John Epperson: “Tolerance isn't enough. Acceptance isn't enough. Understanding may be enough. But I don't know if you can understand unless you're inside a person's skin. What could be enough is just to somehow shed the fear & loathing, but the only way that can be done is if all the people who hate homosexuals realize there's a potential homosexual lurking in them. Sexuality is a transitory thing that could shift at any moment. It's bigger than all of us”.
After leaving his native Mississippi, young John Epperson moved to NYC & landed a job as the rehearsal pianist for the American Ballet Theater. He also began doing drag performances at nightspots Club 57 & the Pyramid Club. Epperson quit his job with the American Ballet Theater in 1991 in order to perform full-time as Lypsinka. He has since returned to his position at American Ballet Theater. Last year he had a non-drag role as the rehearsal pianist in the Film- Black Swan. What a stretch. It would have been more thrilling if Lypsinka had played the role, not to disparage Epperson's estimable talents.
Fueled by the early 1980s avant-garde, pop culture art scene in NYC, Epperson let flow his creative pluck into one of the more distinctive personas to emerge in contemporary performing arts: Lypsinka.
For the past 2 decades, Epperson's performances as Lypsinka have met with international acclaim for elevating drag & lip-synching to a beguiling world where Lypsinka speaks only through intricately interlaced bits of dialogue drawn from the considerable catalogue of American entertainment. Epperson turns 56 today.
Starting out as Pierre Cardin’s assistant in 1970, Jean Paul Gaultier showed his first collection in 1976 at the urging of his boyfriend- Francis Menuge, who was his partner in business & life, until he died of AIDS complications in 1990. Gaultier’s collections have always been influenced by street culture & the media & he’s known for twisting gender roles in his designs, often overshadowing the elaborate design & construction of his work. Gaultier has literally made a career for himself out of nothing but sheer determination & dedication. With no formal training, he has managed to create a self-made empire with no indication of slowing down. He is a magical master of the theatrical in his runway shows, displays & advertising.
An unconventional designer, Gaultier claims to finds inspiration in everyday life, drawing from what he says, “is the truth of an object”. His shows are fabulous events, & he uses every shape & size of model. Fearless & passionate in any endeavor he takes on, whether it is the biggest pop star of all time & her sold out world tour, or blockbuster sci-fi thriller movies, Gaultier is one the best. The bad boy of fashion turns 60 today.