“I was on my phone, probably gluing down my wig. I always like to unpack and hang all of my wigs in my room. Before we went to the Christian Cowan after-party, I decided to just crimp some of the hair before changing into my Gaultier look.” — Gigi Goode
When most people come to New York, their itinerary might include climbing the Empire State Building, strolling through Central Park, shopping on Fifth Avenue, or even visiting Bushwick (if they’re feeling really adventurous). But the House of Avalon — a Los Angeles–based queer collective that got its start in 2014 throwing house parties in Arkansas, with members like Lizzo’s stylist Marko Monroe and Symone and Gigi Goode from RuPaul’s Drag Race — is not most people. Their weekend included New York Fashion Week, the VMAs, and the Met Gala.
These events, especially the Met Gala red carpet, are some of the most photographed and talked-about events of the year, but rarely do we get to see everyone attending let loose and, you know, have some fun.
“I’ve never consecutively not slept for so many hours,” Goode told the Cut. “We just kept going because there was always something that was happening right after the next. It was the adrenaline of at all!”
So what does it look like when they all head to New York together with their makeup, wigs, and head-to-toe looks? Pregame shots! Messy after-parties! An impromptu belly-button piercing!
Just keep scrolling for a look at the after-party VIP access, the straight-bar invasions, the rare moments of downtime for introspection, and the belly-button piercings.
“It was outside the Christian Cowan show when Brooke Candy walked up butt naked just covered in crystals.” — Gigi Goode
“This night at the Christian Cowan party was jam-packed. At this point, we were living, and it was so much fun.” — Symone
“There wasn’t really a VIP room, so we just kind of overtook the dressing room upstairs.” — Marko Monroe
“It was so weird, though. The space had a secret door with a secret room. And some guy took me underneath the venue, and there was just this dark, dank, Saw-type room with life-size animatronic animals.” — Gigi Goode
“Saturday was the chill day. We went to the Empire State Building and we didn’t know there was a line and that you had pay!” — Symone
“It was a good day because this is the one chance we did have for a group lunch. We ate a delicious pizza.” — Marko Monroe
“Right outside of the pizza place that we went to, we were just chatting about how crazy our life is right now, imagining where we all came from. Marko and I are from Arkansas. We’ve worked so hard, and we’re here doing all of this. And the pizza was delicious!” — Symone
“I was at the Thom Browne show while they were out and about and then I met them at a piercing shop right before Rubber got her belly button pierced. They’re like pink heart stones. She was so happy. It was a really cute moment.” — Gigi Goode
“I’m wearing just a pile of ten-pound hair and some jean shorts while doing Rubber’s hair before the Blondes show. We found out that night that our first fashion shows that we attended was the Blondes at one point.” — Gigi Goode
“Rubber got to wear the Blondes to the show and sit front row. It was her first fashion show so she was feeling it!” — Marko Monroe
“We were waiting for Symone to get back from the VMAs so we could all go to the next thing. We were all anxious, so we went to a bar and had several shots.” — Marko Monroe
“Rubber was wearing these two scrunchies on her wrist, and I said that she should put them in her hair because she would look like that girl from Hey Arnold!” — Gigi Goode
“It was a straight bar with people watching sports and we all just came in and got drinks.” — Marko Monroe
“I think it’s natural for us to just invade straight spaces. Right behind me was where we were all sitting and doing shots, and I ended up crawling on top of the pinball machines and taking photos. The poor bartender … I knew he just really badly wanted to tell me to get off.” — Gigi Goode
“When we first got to this VMAs after-party, they were not letting us in. We’d been standing outside for like ten minutes and then realized that the reason they weren’t letting anyone in and out is because Madonna was pulling up with her security guards. So Madonna entered, and we followed suit.” — Marko Monroe
“That was a cup full of just tequila. Lil Nas X gave us shots, and there were no chasers.” — Symone
“Before the Met, I put on my dress and then had to take it off because I forgot to put my boobs on. They were the darkest they sold on Amazon! I clicked ‘ebony’ and these came up.” — Symone
“I’m obviously drunk here at the Boom Boom Room. I posed for a picture and stuck out my tongue and was like, Oh, fuck all y’all.” — Symone
“We were obviously wasted in the car coming back to the Mark Hotel. This is Rubber and Hunter, who was in between the middle seats, upside down, putting his feet on the roof of the car as we were blaring music. I’m sure our driver hated us.” — Marko Monroe
“Hunter force-feeding Two Hit Rosy! Whenever she smokes with us, she can only do two hits and then she’s done. This was probably the first hit after the Met Gala and after the Boom Boom Room.” — Gigi Goode
“The Mark Hotel put a little macaron in a box beside the bed, and there was a fall bouquet presented in Symone’s room so it was one of the flowers. It was just torn to shreds during the party after the Met Gala and the Boom Boom Room.” — Marko Monroe
“It’s Grant being like, I’m here, honey. I have arrived. No clothes on.” — Symone
“It’s very Renaissance.” — Gigi Goode
Photographs by Fields