No Frills Brooklyn

Someone just threw a No Frills-themed party in Brooklyn

Toronto's leading purveyor of parking lot brawls, deodorant cams and corn so cheap it makes bargain shoppers shove grandpas to the floor just scored some major cool points by way of a New York party legend.

Ladyfag, whom the New York Times describes as a "night-life sorceress and fashion eccentric," is a promoter known for hosting massive, conceptual, celeb-stacked warehouse bashes that literally make headlines.

This weekend, she welcomed some 1,500 revelers to a party in Brooklyn stylized after No Frills, the Canadian discount grocery store brand, complete with stark yellow branding and a play on the supermarket's tagline "Won't be beat."

Sorry Canada, this NO FRILLS is in Brooklyn!

A post shared by Ladyfag (@ladyfag) on

Hilarious? Yes, but random this is not.

Ladyfag is actually from Toronto, though she moved to the Big Apple in 2005 and now spends a lot of time in London and Paris. The self-described "Kensington Market girl" rolled with queer icon Will Munro back in the day and says the late Toronto artist played a major role in shaping her life and work.

The branding for her most recent party, however, was inspired by trips to the No Frills at Bathurst and Wilson with her grandma as a kid.

"No Frills was actually super traumatizing for me," she joked by phone this week. "Everything was SO yellow and I just hated it when I was growing up... I hated that aesthetic."

It's ironic then, she says, that the party came about the way it did.

"When I do my parties, everything is so thematic and conceptual," Ladyfag explained. "We wanted to do this really easy warehouse party with no name, no brand... A no-name party."

As a way to demonstrate this concept to the artists she was working with, Ladyfag googled No Frills, the grocery store. Seeing the brand's tagline sparked another idea among the group.

"'No Frills won't be beat' made us think of 'No Frills, just beats," she says. "We're going to give you beats—that's all you'll get with us."

The artist producing the flyers was taken with the bare-bones "No-Name Brand" aesthetic and a successful theme party in Brooklyn was born.

"I didn't realize any other Canadians beside my friends actually followed me," says Ladyfag of reactions to the party on Instagram. "All the Canadians came out of the woodwork like, '*cough cough hint hint* are you going to do this in Toronto'?"

That's definitely a possibility, she says, noting that it would be "a nice homecoming."

"I don't think Americans necessarily get the cultural reference," says Ladyfag. "They liked the yellow aesthetic and no-name branding, but overall, its the Canadians who appreciated it more than anyone else."

And appreciate it we do, even if only ironically or for nostalgia's sake.

Sure, dropping a clothing line was funny, but the success of Saturday night's party in Brooklyn proves that No Frills doesn't need to try when it comes to courting millennial cool kids.

That seeming lack of effort is precisely why we like them... most of the time.

Lead photo by

Ladyfag


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