This year’s Red Dress Party is back at 8228 Santa Monica Boulevard. The event which has been revamped as Red Dress Party Day, is officially kicking off at Or Bar this year, the former home of Gold Coast Bar where the Red Dress Party first kicked off in 1997 and it where it took place for 23 years.
This year’s 2nd Annual Red Dress Party Day is being organized by participating businesses within the City of West Hollywood’s Rainbow District and by the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a nonprofit organization that is assisting with organizing this year’s
event and serving as lead for the fundraising efforts.
As part of the co-sponsorship for this year’s event, the organizers have requested the City
to provide communications support to further promote the 2023 Red Dress Party Day and
provide a waiver of City fees for required permits for one of the participating businesses,
Revolver, which is located at the corner of Larrabee and Santa Monica Blvd. Revolver will
serve as one of the primary locations for this year’s event, and will feature ample photo
opportunities to highlight the fabulous red dresses worn by hosts and guests to symbolize
this iconic day in West Hollywood.
Red Dress Party Day brings visibility to HIV and AIDS by creating a set day for the
community to celebrate life and remind people that HIV infections still occur. Moreover,
this event will help raise funds for local non-profit charities that support individuals living
with HIV and AIDS.
Legend has it that the Red Dress Party event was created by bartenders at West Hollywood’s Gold Coast Bar, Mark Ferguson and Yves-Claude. Mark Ferguson and Yves-Claude were both HIV positive and made an agreement with each other that whoever passed away first, the other would go to their funeral wearing a red dress. Tragically, Mark passed away first and Yves-Claude could not attend his memorial because he was out of town. When YvesClaude returned, Bob Hastings, the owner of Gold Coast Bar at the time came up with the idea to create an event and invite everyone to wear a red dress in celebration of Mark’s life.
The inaugural Red Dress Party event was held at Gold Coast Bar in 1997 with
proceeds supporting HIV and AIDS community organizations. The initial event at Gold
Coast Bar proved to be impactful, and the event was held ever since, annually, for 23
years. A few years following the inaugural event, Yves-Claude passed away due to
complications of AIDS. Yves-Claude was able to see first-hand the impact of the Red
Dress Party Day as it generated community awareness for HIV and AIDS and provided
much-needed support and funds for organizations devoted to this cause.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Dress Party Day did not take place in 2020 nor
2021. The 2022 event was organized by the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
and included 11 participating businesses. The event raised over $10,000 to support Life
Group LA and Being Alive, non-profit organizations that are focused on wellness for
individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
The Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are committed to social activism, social service and spiritual development. Moreover, the mission of the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is to strengthen its community through drag activism, by raising much-needed funds for community charities, and by bringing about a better understanding of gay spirituality.