'Bougie' down with Neverland this Pride Weekend
Sat. June 27, 2015 1:51 PM by Anthony Morgano
trixie mattel (left), shea coulee and kim chi will perform
Neverland brings its latest high-concept dance party, 'The Bougie Ball', to the Metro this Saturday
"I've never missed a Pride, whether I was living in Philly or traveling around the country or settled here in Chicago," Anthony DiFiore, Neverland's Co-Founder and Creative Director, told ChicagoPride.com. "I used to travel all the time during Pride weekend because it's the same weekend in Chicago as in [New York City], [San Francisco] and Toronto...Chicago is the 3rd biggest city in the country. Why were we not matching the entertainment of other major cities?"
"People who come to our "Bougie" party will witness a set design, production, costumes and performances on the same level as the largest Pride parties in the country," he continued.
The party is an ode to everything glamorous, high-end and fabulous (think labels and bling and skin). "Bougie Ball" has (so far) inspired two photoshoots being used to advertise the weekend. One set of pictures are bright and vivid, like a sexy, sinful Dolce & Gabbana ad, shot by photographer Adam Ouahmane at Chicago's Hollywood Beach. The shoot features Trixie Mattel -- who rose to fame recently when she appeared in season 7 of Drag Race -- one of the hosts at "Bougie Ball" alongside Neverland favorites Kim Chi and Shea Coulee.
"A 'bougie' party is perfect for Pride, because we're all out celebrating that weekend, and the theme encourages us to dress our absolute best," Fiore said. "Our Pride dance party is like the annual prom. We want people to get really excited about it and tear apart their wardrobe (or buy new stuff!) in search of an outfit that makes a statement. On Pride Saturday, we just want everyone to be bougie, and to have fun with the theme! If everyone shows up looking good, they're going to feel good and have a fun night."
The second photoshoot is by Neverland photographer Mauricio Zapata and features gay male model Ryan Biela alongside transexual model Joselyn Lopez.
"Joselyn is such an epic representation of femininity that most people can't even tell that she is transsexual," Fiore said. "When we released the poster I was getting texts asking why we put a woman on an ad for a gay party. Neverland is about everyone, and so we want more than just muscular gay men in our photoshoots. We want drag queens and transsexuals too, because they add so much flavor and intrigue."
Neverland veteran DJ Alex Acosta returns for Pride (check out his interview with ChicagoPride) alongside DJ Alexander from Los Angeles and performer Sasha Colby. Per usual for a Neverland event, the partygoers dressed to the nines at "Bougie" will experience the high-concept costumes, lighting, set design and production that made their "Summer Olympics" party at last year's Pride, their first at the Metro, such a success.
"Last year we created a giant structure on Metro's stage that looked like Hollywood Squares lined with LEDs," Fiore said. "This year we have totally redesigned the stage. I don't want to give it away, because part of the intrigue of a Neverland party is walking through the door and seeing what's on the other side."
The "Bougie Ball" is the evening of Saturday, June 27, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. at the Metro, 3730 N Clark St. Individual tickets are available for $40 in advance online or at Egoist Underwear or for $50 at the door.
Neverland is also offering an all-encompassing VIP pass to all three of this year's events: the Bougie Ball at Metro as well as the daytime pool party at Deuce's and the Diamond Club that precedes it and Sunday's post-Parade closing party at the Mid. The $99 weekend pass is available online, and at Egoist Underwear at 3526 N Halsted in Boystown (for those who want to avoid paying the online service fee).
For more information about Neverland's other fabulous Pride events, check out our previous coverage on ChicagoPride.com.