WELCOME TO THE HOUSE OF AVALON
Words Greg Bailey
We caught up with the fagulous party troupe and clothing brand The House of Avalon to talk about where they're from and where they're going...
Hey guys hows it going?
FABULOUS! So good! We are still feeling the high from LA and literally recovering from our newest party, GAWDDDAUGHTER which was this weekend. It was WILD. So much fun and we were very excited about it! Its the newest party we have created! AND we had our merchandise there for the first time, which was great!
So who are the house of Avalon, and what are you all about?
We are a gay street gang from Little Rock, Arkansas or what we have trademarked 'Glitterrock'.
We seriously are all about having fun, doing what we want, expressing ourselves, and not taking anything seriously whether that's in the parties that we throw or the merchandise that we sell. We do this all while under the influence of pop culture and a good theme. We live and die by a theme! If there's not a wink, it doesn't count. ;)
How did you guys meet?
Its a pretty long story actually...
(Mark) I met Grant in a drawing class at college. He changed the music of the class which was terribly boring to Britney Spears, and I knew he would be friend right away. Later found out he would be like a creative "twin" - we can speak the same obscurities.
(Hunter) I grew up with Grant in Bald Knob, Arkansas but we didn't really start hanging out until I was a senior in high school.
(Grant) Ya, I met Hunter at Wild River Country during a lock in for religious people.
(Hunter) Our obsession with odd cult pop culture made that bond even stronger.
(Grant) AND then, I introduced Hunter to my new best friend Mark because I thought they would be perfect together and I really hated Hunters boyfriend at the time.
(Mark) We finally met on 4th of July.
(Caleb) Then they gave each other blow jobs at Sonic.
(Mark) I had met Caleb early on, from a mutual friend during college, but we didn't end up hanging out until Hunter and I moved to Little Rock.
(Hunter) Then he moved in with us.
(Grant) We didn't like Caleb at first because he was a Gaga fan!! ;)
(Caleb) It was right after the second house party, when I started living with Hunter and Mark. Grant still lives in Searcy, Arkansas - about an hour away from us.
How did House of Avalon come into existence?
We had been throwing house parties because we were bored. There wasn't any sort of interesting night life or a place where we felt like we could really be ourselves. There was literally nothing. We just wanted to have fun! If we did go out, we would see the same heteronormative gays in the exact same khaki pants and polo or Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt - and it was just bland. We live in the Bible Belt, and most people are just living afraid and ashamed. That wasn't our scene at all. So, we got creative and made it ourselves - throwing house parties (at #junkqueens) and advertising them on Instagram. We didn't even have a name for us until after our first party.
Our name developed organically. Mark was reading a book at the time called 'A Return to Love' by Marianne Williamson and the beginning passage described this place called 'Avalon' - a magical island which can only be seen with a childlike perspective. We loved this idea because it related to being confident in who we were and what we wanted to provide for people here. Besides that, we had all been familiar with the song of 'Sisters of Avalon' by Cindy Lauper. We were definitely all sisters - like a house. Then the connection clicked and we started calling ourselves The House of Avalon.
Do you have a muse when creating clothing?
Ourselves, honestly. We didn't even start making clothes until we got more involved with our parties. It was literally out of necessity. We started designing and making clothes because we wanted our looks to fit the theme. We couldn't buy the things we envisioned, so Mark (who has a sculpture background) taught himself how to sew and started experimenting in design and constructing.
It's all a very collaborative process and we like to think of ourselves as the "gay Spice Girls" or "gay Pussycat Dolls" - we all have distinct characteristics when creating looks for our parties.
What can we expect next from you guys? Any international plans?
We are headed west like Thelma and Louis! We are super excited about it! We hope to continue grow what we have been cultivating for the last three years, throwing/hosting parties and expanding our clothing line/merchandise through our new online store. (www.thehouseofavalon.com)
Any international plans? Of course. We want total world domination! :)
If you were to throw a party for anyone famous living or dead who would it be? And what would you do?
JONBENET RAMSEY'S 21ST BIRTHDAY PARTY... THINK PINK!