Violet Chachki Makes History At First Met Gala Attended By Drag Queens
The "Rupaul's Drag Race" Season 7 winner attended with designer Jeremy Scott.
Violet Chachki attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. Courtesy of Getty Images.
At Monday night’s 49th annual Costume Institute Benefit—also known as The Met Gala—history was made when the first known drag queens to walk the runway made their dramatic entrances onto the carpet. The timing couldn't have been better with this year's theme—“Camp: Notes on Fashion”—practically a drag queen's wet dream.
First there was Aquaria in Maison Margiela by John Galiano. And of course, the mother of mainstream drag, RuPaul, who was also photographed by Annie Leibovitz in the May Camp-themed issue of Vogue. Last, but certainly not least, there was Violet Chachki, wearing a look from Jeremy Scott's Moschino Fall 2018 menswear and women's Pre-Fall show.
“I think we understand each other on an interesting level. He gets a lot of hate in the fashion community and we’ve talked about that a lot. And I think what he does to the fashion world is kind of what drag does to society: it pokes fun at it,” Chachki told us over the phone in the days leading up to the gala.
During out chat, GARAGE caught up with Chachki to find out what this moment means for her, one of the first drag queens and one of the first out gender nonconforming individuals to walk the carpet, and for the community.
GARAGE : How did your relationship with Jeremy first begin?
Violet Chachki: I met Jeremy at the VMAs in 2015, the same year that I had won Drag Race. We saw one another on the red carpet, told him that I was a huge fan of his work for a long time and we just kinda exchanged contacts, hung out a little bit. And then I went to a couple of his shows in New York. Athen he asked me at his party in Miami at Art Basel to walk in Moschino's Fall 2018 menswear and women's Pre-Fall show. And I ended up closing that show with Oslo Grace. Funny enough, the gown I’m wearing is actually from that show; It’s actually the gown that walked out right before me in the show. And then I closed Moschino’s Resort 2019 collection in Los Angeles and did an aerial number.
How did you find out that Jeremy wanted you to attend as his date, a big honor considering you’d be following in the footsteps of Cardi B, who attended as Jeremy’s +1 last year?
VC: When I heard the theme I had thought ‘Oh my gosh, this is the perfect theme for me, perfect theme for drag, perfect theme for queer people,’ especially after reading Susan Sontag’s “Notes on ‘Camp.’” And I was at my house one day and Jeremy texted me and was like, ‘Hey, where are you? I wanted to talk to you about the Met.’ And once I got that text I just lost all of my shit. I was like, ‘Um…. what about it?” And that’s when he invited me.
Speaking of Sontag’s essay, how do you interpret Camp through the lens of the Met Gala—and why do you think drag fits so perfectly given the theme?
VC: I almost feel like they chose this theme as an excuse to invite drag queens. “Notes on ‘Camp’” talks a lot about homosexuality and androgyny and performance and a false seriousness, nit-picking the trivial things and making them funny. And that’s exactly what drag does. Reading through the entire essay I couldn’t help but relate all of it back to drag. And course drag is at its peak right now as far as mainstream exposure visibility so it kind of was a natural pairing and it worked out perfectly that I’m lucky enough to be relevant in a time when their having this as the theme.
Do you feel any pressure as one of the first drag queens and gender nonconforming individuals to walk such an esteemed carpet?
VC: There are so many drag queens out there that would slay the Met Gala and deserve this exposure and visibility. And so it feels like a lot of pressure to represent my community in such a visible and loud way. And I just hope that I do a good job. I plan to take a lot of space. And be extremely campy. It’s about exaggeration and I plan to be very exaggerated. It’s pressure for sure, but it’s also really excited and I’m excited to be kind of the figurehead of the drag world at this event.