Lil Nas X in Atelier Versace at the VMAs

Posted on September 13, 2021

And now for your Recommended Daily Dose of explosively fabulous queerness, courtesy of Lil Nas X on the VMAs red carpet.





As we noted in our Cosmo piece, we couldn’t help but detect an homage to some major Black Dandies in music history. We see some Prince and Little Richard, but there’s just as much Rick James or even Randy Watson (lead singer of Sexual Chocolate) from Coming to America. 

Of course we could be wrong about all of that because Lil Nas is such an original that he owes nothing to no one. To be fair, he’s not the first man to wear custom menswear that’s inspired by formal gowns on a red carpet. Billy Porter didn’t even get there first, but he’s probably the one person to popularize it most, in a gown inspired by the legendary Hector Xtravaganza, one-time father of the House of Xtravaganza. We love that it feels almost like half-and-half drag, with it looking like menswear from one angle and womenswear from another. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that “lavender” was a code word/slur for gay men close to a century ago. Whether intentional or not, it just feels like there’s a ton of queer and Black male cultural history all bound up in this look. But we’re prepared to admit that when we look at how much fun he’s having here, that this just might be unbound queer Black expression of no particular origin. He’s having big gay fun and we can’t do anything but applaud it as loudly as we can.




Style Credits:
Custom Atelier Versace Lilac Asymmetrical Off-the-shoulder Suit Featuring a Lace-up Back and Long Train with Hand-applied Crystal Embroidery

Styled by Hodo Musa


[Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS]

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