Thursday, August 25, 2016

Undressing Drag - Museum of Vancouver

 
The MOV's current main exhibit is about collections. Many of the collectors have been invited to present the story behind their passion, and Undressing Drag was an evening of heartfelt Vancouver stories and performances that celebrated the history and modern world of Drag.
Willow Yamauchi, a Vancouver story teller and writer, is the daughter of a man who performed as Hydrangea Bovine, with the group, The Bovines, here, in the 1980's.

Willow's story is about growing up surrounded by artists, music and best costumes at Halloween. And, she knew how to put on fishnets without snagging them and to walk in high heels, perfectly, before anyone else in her group. Too young to have been to the clubs to see him perform, she learned more when her mother gave her a bag of costumes that had been in storage, since her dad passed away ten years ago, and she discovered cowprint dresses, gloves, earrings made from pingpong balls and the beginnings of her collection, which also includes many of the people in her father's stage life.
You can hear an interview with her on Ideas, CBC Radio with Paul Kennedy.

Ivan Sayers, Historian, Curator and Collector of women's and men's clothing from 1700 and on, always has the best stories about where he finds his treasures and what they tell us about the people and the times, talked about his university days and introduction to the wild city. (He grew up in Summerland.) He outlined briefly, the history of Drag, from Shakespeare to Japanese Theatre, Pantomime and Vaudeville, to Vancouver Drag culture in the 70's and today. He brought along a pair of Springolator Shoes, with the name Bill inked on the strap. These came from his favorite Salvation Army (Sally Ann) on 12th, between Fraser and Main. Huge wigs and dresses came from a garage sale at a funeral home. Ivan's presentation was a celebration of style, artistry, talent and bravery of a community that was until very recently, secret and often misunderstood.

Peach Cobblah (Dave Deveau) and Isolde N. Barron (Cameron Mackenzie) are a couple in life and in performance. Their music was wide ranging including classic songstresses to hip hop. Their energy and talent brought those they admire most right to us at the MOV!

Costume, Performance, Stories: Collections we need to see and Collectors we are privileged to meet. And they are fantastically curious about what we treasure and especially on what we wear.
Dianna and I wore outfits from My Sister's Closet and Lynn showed off her Value Village Hermes Scarf. For this one evening, I was tall: check out the rose platforms, one of the many donated pairs of brand new fabulous shoes, at My Sister's Closet. I saw vintage Hawaaian shirts, two toned shoes, hats, and glitter galore. Chatted with William Walker, of Walker Millinery about his latest hats and costume projects.  Quite a few members of SMOC were there, too. This was an extremely popular event, with a very interactive audience.

Kudos all, and thanks to MOV for an amazing evening.





What I wore!
 
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