Naquin-Delain 27th Anniversary Day
Magnolia Cotillion XXVII is the annual bash celebrating the anniversary of Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain. This year Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission, Larry Bagneris, Jr., on behalf of Mayor Marc H. Morial, presented the honorees with a City of New Orleans proclamation making Fri., Aug. 17 "Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain 27th Anniversary Day."
Additionally, the couple was presented the first CupBump Creations Southern Decadence poster by Southern Decadence Grand Marshals XXIX Rick Thomas, Bianca Del Rio and Pat "Estelle" Ritter. The trio, arriving separately, made a dashing appearance during the festivities.
With its second year theme of "Kaftans & Shorts," hostess Marsha wore a handpainted silk creation by internationally famous designer/artist Ray Cole. In order to get the full effect, the hostess struck an Erte pose numerous times at the request of party guests. The kaftan featured Cole's trademark facial design in brilliant hues of chartreuse, red, purple and grey, piped in gold. The designer recently showcased his creations in Berlin, Germany. Host Rip chose shorts and circuit shirt by Pierre Cardin for the evening.
Longtime friend and stylist Arthur "Reba Douglas" Severio of Arthur's House of Glamour did Marsha's hair and makeup. Prior to Arthur, the late Doug "Pearlie Mae Douglas" Severio, Marsha's drag mother and Arthur's older brother, was her stylist and makeup artist for years. Doug put Marsha in drag for the first time in 1972. In 1974 when Rip and Marsha tied the knot, Marsha was reigning Miss Gay Baton Rouge. In 1975 after a string of consecutive pageant wins, Marsha went on to win the 1996 second Official Miss Gay Louisiana Pageant, reigning as the pageant's Bi-Centennial queen. Marsha was the first Miss Gay Louisiana to make appearances throughout the State in all major cities, and stylist Doug Severio was there to make sure the beauty queen was perfect for each occasion.
The couple greeted guests in Ambush offices on the first floor of the Bourbon St. mansion. There guests sampled black and wasabi caviar, roasted eggplant hummus, plus chicken pate and vegetable pate courtesy of Petronius Captain Mickey Gil. Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and an assortment of Franzia wines were also available.
Here the couple chose to place their traditional tiered magnolia wedding cake created by Swiss Confectionery on St. Charles Ave.
Entering the couple's second and third floor home, guests first stopped at Belle Lain's Magnolia Bar, on the second floor landing, where they could choose from Absolut, Dewars, Bacardi, Myers, Jack Daniels, Bombay or Beefeater cocktails. The couple's Victorian parlor and formal dining room are located on this floor adjacent to their world famous Bourbon St. balcony. The balcony is home to the Krewe of Queenateenas Bead Toss during carnival and Official Southern Decadence Bead Toss during Labor Day Weekend.
The dining room was the backdrop for the remaining culinary selections this night. Guests sampled Crawfish Maison, Shrimp & Artichoke Antipasto, gourmet meat & cheeses, and a Mexican smorgasbord of jalapeno bean dip, guacamole and spicy seasoned sour creams served with tostados.
As the crowds thickened, many guests chose to visit the third floor boudoir which is home to the couple's kids, the ferrets - Chris and Cinnamon, and the Baby Hammie, the couple's new hamster. Here a Brandi Downs' portrait of each hangs, presented to the couple on their 25th anniversary by Dr. Marquita Irland. And in one corner, a curio houses many of the exquisite pieces of religious art the couple has collected on their European travels. On the second floor in one corner of the parlor, the couple's remaining religious art collection is showcased.
Throughout the three story mansion, guests were able to view the Ambush art collection, as well as the couple's numerous collectibles including two guilded Faberge' Eggs. Through Ambush, the couple has made a concerted effort to purchase original works by Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender artists. They have also picked up numerous pieces through auctions supporting various krewes and organizations popular in the GLBT community.
In lieu of gifts, the couple asks that guests help sponsor Rip in the annual NO/AIDS Pledge Walk. From 1991-2000, the Cotillion has raised $72,347 for this worthwhile cause. Numerous donations arrived before and during the party. However, donations continue to arrive prior to Walk day which is Oct. 7 this year, so the couple will not have a final tally until then.
Over 260 guests attended this year's affair. The Naquin-Delains own Ambush Mag and the AMBUSHonLine Conglomerate.
