When Offbeat Mama met Pushba

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Pushba and her son Foxy, at the fashion shoot she did for Offbeat Mama. Photo by Nelson Lauren

For those of you following Offbeat Mama on Facebook or Twitter, you probably saw my excited notes about how I was going to New York to meet my longtime internet obsession, Pushba. When she told me in early September that she’d be heading to New York, I gathered up my frequent flyer miles and flew out, organizing a photo shoot with Nelson Lauren at the Hello Super 8 studios in Brooklyn. Styled by the inimitable Evelyn Kriete, the looks in the shoot ranged from Tim Burton-esque neo-Victorian to Art Nouveau silent film queen.

Want to see all the shots from the shoot and hear more about what it was like meeting up with Pushba? READ ON!

Ok, so before we get into all the shots from the photoshoot, I should tell you about our meet-up! Pushba and I struggled through our language barriers via Skype to organize a sunset meet-up at The Highline in Manhattan on Saturday, the night before the photo shoot.

I was nervous about the meet-up. Me + random internet people + Russian goth I’ve never met + Manhattan = what could possibly go wrong other than 4000 pounds of epic awkwardness and terrible times? Luckily, things went pretty smoothly with a couple Russian speakers showing up (!) so that there could be translating, and the Highline providing lots of gorgeous views and distractions.

Highline meetup

Offbeat Empire / Pushba meet-up

After some initial awkwardness, Pushba and I settled into a friendly rapport. She’s so tiny, and was walking in high heels, so out of some sense of chivalry and in an attempt to establish closeness without the benefit of language, I linked arms with her as we walked together. This seemed to work for both of us, and we spent most of Saturday evening linked arm in arm as we walked through the city.

Highline meetup

At the end of the Highline, Pushba requested cheesecake, so the group of us (about eight at this point) headed to a nearby cafe. As we nibbled on cheesecake and cocktails (none for Pushba, though: she’s committed to sobriety), my friend Megan suggested going to what might be the most amazing bar I’ve even been to: Marie’s Crisis. Megan explained that it’s a basement piano bar where everyone drinks and sings show tunes at the top of their lungs — my heaven!?

On the way to the bar, I learned that Pushba’s husband is four years her junior, so I taught her the meaning of the term “Cougar.” Yay for cultural exchanges!

When we finally got to Marie’s it was a goddamn revelation. My musical theater heart found its favorite home, belting out “Age of Aquarius” with dozens of aging gay men and old choir hags and failed Broadway babies. It was … amazing. This video captures the last note of a song (can’t remember which one) and then the crowd:

Pushba was like “Is normal!? This thing: piano bar. Is common?”

I was like, “NO. No, no, no. Totally not normal.”

Pushba: “But you say is gay bar.”

Me: “It IS a gay bar. Why do you think it is not gay?”

Pushba: “No young men. No kissing.”

Me: “Old gay men. From theater. Singing. You understand?”

Pushba: “Old. Gay. Men. Singing. Da.”

Me and my russian goth fashion icon at a piano bar in chelsea

Around 11pm, Pushba headed off to a Goth party — where apparently she was spotted in line by an eagle-eyed Offbeat Mama reader. “I was founded by pushba’s fan,” she texted me around midnight.

The next day was our photoshoot.

Oh, so you want to know what she’s wearing? Lucky for you, Evelyn kept track:

This shoot was all about Pushba, but of course I can’t resist an excuse to play dress-up and hold hands with her, so I hopped in too:

My outfit:

Now, for the love of GOD get that American out of the frame, please! Back to Pushba photos:

The look: Art Nouveau silent film queen

  • Purple stone gothic choker and bracelet from Alchemy Gothic
  • Black vintage 1920s silk and lace slip as the under dress
  • 1930s vintage lace flowing sleeve jacket
  • Vintage style ring
  • Shoes: Bordello from Pleaser

Oops, another quick photobomb from meeee!

Ariel: Neo-Vintage stroll

  • Red/pink striped scarf from Lord & Taylor
  • Double-headed eagle crest pendant from Rock Love
  • Skirt = Ladies Organic Cotton Drawstring Skirt from Clockwork Couture
  • Sheer lace vintage 1920s over dress
  • Purple tea gloves from Mishu
  • Ladies Victorian Military Jacket from Retroscope Fashions
  • Shoes: Merry Munchausen’s Whimsical Ladies Boots from Clockwork Couture

Now back to Pushba working her magic:

OH BUT WAIT! Did I mention that through all these photos, Pushba’s five-month-old son Foxy was quietly chilling, giggling on a couch and playing with his feet!? Seriously, this baby was MELLOW, despite a two-hour subway ride to get to the studio:

Foxie’s look:

  • Red/pink striped scarf from Lord & Taylor
  • Double-headed eagle crest pendant from Rock Love
  • Faux fur vest
  • White corduroy slacks

After a couple hours of shooting, that was that! Pushba and I did one last huggy shot for the road, and then I insisted she let me pay for her cab ride home because there was NO WAY I was going to let her schlep Foxy another two hours back to where she was staying in the Bronx.

Special thanks to…

For the behind the scenes story and and outtakes, head on over to Offbeat Empire!

Comments on When Offbeat Mama met Pushba

  1. The song is Edelweiss from Sound of Music. And my Pushba lovin’ heart and musical theatre lovin’ heart just met in a head on collision of happy-key-smashings that I left off of here.
    You both are absolutely STUNNING.

  2. It’s really too bad it too so much out of you because you and Pushba look FABULOUS. I love the shots of the two of you back to back and the shots of Pushba and Foxy.

    Is Pushba going to do any more modeling?

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