Jean-Charles de Castelbajac

The mad genius of fashion …

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Strike a Pose, There’s Nothing to it. Vogue.

“Reading is the real artform of insult,” explained Venus Xtravaganza in Paris Is Burning. “You get in a smart crack, and everyone laughs and ki-kis because you found a flaw and exaggerated it then you’ve got a good read going on… Vogueing is the same thing. Taking two knives and cutting each other up, but in a dance form.” This artistic competition born out of adversity draws comparisons with the early days of b-boy culture in the South Bronx, as Robbie Saint Laurent tells Regnault: “I think voguing was probably a gay version of breakdancing in a way. But it was only done pretty much in private. When it was in a club setting, it was more like a duel, people dancing with one another to see who can dance the best.”