All posts by Brandi Amara Skyy

GAG drag fashion alert: for the futuristic drag lover in all of us.

Here at GAG we love our fashion as much as we love our drag. We also love technology (almost) as much.

But fashion and technology together = a #GAGworthy fashion moment.

Designer Behnaz Farahi has created such a vision with her new innovative design, a 3D wearable cape she’s calling Caress of the Gaze.  Built into the cape is a camera that can sense when someone is looking at it. That’s when the magic happens. After sensing the gaze, the fibers on the garment begin to move in a beautiful wave ripple effect. And the result is beyond sickening.

Check out the video below.

We are in GAG drag heaven!

It’s the kind of wearable art that we love – innovative, one-of-a-kind, avant. It’s a statement piece for a statement queen or king.

Check out Behnaz‘s other wearable art at http://www.behnazfarahi.com/

Alexander McQueen – Drag’s Couture Queen

Alexander McQueen

If Evolution gave us a visual glimpse into the mind of this century’s creative genius, Wilson’s unauthorized biography will likely navigate the mental terrain via the stories behind the art – and the man.

Regardless, a peak into the creative world and process of this master couturier is sure to spark ANY dragsters imagination to reach beyond the drag mundane.

We are, after all, walking pieces of art – why not walk in the most sickening, haute versions of our drag selves?

i have a feeling this book will inspire us to go there.

Review forthcoming.

Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath the Skin by Andrew Wilson
Pre-order now; Releases Tuesday, September 1, 2015

$14.99 (Kindle) to $16.50 (Hardcover) at amazon.com

GAG Magazine’s Ultimate Drag Playlist

GAG Magazine Ultimate Drag Playlist

If GAG did drag, THIS would be the kind of drag ze would do – abstract, unconventional, artist.

This is a highly curated collection (over 3 hours of music and we’re still adding!!!) of drag songs that aren’t for the faint of heart. We’ve created this playlist to inspire and ignite your creativity and artistry.

And because we looooooooooove avant drag so much!

Performed to one of the songs on the list? We’d love to see it! Drop your name, the name of the song, and a link to your performance in the comments below so we can GAG on your eleganza.

This playlist is created on Spotify. You’ll need the program to listen to it. It’s free and TOTALLY worth it, get it here: Spotify.com.

Get ready to bask in some great drag – and mug painting – music!

GAG Magazine’s Ultimate Drag Playlist

GAG’s new drag archive – launching 2016. We need your help!

GAG is more than a magazine – it’s an aesthetic. It’s a place where drag lovers come to experience drag in its most elevated form – art.

And now we are taking our art to the next level.

We want to be a hub for the art of drag. A place where you can go to find the best fashions, products, drag news, music, books, and to get to know your history so you can make your own.

GAG is starting a drag archive/an online resource for all things drag, but we need your help!

We’re looking for your favorite websites, movies, documentaries, stories,  books, designers, shops, YouTube stations, dragsters, songs, any/anything drag related.  Who’s your Who’s Who of drag? We want to know!

Send your list of favorites to brandi@gagmagazine.com.

And don’t forget to spread and share the love with anyone you think has GAG worthy drag taste!

Launching January 2016.

The Art of GAG – A Retrospective

GAGmagazine_August_2015_Final20

GAG – or a version of it – has been a dream of mine since the early 90s.

It was 1996 and i was just getting started in the drag scene. i was making videos and screening them on our local PBS station, making mini documentaries, and dreaming of owning my own newspaper called The Voice.

Flash forward to 2006, i moved to a city whose LGBTQ newspaper was called Dallas Voice – sign #1 i knew i was home.

In August 2013, this long time dream was made a reality.

Continue reading The Art of GAG – A Retrospective

Making of a King. The Art of Drag Bonus – full interview with Nicole Miyahara

THE ART OF DRAG – The Making of King

Phantom by Nicole Miyahara
Phantom by Nicole Miyahara

An Interview with the woman behind the kings, Nichole Miyahara

“I like to say that documentary filmmaking is like a long term relationship. I have really enjoyed the entire experience and have learned so much along the way.”

GAG: How did the idea come about and what inspired you to make a documentary?

