I’m trying to be nicer.
I’m trying to open my heart and let my love flow. I really am. Trying to be gentler. More loving. I’m trying to invoke love. I’m looking for love. Not from a particular woman or a man. I’m looking for love from my peers. If I can find that love from my peers, I know that I will be complete. I turned over a new leaf. Like an hour ago.
All of that got turned on it’s head when I saw an article that was on AVN.com. This article was… You know what it’s like? It’s being a shark that hasn’t eaten for like a week and a half and I’m close to shore and what’s staring at me is 7 sea lions. There’s staring at me. Fucking staring at me. These fucking sea lions are staring at me and they’re taunting me. “Nyah, nyah, nyah! Come and eat us! Fill your empty shark belly with our sealy blubber. Consume us.”
I’m being taunted by AVN. I have to do my very best not to eat the sea lions. But ladies and gentlemen, when you’re a shark and you eat not just one, but all the sea lions and somebody says, “Why did you eat the sea lions?” You say, “Because I’m a shark, dummy. It’s what I do.”
I’m trying to be nice to certain people, namely Brad Armstrong and his beautiful wife Jessica. I’m trying to be less hurtful and more supportive of their awesome talents. But when I see an article in AVN about a story in Cosmopolitan about Brad and his costume making abilities, I find it as inviting as a sea lion who is sticking his tongue out at me and saying come and eat me and I’m starving.
I fought it. When I went to Katie Summers’ penthouse to eat dinner I told her, “You gotta read this article in Cosmo. And you gotta help me. I’m like a heroin addict who has been clean for a week and a half and I just came across about 17 grams of China White, a bunch of clean needles and adrenaline shots, so I can just shoot up, revive myself and shoot up again.” She said, “Oh, my God!” I said, “Just read the article.” So she did. And her jaw drops.
She says, “Oh, my God. Negate the fact that they talk about sewing and male stripping. The article makes it seem like Brad and Jessica are nothing more than costume designers for porn.” I said, “I know.”
The article is horrible. It makes it sound like Brad and Jessica are nothing more than costume designers and Axel Braun is the guy shooting Sleeping Beauty and having these two dummies make costumes for him. It’s horrible, I know. I’m trying to turn over a new leaf, but it’s hard when you have material like this to work with.
So let me read you this article. Please don’t shoot the messenger. I’m simply passing along information, so I don’t wanna hear any bullshit about me being mean.
Here we go.
The article is entitled:
“Meet a Couple Who Designs Costumes for Adult Films”
And it is subtitled:
“Yes, porns do have costume designers.”
“Brad Armstrong and Jessica Drake don’t just produce, write, direct, and star in adult films for Wicked Pictures, they also design the costumes. Cosmopolitan.com’s Style Editor, Charles Manning, spoke on the phone with them about what it’s like designing costumes for films where actors spend most of their time more or less naked.”
God help me. I’m like Jaws swimming in the ocean with a bunch of naked Chrissies.
“How did you get started in porn?”
“Brad Armstrong: I was a male stripper…”
He was Nick the Dick from Bachelor Party? Get the fuck outta here…
“…putting myself through college for commercial advertising…”
Yet ANOTHER porn person going to college? College has never produced more people in porn, I swear.
“I got into porn from there, first as a performer and then as director, writer, and producer, and now I’m on contract with Wicked Pictures.”
This is a little deceiving. It sounds like all this happened within the span of a couple weeks. I used Brad a while ago on a gang bang with Stephanie Swift when I was with Elegant Angel. His performing career was rather short lived. As long as I can remember, he’s been a contract director for Wicked, starting with Conquest, the movie he did with a guy by the name of Greg Steele. Huge hit, and he’s been directing ever since.
Then Jessica speaks:
“Jessica Drake: I was going to college in El Paso, Texas…”
Another college girl!
“…and stripping. I did some magazine shoots out in California and fell in with a great group of people who worked in the porn industry. They took me onto the set of an adult film, and it was nothing like I thought it would be. Six months after that, I made my first movie. After a few years, I started writing [adult films], which turned into directing, and now I’m the creator and director of Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex, which is an instructional line of sex ed movies.”
