I have been a fan of the art of fashion since I was a little girl. I have always loved colors, textures, styles and brands. It all started when I went to one of my favorite stores, The Gap! I won’t bore you with the preliminaries but I will tell you this: my mom told me that she had about 4 outfits in her hand that included shoes and matching hats and at the tender age of two, I told my mom, “These clothes don’t work for me, let’s look at some other stuff.” Well, she was so shocked that I had an idea about what I wanted that she allowed me to pick everything out and she was impressed. This again, was just the beginning.
What I consider to be extraordinary about me is that I have not only learn the brands and latest trends, but I have actually used my time to educate myself on the history of fashion and the many minute details that make fashion an art. How many teens do you know have an idea of what vucana wool is; that “vintage” does not just mean “old clothes” and that it has an actual date; and that in order to be a Fashionista, it helps that you can also sew and understand the importance of proper stitching.
Now here is something interesting about me: I am a retired model. Yes, I said retired! I placed my heels on the mantel when I was 13 years old because I wanted to do more. Modeling was fun for me and it was yet another experience to add to my claim but there was something more for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, this girl can WERK the catwalk.
However, When I put on my Pandora and listen to my Patra station, Chaka Khan and Teena Marie station…. Chile! I get down! There is no better feeling than moving to the beat and feeling the groove. It feels good to express yourself through dance. Now, I am no Beyonce, but I can definitely cut a rug.
But lately I have been into a dance that has been around for a while and it is everything that a Fashionista loves… It’s called Voguing or Model Walking. The art of Vogue dancing was inspired by Vogue magazine in which the dancers pose like models with different angles and body movements. The style is most famously known and recognized in the city of Harlem and amongst the Latino and African American community. A lot of people also associate the dance with the LGBT community but it has since grown to be acknowledged in many countries and it is not just limited to gays. How can dance ever be limited to one people, am I right?
Most of the dances and walking happens at a ballroom in which the dancers compete for prizes and trophies based on skills, costumes, fierceness and overall appearance. Some dress in “drag” costumes and some do not, it’s a choice. One of the many honored dancers of Voguing (that includes the House of Extravagana headed by Mother Angie Extravaganza), is the “God Father of Voguing”, Mr. Willi Ninja and let me tell you, he and his dancers are AMAZING! Please note that he is the inspiration for Madonna’s classic, Vogue. Let that speak volumes. Check out a video of one of the Ninja children, Benny Ninja.
What is so intriguing to me about the art of voguing is what they call Vogue Fem. This is when you have the elements of hand performance, which the quick movements of the hands, arms, wrists, and fingers. The catwalk is your fierce and classy model walk. Floor performance is when you are lying on the floor and you do an array of moves with your feet, legs and back. There are some people that are so acrobatic that can’t help but think that these people were trained. The duck walk speaks for itself. It is the crouched, squatted, foot-kicking and scooting movements requiring balance on the balls of the feet. Last but definitely not least, is the spins and dips or better known as the “death drop”. It is the death crop that slays me. Check out the video below.
How does one do that without breaking their neck is beyond me!
As of recent, the once underground ballroom event has now surfaced and is in the mainstream with heavy competitions that can bring in thousands of dollars. One of the dance competitions that recognize the three categories of Voguing (old way, new way, Vogue Fem) is the Streetstar Competition.
I always enjoy art and love sharing my discoveries that are new and not so new with others. Check out the videos below and tell me what you think about the art of Voguing. Are you a fan of the New Way, Old Way, or Vogue Fem? Would you attend an event or do you shy away?
Well, I look forward to attending and getting my invitation!!!
Lead photo credit: Battleroom Battle via Blank Digital