising over $300,000($4 Million in the last 15 years)for HIV/AIDS prevention and education. All proceeds benefiting the Indiana AIDS Fund.


We had our favorites, of course. The Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and the Kenyetta Dance Company. Absolutely amazing. And Milicent Wright from IRT. No words can explain…especially Tasha Jones, whose words about Love…LOVE…inspire us even tonight.

What an amazing time we had, running into people from all of different worlds, in one place, for one reason. It was a little hard to understand, then, that to our dismay, the evening would take an interesting twist. As the Indianapolis Men’s Choir sang softly and tenderly from the stage, the two women in front of us would decide to begin calling their friends on their cell phones. For several minutes we tolerated this, coughing under our breath and slightly tapping their chairs, all decent signs, to please…be quiet. Even from rows behind and in front of us, the small chatter of uncomfortable coughing could be heard. Finally, we had had enough. “Shut up!” We said. The response, a twist of a weave, head flip, flip phone closed with one hand. “Did he just tell me to shut up? Oh, no! I’m grown!” And we were silent.


Until she said quietly, but audible enough to be heard for several rows, “Faggot”. Silence. Until the man next to her said, “You didn’t really just say that did you.” I mean…let’s be for real, we no longer corner the market on HIV and AIDS propaganda but quite a few seats were filled by the gay men-nation, not to mention lesbians, bisexual and several, several transgendered people. And then they laughed.

But maybe we’ve been silent long enough. So we complained. Trying to remain classy and not say what we would have really liked to have said. Class is the true sign of a “grown” person. And the poor, older, white haired woman seating people said, “Oh my, I’ve never dealt with anything like that before.” But the two women got progressively louder and louder, until they were asked to leave.

And love for the respect of the performers persevered. And somebody grown got told.

And after the show, the man in front of us said, “can you believe she said that?” and a woman behind us said, “you did the right thing.” And for years and years, so many of us sit by idly and don’t say anything and allow this kind of injustice. But not tonight. And not from now on. And maybe because rows of people, and performers donating their time and organizers and planners got together and said, “shut up” to HIV/AIDS, maybe…maybe…one person’s life will be saved…and that makes all the difference.

All because of love baby. All because of love.
Ain’t it great!

Rekindle the Night Gala to Save the Children in Haiti!

Several months ago we got a call from our good friend Scarlett Thorne to help her promote an event she was organizing with her friend Mia Evans. This Saturday, the event, Rekindle the Night, will be held at Midtown Bar and Grill in Broadripple to help raise money for children in Haiti. We are extremely honored to have been asked to help forward along this message and can’t wait to be a part of this Saturday’s festivities. Mia sent us a quote on why this charity event was so important for her to organize!

“Like many other wonderful things born from tragedy, the Charity Gala was a product of necessity. I lost the love of my life, a hardship many can relate to especially those currently facing the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that hit Haiti . It became quite clear that I needed to put my efforts, energy, heart and compassion into something much larger than myself. I’m fortunate in that I’m surrounded by a circle of friends and family who are not only selfless, but extremely inspirational, and it was this inspiration that yielded the Charity Gala. Save the Children Organization is committed to doing whatever is necessary to provide a better living to those affected the most by the Haiti quakes, the children. Our community has shown just how powerful a message can be and has come together to not only meet but exceed our goal of $10,000 in donations. I am so proud of everyone who has participated and look forward to seeing all the kind, giving hearts that will be attending the Gala to make a better life for some children who are in desperate need of our help. “

Below are the details from their Facebook page:

On April 17th we will be hosting a Red Carpet Charity Gala at Mid Town Bar and Grill for Save the Children Organization with a goal to raise $10,000 for the Haiti Relief Children.

At 5 p.m. on January 12, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale struck the impoverished island nation of Haiti. It was centered 15 miles from the capital of Port-Au Prince. The earthquake is believed to be the country’s worst in 200 years.

All children in the affected area have experienced a great shock and are likely to be very stressed and in need of emotional support now and for many months to come. Save the Children has significant expertise and experience in caring for the emotional needs of children in emergency situations.

Your support is critical – Save the Children will be working nonstop for children in Haiti for many months and is seeking private support for our relief and recovery efforts.


– SILENT AUCTION/RAFFLE – concert tickets, Indy 500 tickets, jewelry, wine tasting parties, perfume, gift cards, dinners, MUCH MUCH MORE!!!

For more details concerning the organization please visit

Tickets are $35 at the door!
For more information contact Mia Evans at

And if you can’t make an appearance, we’re sure they would appreciate any contribution!!!

Hope to see you all there!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

Swimsuit Contest Tonight at FLESH!!!

Tonight at Landsharks in Broadripple is FLESH…from 9-3 with amazing music all night long from FLESH’s resident DJ FLESH, drink specials and boy and girl go go dancers for whatever you’re interested…maybe both! And NO Cover…

And if Spring Break just ended for you or is just started, enjoy it for a few hours tonight at FLESH…come out in your favorite swimsuit and hang out…at Midnight, we’ll give out a prize of a Jagermeister basket worth $500 to the one person we believe has the BEST bathing suit look..they’re aren’t any rules just come out in your bathing suit and enjoy the night!!! ANYONE can enter…we don’t discriminate!!!

See you there!!!
Eyes Open…We’re Watching

IndyScene…THE boys of raannt talk SCENE…

The new and improved IndyScene website will be up and running later this week…and the boys of raannt have their very own little column! So stay tuned and check out IndyScene to see what’s going on all over Indy!

And thanks to our good friends J.R. and Kelley over at IndyScene for giving us this chance…just wait as we all take over Indy!!!

Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

FLESH Monday’s at Landsharks…Posse Party!

Come join us tonight for FLESH Mondays at Landsharks Posse Party!!!…Bring the biggest group of people with you and all of you be there by 11:45pm with some kind of common theme, and you will win a Jager basket worth over $500. After that, you and your posse can fight over who wins the contents!

Flesh is every Monday from 9-3 at Landsharks in BroadrippleNO COVER and DRINK SPECIALS!!!

So come on out and remove the stress of the first day back to work!!!

Eyes Open…We’re Watching!