Kinda skips over a lotta stuff. Like how Jessica was with Evan Stone and was nothing more than just another average performer, until Brad got with her and put her in movies that made her a big star, like he did with Jenna Jameson. She also doesn’t mention that she was married to Evan Stone and was cheating on him when they were still married with Brad. Just a little factoid, a little tidbit. This article makes it sound like Brad and Jessica got into the industry three years ago.
Then Cosmo asks Brad:
“When did you start designing costumes for adult films?”
“Brad: When I was stripping it was tough to find good costumes. I bought a sewing machine and made my own stuff, and everybody was like “Oh, that’s cool!” and it turned into kind of a lucrative business. I would make costumes during the day and dance at night, and I was making as much money from the costumes as from the dancing…”
Oh God… there are so many sea lions here… I’m sorry, Brad.
So what Brad is saying here is that as a male stripper, he would go into a store and realize that there were no good costumes, so he said, “Fuck this. I’m gonna go buy a sewing machine and make my own fabulous apparel!” Then he shows up at the club with his new sparkly fireman’s outfit on and the other male strippers said, “Oh, my God. That is so cool, Brad. Could you make me a costume?” He started making other costumes for other strippers and it turned into a lucrative business.
So there’s Brad Armstrong with a tape measure measuring out guys’ sacks, making sure that these costumes would fit these dudes.
I’ve eaten like three sea lions already. You can’t give me this kind of material and not expect me to torture you. This is so great. Brad Armstrong: Lady Killer by Night, Seamstress by Day.
You guys gotta stop giving me this stuff. I’m fucking dying over here.
“When I started making movies, the things we wore were so embarrassing. I put some money together to make my own movie, Checkmate, and I made the costumes for that. The set was a giant chessboard and the actors were all chess pieces.”
Touche, Brad. Touche.
Then Jessica says:
“Jessica: I was making a movie with Brad called The Collector. He took me to all the wardrobe places with him so I could try everything on, but then I was helping him choose things for other characters as well and from there I just started helping him out with stuff. I’m the assistant, though. He’s the visionary.”
I gotta stop. I’m not gonna ever have any friends. This can’t be riffed on anymore that it riffs itself. Axel Braun is making 100K epics and Brad and Jessica are making costumes.
“What makes for a good porn costume?”
“Brad: Easy in and out, for sure, but I also like clothes we can leave on during the sex, like a short skirt as opposed to pants, and a top with buttons as opposed to a pull-over. We especially need that easy access with period pieces — big, flowing gowns and stuff. No one-piece gowns, though. You need to be able to get the skirt off, but leave the bodice on to maintain the period-piece feel. Once everyone is naked, you lose the characters.”
Gotta agree with Brad there. When I was making superhero parodies, I always had the actors keep their suits on. When they take them off they cease becoming superheros and become porn stars. They become the same people you can see on a Brazzers movie or anything else out there.
Cosmo continues with Jessica:
“Which celebrity do you think has the best wardrobe for porn?”
“Jessica: Lady Gaga. Those shoes! I was a big fan of hers right before the music video for “Telephone” came out, and I was actually in that music video. I was pretty much enthralled with everything she did back then and it was a period where she hadn’t quite gone over the top with that meat dress.”
“What kind of budget are you guys working with?”
“Brad: Smaller movies can be anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 and the bigger ones, maybe around $5,000.”
That figure’s kinda low. Axel’s gotta be spending $10,000 or more, especially on the big superhero stuff. When I did Iron Man, our costume was like $4000. I think we spent 700 dollars on the Captain America. Brad might be getting the short end of the stick on his wardrobe budgets.
“Do you have any formal sewing or design training?”
“Brad: Self-taught, pretty much.”
“Where do you get the clothes that you don’t make yourselves?”
“Brad: We don’t have the budgets to go brand shopping and designers aren’t so eager to loan for adult films, but we shop in the fashion district in L.A. and we use the same costume houses as people in the TV and film industries.”
“Do the costume houses know you’re using the clothes in adult films?”
“Brad: I have one in particular, Western Costume, that’s been very good to me over the years. They are very receptive and courteous to us at Wicked Pictures, but not everyone is like that.”
Western Costume is great. We’ve also used them many times. When we had our office in North Hollywood, our building was right next to theirs. I can vouch for Western Costumes.
