Dressing up is a 24/7 pursuit for this rebellious nightlife maven.
It could be onerous to discover a single place on this planet the place Ladyfag attire down. Not when she’s alone at residence, lounging in a bias-cut 1930s slip. Not when she pops out to the deli close to her New York Metropolis condominium. And never even when she’s dashing from our FASHION cowl shoot to catch a red-eye to London. Leaving the sweats to others (they’re the one development she says she received’t put on), she prefers to brush on board in a Burberry coat and sky-high heels.
“Airports are glamorous,” says the nightlife icon as she picks at a fruit danish post-shoot. “Everybody goes locations and doing issues. So why not? You’re going to take off your footwear anyway, while you get on the aircraft, so that you may as nicely kick off heels as an alternative of sneakers.”
For somebody who grew up as Rayne Baron in Thornhill, an prosperous however conservative suburb of Toronto, Ladyfag’s penchant for theatrics comes as a little bit of a shock—even to her. “It’s humorous as a result of after I was youthful, I used to be undoubtedly shyer than I’m now,” she says. “I used to be observing reasonably than doing, and I don’t know absolutely when that modified.”
It may have been when she moved to Toronto’s eclectic Kensington Market at 18 that she started coming into her personal. She began promoting classic garments, which ignited her love for trend, and ultimately found nightclubs and efficiency artwork. It was for a efficiency piece at a Toronto artwork gallery that she adopted the identify “Ladyfag,” a campy reference to being a flamboyant girl in a world of homosexual males.
A spontaneous go to to New York 15 years in the past opened the doorways to a profession she’d by no means anticipated. “I didn’t go there with any agenda,” she says. However she started attending events within the metropolis’s nightclubs, the place she caught the attention of legendary promoter Kenny Kenny. From there, “it snowballed,” and shortly she was throwing outrageous events of her personal. Her occasions earned her the title of “nightlife sorceress” from The New York Occasions and have been attended by the likes of Riccardo Tisci, Alexander Wang, Padma Lakshmi and former Membership Child Amanda Lepore. Lengthy earlier than it turned the buzzword of the second, the time period “inclusive” would come up, again and again, within the media protection of her events.
“Once you’ve grown up in that world of nightlife and queer tradition…we’ve at all times been the underdogs and the freaks and the crazies, however now we’re all of the sudden changing into a development. It’s sort of humorous, but it surely’s constructive, actually, as a result of inclusivity is nice. Persons are altering their concepts of what’s stunning; they’re lastly catching up.”
“Once you’ve grown up in that world of nightlife and queer tradition…we’ve at all times been the underdogs and the freaks and the crazies, however now we’re all of the sudden changing into a development,” she says. “It’s sort of humorous, but it surely’s constructive, actually, as a result of inclusivity is nice. Persons are altering their concepts of what’s stunning; they’re lastly catching up.”
Along with her extravagant make-up and double take-worthy outfits—a mixture of classic and designers like Tisci, Marc Jacobs, Junya Watanabe and John Galliano—it could be straightforward to take a look at Ladyfag’s larger-than-life model and surprise in regards to the line between the individual and the persona: How a lot is her, and the way a lot is an act?
“There’s me as an individual, however then there’s Ladyfag, who’s a model, a persona,” she says. “Nightlife is a fantasy, and that’s a part of what I’m promoting. So I’ve to at all times be on—I’ve to have my sport face on. As a buddy of mine who’s a drag queen used to say, ‘A girl at all times wears her lips.’”
See the remainder of this situation’s cowl profiles here.