Welcome to Emerald City: Introducing Nicky Ottav
by Wade Wallerstein
Are you seeing green yet? On June 25, nightlife icon Nicky Ottav will be one of the fabulous hosts of DRØME’s inaugural NO PLACE LIKE HOMO Pride Party. Featured in Christian Coppola’s 2015 film CLUBKID, Ottav is well-known for his outrageous looks and next level party performances that have defined him as one of the young socialites ushering in a brand new era of club kid-dom for the new millennium.The 22 year-old NYU Tisch graduate has been labeled, among other things, one of Out Mag’s Most Eligible Bachelors of 2017 and The Coolest Kid in NYC. In February, Ottav opened his first solo photographic installation, “Saints of a Different Order,” which celebrated all of the modern-day queer icons (his friends) who have inspired him since he moved to NYC. Before we head down the yellow brick road on Sunday, DRØME touched base with Nicky to learn a little bit more about his bold persona and whimsical aesthetic.
DRØME: Where are you from?
Nicky Ottav: I'm from Los Angeles, and did most of my hanging in Hollywood.
D: How long have you been performing?
NO: I've been a performer my whole life, but when I moved to New York performing morphed into something less literal for me, and turned into hosting parties and being the life of the party. I traded in the stage for the crowd.
D: What have you been up to recently?
NO: I'm working crazy hard on a new series, a blend of sculpture and painting. The series focuses on people in my life, which is a reoccurring theme with my work.
D: When do you have the most fun?
NO: I feel like I have fun wherever I go--whether it's the bank, a restaurant, the club, the park, the museum, or just on the street. For me, anywhere can be a party as long as I'm surrounded by my friends and fellow creatives.
D: What makes the best party? What's the best party you've been to?
NO: The best kind of party is a party where everyone is invested in having a good time. I guess what I mean by that is a party where everyone makes a special effort to add something to the ambiance, like a costume or a gimmick or a good vibe. The best party I've been to might have been the Telfar after party at Fashion Week that was held in a White Castle restaurant. It was surreal to be turning up in a place that's totally not meant for that type of activity. Plus it made me feel like I was in Party Monster.
D: What was your best look?
NO: When I was taking a lot of art history classes in college I was constantly inspired by the work I was studying. I did a few looks inspired by cubism that stand out in my memory as some of my best, or at least most unique. I also shaved and bedazzled my entire head for a Halloween party at MoMa a few years ago so we could cover it entirely. Sometimes you have to sacrifice for the look!
D: How do you conceptualize a look? How do you turn out a look under pressure?
NO: It's something so organic for me. Sometimes there really is no plan: I just begin. It's all about experimentation and going with your gut. Occasionally a garment will really motivate the rest of the look, aka the makeup and hair.
D: Where's your favorite place to shop?
NO: I'm a thrift addict, especially when I travel outside of New York. My favorite places in the city to shop are Tokio 7, Search & Destroy, Funkytown, Flying Tiger, Housing Works, and Beacon's Closet.
D: What are you wearing to the NO PLACE LIKE HOMO party?
NO: It's a secret, but I can tell you I'm going as one of the main characters of Oz. See you there!
NO PLACE LIKE HOMO is taking place Sunday, June 25 at Good Room in Brooklyn. You can buy tickets here.
Take a listen to the first up on the Pride DJ line up, Sarah von H.