I watch a fair bit of Television, myself, and although I don’t watch America’s next top model and fashion TV, I have found myself investing my time in Rupaul’s Drag Race – what I believe to be the most interesting fashion model TV show around. It has lead me to see how important fashion behaviour is to the drag community, and just what these tantalizing tailors can create to blow the audience away.

Pearl, Ginger Minj and Violet Chachki (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Logo TV)

Pearl, Ginger Minj and Violet Chachki (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Logo TV)

Much like the other fashion topics i’ve written about, drag is by no means recent. Really. We know it now that Shakespearean plays and in Classical Chinese theatre often featured men assuming the roles of women, and although then it was considered a necessity due to women not being permitted to act back then, it has morphed into its own weighted culture [2].

Drag fashion is often exaggerated, I mean it’s difficult not to notice the sizes of wigs, makeup styles and the visually boisterous clothing. The context of this culture is to critique the very nature of society’s gender performing norms [2]. This being said, Drag has a uniqueness to it which makes for endless possibilities in presentation and expression; however there seems to be several major groups viewers of the drag community could pick out.

British Drag Queen for Gay Pride in London. Marco Secchi/Getty Images

British Drag Queen for Gay Pride in London. Marco Secchi/Getty Images

There are, sourced from the online magazine Dragaholic, a few common styles of drag that appear most frequently, such as Club, Pageant, Camp, Activessle, Tranimal, Goth and Fish. The styles vary from high end fashion and glamour to an outfit someone could potentially have made out of the contents of a garbage bin [1].

Mathu Andersen on the runway in the Marco Marco Collection 2 fashion show.

Regardless of the style, however, the drag queen fashion as a whole is evidently a strong, and not to mention incredibly influential, subculture. Marco Marco is one of the many designers becoming involved with it, bringing drag to the headlines after his feature fashion show with queer models in his 2014 Spring/Summer collection [3].

In the world of drag, Mathu Andersen is the queen of makeup art. I’m not suprised that he landed himself in the Marco Marco fashion show (large focus on leggings, underwear and swimwear in a high fashion setting). In the show, his outfit is one of the more conservative of designs, covering head to toe in a stark pairing of colour and monochrome.
The pompadour hair, pruned beard and airbrushed makeup tie together the camp fantasy of the show and really captures the essence of the nature of drag.
Andersen is the best example of a fluid drag queen, with a rather androgynous body to boot, and don’t sharp lines and angle designs look great on him?
Drag is such a fun and sexy way to disprove gender binaries and the fashion is so playful. It is an art in its own skin and sequins. Let’s celebrate queer fashion!

 

Notes:

1. Turner, Paige. 2014. “The 11 Most Common Drag Queen Styles.”. Dragaholic.  http://dragaholic.com/2014/06/11-common-drag-queen-styles/. Viewed 24/08/15

2. Conger, Christen. 2015. “How Drag Queens Work” Last Modified 2015. http://people.howstuffworks.com/drag-queen2.htm

3. Goldstein, Kayla. 2014. “Marco Marco and Carmen Carrera: Redefining the Role of Gender in Fashion.” Diverse World Fashion. http://diverseworldfashion.com/2014/01/02/marco-marco-and-carmen-carrera-redefining-the-role-of-gender-in-fashion-2/. Viewed 24/08/15

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