3D Greeting Cards - Delicious, Dirty & Delightful
by Brian Sands
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. Jeff Steingraber had a simple idea - to create a line of adult 3D greeting cards. Little did he imagine at the outset that he would invent what just might be the biggest, most innovative thing to turn up in stationery stores in years.
Initially planning to enclose some form of 3D glasses with the cards, Jeff discovered that "anyone can take a 2D image and make it into a 3D one." He was determined though to find the cleanest, least complicated and most economical way of doing this.
Eventually, he hit upon a pince-nez style eyepiece that is connected to the card by a perforated hinge. Referring to the company of which he is now President, Jeff says that "what is unique about a third dimension is the presentation design of its cards including the detachable 3D glasses for which a patent has been applied."
All this might still have been on the drawing board were it not for a fateful meeting at Pridefest '99. Jeff's store, Something Different, which he runs with Brett Mesmer at 5300 Tchoupitoulas St., had a booth there as did Rob Galloway's Dream Art Designs, a stationery and Mardi Gras gifts company.
Something Different started carrying Dream Art's products and after working with each other for about a year, one day Jeff happened to mention his 3D card idea to Rob. "I don't even remember how it came up," says Jeff. "I am not computer literate so for about a year and a half since coming up with the idea I had kept my eyes open for someone who could do the creative part. I didn't know how to translate the 2D into 3D." Rob immediately said, "I can do that."
All the info. that was needed to develop the nuts and bolts of the cards was then found on the Internet. "Without the Internet, I don't know how I would've done all this stuff," says the boyish-looking Rob who is now the Creative Director and Website Manager of a third dimension.
"Even before I found Rob, however," says the more mature Jeff who has been based in New Orleans for 13 years, "I had started searching for photos. How I found Mark Lynch (of Austin-based Latent Images Photography) I don't know 'cause I'm a computer idiot. What I liked about him was that his photos were classy to begin with, not hardcore porn. I felt that the combination of Mark's photos and our 3D gimmick was a good marriage. And Mark agreed."
Jeff went through Lynch's 6,000 available images to narrow them down to the 36 that were eventually included in the collection. "I never thought I'd get tired of looking at erect penises," says Jeff as Rob laughs, "but I did."
Rob then consciously chose which parts of the original image to manipulate into 3D. And what good choices the two men have made. The cards feature some of the hottest men and women you're likely to see. The images range from the racy "Marquis de Sade," "Lunch Break" and "Ready, Willing and Able" to the more insouciant "Assets" and "Stairway to Heaven" in which a young man's pants fight a losing battle with gravity.
Some of the photos are more lyrical like "The Surfer" and "Contemplation" which feature partially clad men in interesting settings. Two of my favorite are "Shipwrecked" where you can almost feel the sea foam as a man emerges from the water and "Peeping Tom" which gives the effect of looking through partly open Venetian blinds.
It takes Rob about eight hours to transform each 2D picture into its 3D counterpart. Fortunately, Rob, who has lived in New Orleans all his life except for one year in Sydney where he met his wife, is "not afraid' of the Gay theme. I've always had Gay friends and think it's a great idea and I'm proud to be part of it."
The undeniably homoerotic cards have appealed as much to straight women for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, etc. as to Gay men. Jeff and Rob have included, however, images of women and a heterosexual couple all in a sexy vein. "The reason I elected to do adult cards," says Jeff, "is that the human anatomy is perfect for 3D and with my available capital I could fully penetrate the adult card market (pun not intended)." A third dimension's resources were at times stretched particularly by some more reasonably priced printers who didn't want to do adult images.
But success seems to be at hand for these entrepreneurs. In their first month, the cards are already in about 15 stores nationwide. "We're in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Key West and believe it or not Fort Smith, Arkansas," says Jeff. "We have already had reorders in less than 30 days, particularly from San Francisco for the Marquis de Sade card which shows a fully erect man with leather arm bands and nipple clamps."
If you don't want to wait for your local stationery store to stock a third dimension cards, or if you're just too busy or lazy to go there, you can see the entire collection and order online at www.3d4adults.com. And if you don't already have the 3D glasses from a previously received card, Jeff and Rob will gladly send you a pair.
All the cards are blank inside as both Rob & Jeff felt they would be more universally appealing that way. With the images that their 3D cards offer, your imagination will be well-inspired in a variety of dimensions for how to fill in these unique message bearers.
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