Richard Anderson a.k.a. Bitch Flowers has partied with the best of them -- in drag and out -- from Minneapolis to New York and back again. Yet, for someone who goes (at least part-time) by the name "Bitch," this longtime performer retains a great sense of humor and a surprisingly good nature, regardless of the sassy moniker. This Friday, the notorious queen/stylist/interior designer throws his/her third annual Birthday bash, "April Showers for Bitch Flowers" which is actually less of a birthday party and more of a celebration of individuality and, well, sequins and feathers. Bitch will be joined at the Varsity Theater by glamorous gals and good pals Krystal Kleer, Barbie Q, Camille Collins and Foxy Tann as well as dance troupe Soul 2 Sole Conversions, recording artist Orion, and DJ Sheik for an epic night of decadence, fanfare and plenty o' glitter. We chatted with Bitch this week about the event, how she got her name, and much more...
Bitch Flowers: Bitch's events are a great mix of people, not a gay exclusive thing. I like to bring all my peeps together the way it was when I was into the club scene in the '80s. Many people have mentioned to me that my events have brought back their youth, and there's no bigger compliment then that. Younger people have said they had heard about parties like this happening when their aunts and uncles were young -- hello, I'm that auntie/uncle! The year's show starts at 9:00pm and I recommend people show up early, as the opening sets the tone for the entire evening. The night will eventually turn into a big dance party! Way fun!
How long have you been doing the event and how did it start?
This is the 3rd season of April Showers for Bitch Flowers. It was inspired by events from about six years ago. A friend that owned the Starlight Lounge named a cocktail after me. The "Bitch" cocktail became such a hit that it was even mentioned in Travel & Leisure mag as a must-taste when visiting Minneapolis. Anyway, Bitch would promote it by hosting parties at the Starlight. I would have small sample cups on serving trays and walk around asking peeps if they would like a taste of me! It was so funny, one time I was doing make-up at an event and my guest asked me if I had ever been to the Starlight Lounge and had a Bitch Flowers cocktail. I had to bite my lip -- eventually I told her I was BF. She and I had such a laugh!
Your alter ego is Bitch Flowers, a sassy and stylish drag queen! Who is Bitch Flowers and what will she be wearing on Friday?
Well, I have a lil' story I like to tell on how I came up with the name "Bitch Flowers." You know when you're hanging out at a club and there's that group of girls that can't do any thing without each other? They only wear clothing that each other approve of, etc? Ugh! Then in walks a gal, she waves at the DJ. The bartender knows her cocktail of choice, and she's dressed to impress! She always has a table and complimentary drinks. Hmmm...back to the gaggle of girls. In unison, when they see her they all say "BITCH" and scowl. Well I wanted to be that Bitch! Anyway, Bitch Flowers was a big part of the late '80s early '90s club scene and was actually friends with the people in the movie Party Monster. I still keep in contact with a few, including James St. James -- the author of the book that inspired the movie. It was a crazy, exciting time in my life!
As far as her wardrobe for Friday, Bitch will be performing two numbers and hosting, so three looks total. That's all I will say about that! I used to dress in a lot of very over-the-top costumes, very GAGA-esque. Now in my cougar years, I prefer to host events, perform at and promote fundraisers as Bitch Flowers! She is in demand and I love it. I worked for this respect for 20 years -- and many of them were messy! I have a great time being "Bitch."
You also dabble in the fashion world as a stylist and also in the realm of interior design, tell us a bit about what you do.
I have had great times at Fashion Fight Night and styling for local magazines! I was also an television personality on HGTV for 13 years. I work primarily with private clients through my interior design business, though it went a bit downhill with last year's recession. I wait tables at the Northeast Social as a side job, but slowly but surely my clients are ramping back up. Next week I will be re-creating the seasonal outdoor decor for Seven Sushi and Steak House -- one of my most important clients. I do all the holiday/seasonal decor for them, thus, they are gracious enough to give me the patio each year for the annual Bitch n' Brunch party on Pride Sunday!
What do you think of the Twin Cities Fashion Scene? Any favorites you want to dish on?
I think that it's exciting that we finally have a scene, You girls have been great creating and supporting that scene. I have met a few designers that I think are really great but to be fair, I'm not going to single them out. However, I'm very opinionated when disappointed -- when you have all the hype, you better be able to put out. One of the biggest shows of this past weekend disappointed me, and although I won't name names, I will say that this unidentified designer's chartreuse Mylar dress was something that Bitch would wear! A drag queen's dream dress!
April Showers for Bitch Flowers happens on Friday, April 30th, 8pm at the Varsity Theater. Tickets are $10 and the event is 21+ and open to the public. For more information visit www.varsitytheater.org.