It was a happy accident that I discovered the Los Angeles drag kings at Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach. My classmate, and now Producer, Niccole Osborn, took a bunch of us gals out to a restaurant she had recently discovered that was known for their burgers. We had no idea that they hosted a monthly drag king show. The kings hit the stage with their very convincing illusion of a flat chest, facial hair, incredible costumes, and captivating performances. That was it, I was hooked. Niccole and I started going to shows together as often as they had them. When it came time to apply to USC for their graduate program in Visual Anthropology, I knew I wanted to immerse myself in this world for the next year and create a 30-minute thesis film about these kings. Fast forward two years later and I am currently working on the feature length version of the film. 

GAG: What are your goals for the film?

We hope that our film will bring awareness to the drag king community. Kings exist, they aren’t going anywhere, they deserve just as much respect and equal pay, as the queens. Drag is an art form, a freedom of expression, and the audience will appreciate the thoughtfulness and creativity the kings put into each and every number.

People are just beginning to have conversations about the false concept of the gender binary (male/female). There is an entire spectrum of gender identities and the film explores those with the transgender kings. The drag king community is so beautiful in its diversity and we hope to be part of a dialogue that will open hearts and minds.

GAG: What has the response from the drag community been like?

The drag community has been incredibly supportive of the project! It’s one thing to make a thesis film as part of a graduate program, it’s quite another to ask people to support a feature length project. When we ran our Kickstarter campaign we had kings across the country perform numbers specifically dedicated to the film and donating all their tips to us. We got tons of messages telling us how long they have waited for a film like this and that they felt it was for all kings, everywhere. Head promoters of the USofA Pageant system stepped up in a very big way and are now Producers of the film. Several queens supported us with donations, and Jewels, who started the first LA drag king show, performed at our drag king fundraiser. Overall there seems to be a hunger and excitement among the community for a film that focuses on kings.

GAG: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned from observing the king community?

We followed Havok Von Doom to Nashville where he competed in the 2014 Mister USofA MI (Male Illusionist) pageant. The first day people were talking about the “brotherhood” and I wasn’t sure that I bought into that idea. I couldn’t understand how at a competition, there would be camaraderie among the contestants. We filmed backstage for four nights. I witnessed kings steaming each other’s suits and giving performance and makeup tips. It was a beautiful thing to see, that even in the midst of tension and excitement there was still time for compassion and kindness.

I’ve seen this happen backstage at LA shows too. Someone forgets their duct tape or scissors and a hand reaches out to loan it to them. Drag kings for the most part didn’t grow up in drag families like some queens, so everything they have achieved they have done it on their own. There isn’t anyone teaching them how to bind or contour their face or sew a costume together. In my opinion this makes them stronger, because they want it more. It also makes their drag more interesting because it’s as unique as they are. I think there is an idea that they are all the underdogs and all in it together. The better they are collectively, the better it is for everyone.

GAG: Do you have a release date?

We are currently in post-production and are hoping to release the film sometime in 2016.

GAG: Where can our readers go to learn more about and support the film?

We are continuing to fundraise throughout the post-production process because making a quality film is really expensive! We appreciate any support big or small to help us get the film finished and into a theater near you! Pledges of support can me made on our website at www.nicolemiyahara.com

Facebook: The Making of a King

Instagram and Twitter @dragkingmovie

Musings from Editrix

This issue of GAG is special not only because we are celebrating our second birthday, but because we’re in the middle of a growth spurt.

We’ve outgrown some things . . .

Departments like News, Music, Library, DID (Dipping into Drag).

And grown into others . . .

Voices where YOU write the story; The Art of Drag where we highlight others like us who are creating spectacular things; and – my personal favorite – Spotlight where we dedicate the last page(s) of the magazine to shining the spotlight on those who make us stars – the fans.

But the biggest change is one that you might not see at first.

GAG is going ad free.

i have always believed that art is at its best when it’s not commercialized or dictated by a paycheck. And i have always seen GAG as art – our art. The Gay Art of Glamour.

Going ad free ultimately means that GAG will now be 100% funded by readers, by you. This is your magazine as much as it mine. 

The sharpest growing pain is saying goodbye to GAGs long time Creative Director, Paul Michael Armstrong. He has a new vision and new vibe that he must follow. And while this may be his last issue with us, he is creatively bound to me for life. He will always be the creative visual realization of what GAG is and the standard to which all that follow him will be held.

i will miss him deeply.

This issue is a fond farewell to who we were and where we’ve been. But it also serves as an introduction of who we are becoming.

If GAG were a caterpillar, this issue is our Chrysalis stage.

In January, we welcome the butterfly. 

Love, light + metamorphosis,

Signature pink