Leave it to the queens to do Halloween in style. Last night at MoMa PS1, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim along with Luis Venegas of Candy magazine hosted an art-meets-fashion Halloween drag ball, complete with an old-school pageant. “This is Miss America on steroids,” proclaimed MC Ladyfag before letting the contestants loose on a makeshift catwalk.
Later, Ladyfag explained, “It’s really a celebration of a culture that always dresses up. Most of the people here do this every day. It’s nice for people to stop and think what really goes into all of this all the time—how much work it is being a drag queen!” The work was evident in the hundreds of elaborate, detailed transformations—a sparkling, towering mummy bride; a red-lip-smeared Horn of Plenty; and co-host Melissa Burns as Prince. Also in the crowd: a well-disguised Michael Stipe and Justin Bond. “This look? I wanted to make it a bit Saint Laurent grunge, but at the same time I thought it would be cool to have something that would remind people a bit of Norman Bates’ mother—Norman from Psycho,” explained Venegas of his ladylike, lace-collared flower frock. “You know I come from Spain, so to be in New York celebrating Halloween with a drag ball is quite amazing for me!”
“It’s a total mess, but it’s great!” added Swedish pop star Robyn from beside the tequila bar. “I just think people are having a good time.”