Welcome to the celestial realm of Beaút. Far more than simply a club night; it is an institution, it is a family. Injecting lavish life and lush inclusivity back into the community in an enigmatic wonderland where anything is possible. Whether you feel like flaring up as a powerful fire-breathing dragoness dressed head-to-toe in vintage couture or going low-key lazy, make-up free in your favourite trackies, Beaút is for you. In an all-welcoming not-entirely-queer-not-entirely-straight environment you are able to transcend all existing human imposed barriers, and just be, simply, yourself. That fucking amazing spirit that you are. I chatted to the divine Mama Vy about all things Beaút; future, past and present.
How did Beaút start?
We were approached with the opportunity to create a new night that would occupy a monthly Sunday. At the time, we felt that there was nowhere that we could go to celebrate authentic self-expression, creativity and sexual liberation that was truly inclusive. So we sought to begin a night around these ideals. We wanted to build a community that was truly welcoming; that celebrated individuality in style, identity, background and preference; and sexuality in all its spectrums. Importantly, we hoped to build a creative ecosystem. A place where any and everyone who was creatively inclined can exhibit, launch, showcase, perform and share their work to a growing audience as well as connect for personal collaboration. We really wanted to push creative collaboration and help bring like-minded people together to do great things with or without us. Every month we would introduce a new rotation of artists, of different practice, sharing their work on our nights. Each month is treated as a chapter themed around the artists and collaborators at play.
Every month we shoot and profile 6 new characters to share their story, or their alter ego, as part of the monthly narrative. On the night itself, our pinnacle moment is always our walk-off (that happens around 1AM some time). It is the ultimate, ultimate showcase of individuality where anyone from the crowd self-nominates to go onstage and walk-off/vogue to the audience. It is MC’d, there is a lot of crowd involvement and it’s the Beaútest hoot always. We love seeing who gets up on stage. And, even though everyone is a winner in our eyes, the crowd always selects their fav of the night who becomes a coverbae the next month.
Over the years that Beaút will span, we hope to include as many creatives, individuals and characters as possible in our ongoing story. For us, it was important to have a monthly ritual that lensed and exhibited the incredible range of diversity of self-expression and creativity in Melbourne. Within a liberated space, we hoped to encourage our patrons to celebrate and hold their uniqueness, their exhibitionism, their work, their vibe, their magic and their remarkable beauty to an appreciative and welcoming audience. There is no limit to the expression one could share at Beaút – if they chose to. Lastly, to truly be all-welcoming, we accept and hold that each person will have a Lightness and a Darkness. So our parties alternate between Light and Dark Beaút every month in acknowledgement of this. The idea is that we shine our Lightness then rinse our Darkness – all of which is Beaút AF and makes for a great party either way.
There seems to be a strong sense of family, friendship and free love within the Beaút crowd. How important is inclusivity and creating a non-judgemental safe space to Beaút?
Inclusivity is everything for us. It was the key word that we worked around when developing what Beaút would be. Freedom of authentic expression cannot succeed if there is not an inclusive mindset. The idea is that each and every person who walks through our door is Beaút and everything that comes of the night together is Beaút. As such, we really endeavour to be as inclusive as possible in everything that we put out to our audience. Our favourite part of the night is seeing the Beaút fam grow and all inevitably begin friendships with one another. Whether it’s a working relationship, or a personal friendship, or a romance we just die for that.
Another favourite part of our night is hearing the growing number of stories that people share of incredible moments of personal development in expression, creativity or just vibe. We’ve loved seeing people do drag for the first time, dress down for the first time, doll up for the first time, explore their sexuality etc. It is our ultimate joy to hear that people explore their own boundaries while accepting another’s with us.
There is still a massive gap in Australian nightlife for LGBTQIA+ spaces that encourage expression of identity in an avant garde environment. Beaút is groundbreaking for this country, and similarities can be drawn between the quintessential queer events of NYC and London. Has Beaút been influenced in any way by the club kid culture of those cities?
We think it’s amazing that the LGBTQIA+ community feel safe and included at Beaút which celebrates absolutely everyone. Beaút is influenced and pays tribute to so many iconic club scenes that have decorated the pages of history. Vogueing came from Brooklyn, and we live for that whole vibe of dressing up, escapism, the birthing and celebrating of characters. London’s club kid scene in the 80’s was richly rooted in fashion – especially with the big, big looks. That whole vibe of ‘taking 8 hours to get ready and go out in’ look whilst never breaking character… no one does that anymore! Currently there is a very liberated energy and mentality of celebrating individual preference in Berlin which we love. Lastly, 90’s rave and PLUR. Who says all these eras need to end? But right now, Melbourne is its own thing and its own city. We love it and so many things that come from it. That’s why we’re celebrating it with our version of space that encourages the things and the people we really believe in.
Four words to describe the Beaút coverbae?
Authentic, individual, real & Beaút.
Most memorable Beaút to date & why?
Ah! This is a hard question. It’s like asking our favourite baby seeing as every month is so different, with so much love poured into them by not just us, but each collaborator that we’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with. We wish our FB page hadn’t been deleted because it recorded every Beaút to date!
Most memorable moment ever would have to go to the third Beaút where we gave away a car as the prize for the walk-off. The prize was a black 1989 Honda prelude with pop up headlights, grey velour interior, subwoofer and Pokémon stickers covering the passenger’s window. The walks that night were all iconic. They were all performance pieces with staged reveals and everyone of them was so considered, so different and so incredible. The winning walk was a trio where the two boys came out, staged a Gay wedding before Colette (who was nowhere in sight at the time) stabbed her way out of Hunter’s wedding dress, naked, except for diamantes, and the rest of that was a beautiful thing..
A very memorable Beaút for us was the Self Perform launch, also our September issue, last year. We had worked with visual artists, illustrators, video animations, performers and installation artists up until that point, but were still yet to launch a fashion label. The magnificent Kitty Lakshmi produced an incredible show with her magnificent label for what was the Jarrrnuuuari of farshun for Beaút and it was just the best night. We’ve since worked with other labels who’ve fallen under Light or Dark Beaút categories. Every collaborator at Beaút has been amazing and there are just no favourites there. But it wasn’t until September last year that we really felt we could be a creative platform that launched artists, from all fields, that we believed in. Self Perform was the first and so that will always be very special to us.
Who are some of Beaút’s muses and key icons?
Our muse forever has been and forever will be our people. They inspire and motivate us to do everything that we’re doing. The more faces we see, the richer our shared story, in the chronicle that is this time where we’re all being Beaút together for however long that lasts.
How do you see Beaút evolving in the future?
From the outset of Beaút, we laid down some huge plans for different stages of our growth. They’re staged plans and we put them into action as we reach different goals. We’re a 2 person team so things don’t always move as fast as we’d like them to. It took us a while to get to the point of hosting fashion launches. We only recently went live on posting our recorded live DJ sets on Vimeo. There’s so much to come, but we’ll share when possible!
Keen to inject some Beaút into your veins? Come along to the next Beaút this Saturday held at The Toff In Town, check out the Facebook event for more details, and follow Beaút on Instagram & Facebook.
Interview by Niut-Saraï Nicolette, images by Lekk Porter.