May Jacob is 24 and lives in Golden Hill. She is the producer of Maystar's Fashion Whore Discotheque and Fashion Show, which runs the second Friday of every month at the Brass Rail in Hillcrest.
May encourages the audience and the models to dress up. "We have theme nights," she says. "Pirates" was one theme. "Some people came dressed up like Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean." Theme nights, she says, "bring out more open-minded and creative people. It's more fun. People aren't standing around crossing their arms and trying to look cool."
May also produces an indie dance night called Pop Noir at Static on Broadway. "Pop Noir attracts a lot of the hipster and the scenester crowd." Urbandictionary.com defines a scenester as a "person who tries very hard to fit the stereotype of a certain scene, often having to do with a specific genre of music (emo, indie, punk, rock). Dresses and acts in a prescribed fashion. Image focused. Vain."
May describes her iPod as "old school, with a black-and-white screen. I think it's a 40-gig, and it's the kind where you've got no scroll wheel."
She says that creating the soundtrack for the fashion shows is her province. "Sometimes we don't even discuss it [with the designers]. We just put on music." She says the music and the fashions are often unrelated. "We play what we want to play and the fashion occasionally matches." When she does entertain playlist suggestions, May retains full veto power. A designer's song list can be nixed for "not being fashion show enough," meaning, she says, "the tempo, or something, is not right to walk to. Or the music is not consistent.
"Music," she continues, "is very important. Bad music attracts the wrong crowd." May stores some of the selections that she uses for her fashion shows on her iPod. "I research music on MySpace and Pandora.com sometimes," she says, "and I download random stuff."
The Fashion Whore disco was born of May's interest in fashion and a desire to start a nightclub of her own. "I'd want it to be either in North Park or in Hillcrest. I'd want it to be abstract, mixed with '60s mod. I have specific ideas, but I don't want to give them away for other people to steal."
May is wearing a vintage '70s shortie nightgown. "Polyester, thin, off-white, with a maroon pattern design," she says. "And a short, vintage, light-pink faux fur wrap; clear stockings with thin black stripes, held together with safety pins where there are holes; pink '50s-style platforms; a flapper-style, sequined, feathered headband; see-through pink socks with black polka dots, turned into gloves; and a white '60s mod-style bracelet on one wrist and a white plastic ring on the other."
"It's weird," she says. "Everybody thinks I'm into fashion based on how I dress and how I look. I don't read fashion magazines. I don't watch Project Runway. I view my own personal fashion as an art form. I put together colors and textures in an outfit much the same way an artist puts together a painting."
May performs and records with Abe Deleon in an art-pop duo called Maystar. They've appeared at the Casbah, the Kensington Club, and Brick by Brick. May writes and sings. "I also do a little bit of synth." She calls Maystar's music "indie-minimal-experimental," with a touch of the electronic. "I like the cold, hard, dark sound of a drum machine."
Top-Ten Songs on May Jacob's iPod:
- "Sorry I Sang on Your Hands That Have Been in the Grave," Sunset Rubdown
- "Look at You, You're Ugly," Nora Keyes
- "Wildcat," Ratatat
- "Siamese Twins," the Cure
- "Lose Me," Denali
- "Everything Is Grey," Maystar
- "Little Life," Josephine Foster
- "Teach Me How to Fight," the Junior Boys
- "Black Eyes," Snowden
- "No Signs of Pain," Azure Ray