Scarlett Rouge

SCARLETT’S LETTERS: Tarts! Frocks! Democracy!

Dear James —

I’ve been meaning to write you. There’s so much I’ve wanted to share, but my head has been so topsy-turvy with all these hats I wear: the chef cap coupled with visual-merchandizer visor topped by a filmmaker’s baseball cap. There are days I feel like a circus acrobat juggling while spinning, suspended in air; I stop for a moment’s reflection, amazed that I have the energy to grow so many arms. I am utterly grateful to have so many delicious ingredients to create the sweet-and-spicy dish that is ma vie.

Let Them Eat Starbucks


by James Killough

Global warming has left my former city of residence, London, sweltering in spring, and Los Angeles gloomy and chilly.  While Tuttle and I were driving back from the gym yesterday, he looked at the sky and sighed, “I feel so sorry for the homeless people.  They come out here for the good weather, and they get this.”

It was a Marie Antoinette moment that reminded me of the time my mother and I were walking back from a cinema in the dead of a New York winter, black slush seeping across the sidewalks.  Mum was clad crown to ankles in mink, so we walked over an area that was free of frozen guck whenever we could, which meant the subway grates.  A train passed beneath us, and a gust of warm air surged from the grates.  “Oh, how lovely!” she exclaimed.  “No wonder people like to sleep on these things!”  There’s an upside to everything when you’re in fur.

Those gusty subway grates really know how to fluff a girl. Kirsten Dunst flutters through Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette."

Today’s weather is markedly more like it should be in LA right now, with highs in the low paradise.  I was pondering the Marie Antoinettes in my life when a Hollywood schizo outside the CVS pharmacy on Cahuenga stopped me and said, “Excuse me, sir.  Do you know if it’s going to be May 21st?”

“It’s bound to be at some point,” I replied.

“So it’s the end of the world on May 21st?”

“Wouldn’t that be nice?”

“Praise the Lord!” he said.

“Praise Him!” I shot back.  No use disappointing my beloved schizos by getting into a theological debate when cigarettes awaited purchase.  Best just to agree.

When Getting Dressed Is A Drag


by James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

In deference to our non-gay readers, I shall attempt to tread rather lightly here.  Too much gay can be a frightening thing, especially in the wrong hands.  If you don’t believe me, just read Perez Hilton.

Here’s where I’m going with this.  We’re all fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race, right?  I mean, what could be more stimulating than a weekly talent competition in which a six-foot-four vision of black cross-dressing glamour purrs “Con-drag-ulations, you are the winner of this week’s challenge” and “Now it is time for you to lip-sync for your LIFE!” before kicking a failed drag queen back into the gutter?  What’s not to love?

If you think getting dressed is a chore, imagine waking up a tall, bald, skinny man and turning yourself into this every day.

The producers really have kicked it up a notch this season with the quality of the contestants and the production itself.  After the mostly fat “performance art” queens got booted off in the early stages, the remaining queens are mostly quite beautiful, and they’re pretty damned skilled at padding those hips, tucking that junk, and making those racks look squeezable.

The guest judges are pretty sensational this season, as well.  This week, they included Sharon Osborne and comedienne Margaret Cho. The absence of my friend, fashion journalist Merle Ginsberg, does leave quite a gaping hole on this season’s panel, though.  There’s still a jar of Vaseline smeared on the lens every time RuPaul is in the shot but that’s part of the charm.  All divas need to manage their on-camera image.  A friend who worked with Faye Dunaway told me that she would put cans of Sterno beneath the lens so the fumes blur the shot.