“What do you do with the costumes after you’re done?”
“Brad: If we rented them, they get dry-cleaned and taken back to the costume houses.
“Do the dry cleaners know where the clothes are coming from?”
“Brad: We have a cute little dry cleaner down the street that knows exactly who we are and has our 8×10’s are hanging on the wall of fame.”
“Jessica: I would like to add that he signed his 8×10, “Thanks for getting the stains out.””
“Is staining an issue?”
“Brad: For the most part, the clothes are off by the time there’s any staining going on, so we don’t have any Bill Clinton moments, Monica Lewinsky moments, depending on how you’re looking at it.”
“Do you have any pro tips to get semen stains out of clothes?”
“Brad: It depends on what the garment is made out of. For the most part, I soak them and then scrub them with a toothbrush. An old toothbrush! I save all my old toothbrushes just for that.”
So Brad Armstrong is cleaning peoples’ jizz with a toothbrush. What the fuck am I reading here? He’s sitting there with a toothbrush furiously scrubbing. “Gotta get this jizz out!” What. The. Fuck?
Then Jessica chimes in:
“Jessica: I will run them through rinse or delicate cycle at home if there is the potential for disaster. I’ve thrown an entire business suit into a bag and put it through the delicate cycle. Then I take it straight to the dry cleaner the next day.”
“How to you plan your costumes?”
“Jessica: I love Pinterest. Occasionally, for things I wear on the red carpet, I make a vision board. I make it a private board though, because I don’t want people scooping me.
What designers inspire you?”
“Brad: I am not so much a designer guy. I am more of a concept guy.”
“Jessica: I like Alexander McQueen, but I don’t really follow any designers.”
“What’s your favorite porn genre for costuming?”
“Brad: Sci-fi. It’s always futuristic, but sometimes it’s high-tech and crisp, and other times it’s post-apocalyptic.”
“Jessica: I like fantasy a lot.”
Yeah. That’s why your latest opus is a snoozefest about an old shitty car and some old shitty love letters from some old shitty lady to some kid’s old shitty dead dad. They’re making an old shitty romance movie even though they love sci-fi and fantasy. Who got the shitty end of the budgets and who is regarded as the shitty director now? And who is regarded as the greatest director in the history of porn? Who is Scorsese, Tarantino, Lucas, Coppola and Spielberg all rolled into one? Axel Braun, that’s who!
“What movie do you think shows your best work as a costumer?”
“Jessica: Curse Eternal or Eternity”
“Brad: I’ve got to go with her with Eternity. It was a period piece. But some of the most extravagant costumes we made were for Fuck. It was kind of a history of sex, so it went from barbarians, to period old English, to sci-fi, and some of the pieces were really cool. We also did one of [the Indian goddess] Shiva, with all the arms. That was tricky.”
Then they show pictures of some of the elaborate costumes they have done.
“What’s the kinkiest costume you’ve ever made?”
“Brad: In Underworld we had this Edward Scissorhands guy on stilts, so he was about 12 feet tall and the girl who was fellating him was rolling around in the metal thing with no legs. That was the most interesting of late.”
So they go from that movie with a guy on 12 foot stilts and scissorhands getting a blow job from a girl with no legs on a pedestal to a movie about an old shitty car and love letters. Again, who’s getting the awesome budgets and who’s getting a big dildo up their ass?
“Do the actors who work with you weigh in on the costumes or refuse to wear something?”
“Brad: Not really. If they think they look fat or something, I just kind of talk them off the ledge and say “Trust me,” and usually it works out. I never had anybody go. “Oh my god! You made me look horrible!”
Brad goes, “Dahhhhling, you look FAAAABULOUS!”
“Is there anything you think women can learn about dressing from adult films?”
“Brad: Well it depends on which ones you watch. Some of the girls in films are in atrocious outfits and sometimes overly sexy isn’t sexy. Sometimes the subtly of an outfit is what makes it sexy.”
There ya go, ladies and gentlemen. That was painful. Brad, I’m sorry I had to do that piece. I’m sorry I had to make fun of that interview. Once I say I’m sorry, I should be forgiven of all my sins.
But that article was one of the funniest I have ever read.
Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: [email protected]