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Monday’s a Drag: Queens and Wine

Audrey Bonfig Audrey Bonfig Monday’s a Drag: Queens and WineMonday's a Drag models (l to r) Vivian Von Brokenhymen, Stella Boheme and Nikole Trader. All photos by Mark E. Fohl.
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Monday evening was the second night of Alternative Fashion Week with Monday’s a Drag, which took place at Camelot Cellars in the Short North. The event featured four drag queens, with a wine pairing that matched each queen’s unique personality.

Janine Aquino, the proprietor behind the Short North wine boutique, is no stranger to fashion events taking place at her business. “We’ve done a lot of events with Alternative Fashion Mob as well as Columbus Fashion Week,” Aquino said. With her history of working with the mob, Camelot Cellars was a shoe-in to host one of the Alternative Fashion Week events, for which Monday’s a Drag was chosen.

For Aquino, one of the best aspects of the event was pairing a wine with each queen’s unique personality, for which she was able to put her extensive wine knowledge to good use. “Making the wine pairings was really fun,” Aquino said, “We ran a Facebook thread where we posted the photos that the queens sent to me, along with descriptions of they are as a person. So I put the two together and if they said they were ‘spicy’ or ‘sassy’ or ‘silly,’ I picked a wine to match to their personalities.”

One of the queens who walked in the show was Nikole Trader, a leggy bronzed brunette who was clad in a gorgeous purple sequined kaftan. Trader described how drag wasn’t something she knew she always wanted to do, but rather something that happened unexpectedly, “It was something I just fell into. It went on from there and I decided I wanted to keep doing it because I loved it,” Trader said.

For queen Stella Boheme, who channeled a more classic persona in a voluminous black ball gown, drag is all about one thing: performing. “For me drag is all about performing, it’s about being on stage and making sure that the audience is enjoying themselves. But at the end of the day, it’s also about not taking life too seriously, and learning that we all need to let go and have fun once in a while,” Boheme said.

While Trader and Boheme were both set apart by their unique personalities, they did have one thing in common: Isolda Meade, the designer behind Isolda Couture. Meade, who designed the costumes for Trader and Boheme, described how she first got acquainted with the world of drag, “I first got into drag couture by going to drag shows, and I would notice that many of the costumes didn’t fit the queens properly. A lot of them looked really gaudy with sequins and beads just thrown on the garments, and it just wasn’t flattering,” Meade said. “So I thought, why couldn’t we design a dress that fit well, was flattering, and was also custom.” Meade’s custom-made designs ensure that each and every drag queen’s look will be unique, and will also be tailor-made to fit each queen’s unique personality.

With the effervescent queens, Meade’s beautiful designs, and great wine, the evening was a success. The event also showed just how fun and innovative drag fashion can be, and is something that should become a mainstay on the alternative fashion scene.

For more information, visit www.alternativefashionmob.org.

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