This flawless queen.
Photo: Getty Images
Conchita Wurst, who came to international attention after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, made news at Paris Fashion Week by walking in the Jean Paul Gaultier Couture show. Wurst closed out the show, a position usually given to the designer's favorite or the most famous model. Previous closers have included Dita Von Teese and Beth Ditto. Jean Paul has long been an advocate for so-called "unconventional" models. Early on in his career, he put out a listing in French paper Libération that read: “Nonconformist designer seeks unusual models–the conventionally pretty need not apply.”
Conchita is also the latest in a line of pioneers who are challenging mainstream conceptions of gender. This might be a reflection of fashion's fickle nature or it could mean that our perception of beauty has broadened; the fashion world is notoriously exclusive, and does not often veer from its rigid strictures of what is stylish, which is why we should not only applaud the casting decision, but also celebrate those who have come before. Below are a few other drag superstars who have made names for themselves.
You better werk.
Photo: M.A.C. Cosmetics' Facebook
The '90s ushered in the rise of the supermodel, and in 1992, it got its soundtrack, thanks to RuPaul's "Supermodel (You Better Work)." Soon after, in 1994, MAC Cosmetics tapped Ru to be the first face of Viva Glam, the line's campaign to raise awareness and outreach for those in the HIV/AIDS community, making Ru the world's first drag queen supermodel.
Nicki Minaj at 'The Other Woman' premiere.
Photo: Getty Images
OK. We are officially obsessed with Nicki Minaj's newly subtle and sophisticated style. Remember how perfectly beautiful she looked at the MTV Movie Awards this year? (I, personally, haven't been able to forget.) She decided to take a similar route at the premiere for her new movie The Other Woman last night, and we got deja vu in ALL the right ways. Her cream-colored, knitted Alexander McQueen dress was just as discreetly striking and conservative as the black McQueen from a couple weeks ago. Maybe even MORE SO, what with its unique texture and neckline and all.
SHE does Paris Fashion Week.
Photos: Getty Images/Photoshop: MTV/Gaby Wilson
If you ever went to Disney World as a little kid, then you likely know the unbridled joy of the beloved character's breakfast. As you and your family ordered eggs and bacon, Disney favorites would walk around the restaurant, allowing for photo ops and scribbling signatures in autograph books. It was kind of like meeting your idols (at an age when idolizing cartoons wasn't totally cray). As an adult, one might liken it to Rihanna's first few days of Paris Fashion Week, where she basically buddied up with ALL the best designers for a monster collection of framable photos. (It should also be noted that Rih managed to wear a different shade of lipstick in every single shot, which is just, like, wow. *bows down*)
When we realized that the 2013 American Music Awards would showcase a whopping 16 live performances, we knew we were in for a grip of exciting brand new performance outfits. What we forgot about (momentarily) was that the stacked set list ALSO meant the red carpet would be full of high-octane #FASHUN. The stars turned it our for the AMAs step-and-repeat, and we're breaking down our favorite looks of the night.
TAYLOR SWIFT IN JULIEN MACDONALD
Taylor Swift at the 2013 American Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images
Taylor Swift may have skipped the stage this time around, but she still won big. No, not just by looking drop dead in that glittering gold Julien MacDonald minidress. T.Swizzle also took home the award for Artist of the Year as well as Favorite Female Country Artist and Favorite Country Album.
Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Bambi Awards in Germany.
Photo: Getty Images
Last night, Miley Cyrus arrived on the red carpet of the 2013 Bambi Awards in Berlin dipped in a floor-length, black, scoop-neck, Jean Paul Gaultier dress from the late-90s. I love this look. In fact, I love when the blonde, Bangerz bombshell elects to wear clothes. It's not that I give a fig about her "messaging" and the "impact she wields on impressionable female minds" when she shuns pants or tops (or both) as she frequently does, it’s more that she's so damned uniformly '90s when she's wearing enough textile that you can suss out her personal style (not that her birthday suit isn't from the ’90s as well [1992 in fact], but you know what I mean).
It's an era that I’m hugely fond of and one at which Miley's particularly good. Between gem-studded vintage Dolce & Gabbana leggings for the VMA red carpet and the shiny, silver mock turtleneck, long-sleeved, knee-length situation (with matching creepers) from the EMAs, this velvet-rolled, cuff-and-collared number from a decidedly The Fifth Element design era from the French designer is just an excellent look. In fact, it's kinda dorky from a fashion perspective (in fact, I'm fairly sure this dress is from JPG's gender-bendy Maille era which is very 'inside baseball').
