Inside Opening Ceremony's Elaborate Drag Extravaganza

Inside Opening Ceremony's Elaborate Drag Extravaganza

The brand used it's NYFW slot to queer the idea of what fashion "showz" can be.

The brand used it's NYFW slot to queer the idea of what fashion "showz" can be.

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Last night at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, Opening Ceremony once again uprooted the linear runway show format in favor of an ambitious collaboration. This time, founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim handed the keys to the drag superstar Sasha Velour, the winner of Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race known for her socially conscious drag. “Whether they like it or not, Opening Ceremony has just welcomed over 40 queer artists and entertainers into their family,” Velour said in her opening remarks, before unleashing a queer spectacular in which representation was just as central as the clothes.

The production, entitled "The Gift of Showz," was a dazzling, 45-minute encapsulation of queer pageantry, opening with a ballroom-inspired of rotation of models and performers in Opening Ceremony RTW and ending with a surprise performance Christina Aguilera. While the success of shows like Pose and recent fashion campaigns like Gypsy Sport's starring Nina Bonina Brown and Desmond indicate that drag's long-percolating cultural influence is finally permeating mainstream society, last night marked NYFW's first full-scale drag invasion—a fact not lost on the House of Velour, who were also raising money for the Transgender Law Center, an organization that fights for people to self-determine their gender in society. “Some of you have deep pockets,” said Jiggly Caliente to a front row that included Nicki Minaj and Troye Sivan.

The clothes themselves were symbol of queer autonomy; the brand handed over fabric from its SS19 collection for each performer, from drag fairy godmother Lipsynka and Berlin-based performance artist Hungry, to execute their own custom creations. While most other designers may never cede so much control, if "The Gift of Showz" proved what fashion shows can be, we'd vote to permanently change the spelling to "showz" with a Z.

Nicki Minaj (Benjamin Lozovsky for BFA, courtesy of Opening Ceremony)

UP NEXT

Moncler Reimagines Classic Coats with 2 MONCLER 1952