Met Gala: Lupita Nyong’o, The Next Drag Superstar

Posted on May 07, 2019

We weren’t sure what to expect from Miss Lupita. We definitely had the feeling that drag was going to inspire a lot of the looks this year (not nearly to the extent we predicted, though) but we don’t think we would have pegged her as one of the attendees to go there. But make no mistake, Miss Woman got her drag on:

 

 

That eye makeup? Pure drag. The rainbow of pastels? Drag. The sparkles? Drag. The enormous, body-obscuring shape? Totally drag. And of course, no drag queen worth her weight in padding lacks the skill to work a fan when she wants to. But this being Lupita, with the style team that has made her a red carpet superstar, it’s also art:

 

Her hair stylist Vernon Francois explained: “I drew so many inspirations from our heritage in particular a self portrait by Lauren Kelley “Pickin” as well as Marie Antoinette and considering the portions of Lupita Nyong’o’s dress and of course the theme. Our goal is to continue to demonstrate the power of our hair texture that it is the most moldable and luxurious hair texture there.”


This is, in a lot of ways, what drag does. It pulls from the culture both high and low and remixes it in a witty way and/or by putting an extreme spin on it. Mixing Marie Antoinette, afro picks, and gag-worthy queer drag motifs isn’t so much camp itself as a very smart way of using its tropes to produce an unforgettable red carpet moment.

 

 

Style Credits:
– Atelier Versace Column Gown Crafted from Star-shaped Macramé with Crystals in Fuchsia Tones. The Dress is Paired with a Sculptural, Hand-brushed Organza Cape with Bejeweled Buttons

Styled by Micaela Erlanger | Hair by Vernon François | Makeup by Nick Barose | Nails by Casey Herman

[Photo Credit: INSTARImages, Courtesy of Lauren Kelley]

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