It’s clear that Miley Cyrus is comfortable with her body so when she uses it as a springboard to take up an unorthodox amount of space or cut an unexpected witchy, spacy silhouette, I get a frisson of excitement about what to next expect from her. It's not unlike when she first chopped off her hair. It’s akin to when Rihanna wears head-to-toe menswear or tucks a flannel tied around her waist INTO her jean shorts. If Miley spends the next week expressly in dresses that LE1F would also look AWESOME wearing, I'd be very happy.
Jean Paul Gaultier's music video, "How To Do That" in 1989.
Real talk: I have seen this Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition three times. I saw it in San Francisco last summer. I saw it again last Thursday—briefly—before I heard the marvelous Parisian designer speak in a discussion led by the exhibition's curator, Thierry-Maxime Loriot, from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. And then I enjoyed a guided tour by Thierry-Maxime himself on Friday morning moments before the installation was officially opened to the public. If you find yourself in Brooklyn or, truly, anywhere even remotely within driving/flying/subway-ing distance of the Brooklyn Museum, you should check this out. It's f***ing mind-blowing. God's honest. It's here 'til February 23 so you have time but DO NOT FORGET.
"Embellishments" dress from the Spring/Summer 2009 "Calligraphy" Collection/Beyoncé performing in 2009.
Photos: Mary H.K. Choi/Getty Images
All together now: awwwww! Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto married longtime girlfriend Kristin Ogata in (what looks like) an intimate ceremony in Hawaii, and we're seriously obsessed with her effortlessly gorgeous gown. She sported the strapless plunging sweetheart layered tulle frock with a short veil and no shoes. She went for a simply chic beauty look by wearing her signature jet black baby bangs with loose curls and sported smoky eyes with light pink lips and red hot tips. For the finishing touch, both her and Kristin sported leis over the top of their ensembles. Beth posted the pic of the adorbs duo walking down the aisle to her band's Facebook page, and said, "So much love and appreciation to all of our family and friends who celebrated with us! And a huge thank you to Jean Paul Gaultier for the dream-come-true dress!" Um, did she just say the JPG made her a custom wedding gown? *dies*
Will Miley Cyrus bring her punky look to the Met Gala?
Photo: Getty Images
Dudes, we can't stop talking about the Met Gala. I mean, ever since we heard the theme was going to be "Punk: Chaos and Couture," we knew it was going to be a particularly special year for us at the Metropolitan Museum. So far, we've heard that everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Solange Knowles to Psy (!!!) are attending the fashion world's fanciest event, but today we got word that the QUEEN of punk might also make an appearance come Monday—Miley Cyrus! Miley Online broke the news this afternoon, and we really, REALLY hope it's true, y'all. I mean, have you guys seen the latest issue of V Magazine? She rocked three different hair colors on the cover alone. *bows down*
Madonna's Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra and MTV VMA dress will both be on display this week.
There's a good chance that if you're playing one of those word association games and someone says "Madonna," your first, or maybe second, or third, but definitely no more than that, will be "cone bra." The singer's most iconic look, the Jean Paul Gaultier lingerie item was a staple of Madonna's 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, and now thanks to Macy's and Madge herself, you can see it in real life for a super-limited time. Madonna is already a staple at Macy's stores with her Material Girl collection, but on Thursday, April 25th, the star is lending the cone bra and seven other iconic Madonna pieces to the store's Los Angeles Century City location for a two hour exhibition. And it's not just the cone bra, trust. With the help of her longtime stylist Arianne Phillips, Madonna's personally selected the items on display, and there are some MAY-JOR moments represented.
Adele on the May issue of 'ELLE.'
Photo: Courtesy of 'ELLE'/Thomas Whiteside
No joke, we were in the middle of reading a piece about Adele's potential wedding dress (it might be designed by Jenny Packham!) when this GORGEOUS ELLE magazine cover landed in our inbox. We were all, "OMG, OMG, OMG," until we realized she's also rotating covers with Rita Ora and Alicia Keys for the May Women in Music issue. Yasss! For Adele's look, they decided to amp up her soft-yet-stunning retro glamor vibe by shooting in the iconic EastWest Studios, which is famous for recording Frank Sinatra's greatest hits. Her black lace Alberta Ferretti dress was the perfect backdrop against her STUNNING beauty game—a killer bouffant with a soft smoky eye, nude lips, and a touch of shimmery bronzer. Perf!