A very short while ago, we profiled and showcased a series of drag queens across the UK who we believe contest and shine over the American drag that seems to get the limelight. But how could we limit ourselves to just one series of queens when so many across our nation impress cabaret crowds, Instagram followers, East London clubs and 4am kebab shops week upon week upon week? To celebrate the size of our community, we’ve gone and done it again, like it or not, and pulled together more of our favourite queens, club kids and everything in between that is taking British drag to International recognition.
As proudly boasted then, the era of tactical makeup artistry, complete gender blurring, haute couture fashion, contemporary youth and club kid unapologeticism is en vogue, en pointe and probably on a few triple vodka cranberries. Drag has broken gender binaries, expectations and realisations and formed itself into an art form like any other, enticing a wide female audience to not only enjoy, but partake in. Because the UK is so tiny in the grand scheme of things, it offers little urban communities to come together and throw a curveball on their own styles of drag. From this, it ensures each city offers something new, exciting, refreshing and infinitely talented to feast the eyes on.
No doubt a face you’ll recognise, or a contour at least, Danny Beard has been a crown jewel of the UK drag scene for quite a while now but recently rose to national fame following his appearance of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent with one hell of a Rocky Horror Show rendition. Adding a little (actually, quite a lot) of glitter, a monochromic contour that could cut to the bone and padding for days, Danny is certainly a darling across Birmingham, Manchester and beyond. Ain’t he a babe. Swoon.
#currentmood Image by Chris Cooper #WILDFLOWERS #COOCHIECRUNCH #BRISTOL A photo posted by Lydia L'Scabies (@lydialscabies) on Jun 8, 2016 at 2:15pm PDT
Self dubbed as a “face that says ‘wear a condom'”, Lydia is undoubtedly queen of filth. A slightly haunting, slightly dirty, slightly cabaret darling to the Brit-drag scene, making appearances across the club scene more than scabies itself (sorry). A real talented queen, Lydia seems to be one of those queens stages and clubs across the UK seem to be yearning for her presence (or from what we’ve heard anyway).
…Doom.Bunni 7.. (Dark.Rabbit.Edition) #ariannagrande #dangerouswoman #whoworeitbest #rabbit #art #bunny #easter #music #transformations #clubkid #clubqueen #garlandsbedlam #liverpoolqueens #makeup #instadrag #diydrag #Muacosmetics #fashion #opulence #glam #kryolanmakeup #bodyart #mua #rupaulsdragrace #rpdr #doombunni #colourvueselfie #dragaholic #dragqueen A photo posted by Kalypso Bang (@kalypso_bang) on Mar 24, 2016 at 2:06pm PDT
My goodness. A fierce looker both in and out of drag, Calypso is a queen who can give you alt looks one night, fish the next, cabaret the next and something completely out of this world the next, most likely having you repent for your sins and gagging on everything you want, need, desire and yearn from drag. Throw in loud headpieces, essence of Grace Jones and shit loads of glitter and you might be able to imagine Ms Bang.
✨ A photo posted by Elliott Barnicle (@elliottbarnicle) on Mar 6, 2016 at 8:27am PST
Probably taller than you. Serving you boy drag daydreams, Mr Barnicle is serving up modernity straight onto Birmingham’s warming queer scene. Prowling the streets of Brum and guzzling up the love of men in the Nightingale smoking area, Elliott is the breathe of fresh air the Birmingham clubkid scene needed, alongside the likes of Boo Sutcliffe, Anna Lies and the Housewives of Birmingham. A gay little dream for Pythagoras, Elliott is usually littered in triangles. Period.
So here it is. My NYX UK Face Awards Top 10 entry! The theme was Alter Ego. I have many different styles and characters when I create my looks, so for this one I chose an other worldly alien. Colourful, detailed and always trying new techniques. Details are in the video description. I also made the headpiece out of hair (I'll upload a photo tutorial in a few days) Video link is in my bio! This round of the competition is public voting, so when the time comes I'd really appreciate all the help I can get in voting me through to the top 5. Massive thank you to everyone for all of your support, and especially to @nyxukcosmetics for everything you've given me! Good luck to the rest of the top 10 guys and gals! #nyxukcosmetics #nyxuk #nyxcosmetics #faceawards #ukfaceawards #nyxukfaceawards #alien #artistry #vividbrights #strobeofgenius #ombreblush #headpiece #millinery #canalstreet #manchesterqueens #gayleeds #gaymanchester #top10 #makeupchallenge #makeuphaul #like #follow #love #valsquadchallenge A photo posted by Gisele (@theothergisele) on Jun 11, 2016 at 3:04am PDT
Currently a top ten in the NYX Cosmetics face awards, Gisele is nothing short of a face artist and one that not many contest to (I mean, does the photo above not prove that). Every look is loud, bursting in hue and talents not many could articulate to justice. A Leeds queen, you’ll find this northern queen lurking in the fabulous shadows of Mission2. The drag queen you wish you were. Period.
@hurrrland does it again! Another incredible hair fantasy for @sinkthepinkldn ball tonight celebrating @onlybourgeoisie birthday! #PrayForMe A photo posted by Meth (The Drag Queen) (@dontdodrugsdometh) on Mar 12, 2016 at 1:45pm PST
Big eye makeup, bigger lips, biggest personality. Introducing Meth, exactly what your parents wanted you to stay away from. One of the finest young British drag talents. Quite the online celebrity, with almost 30k followers on Instagram, Mistress of the Meth Lab, this is a queen of volume (both sonically and within her wigs), a star of Drag Queens of London and an all round threat and usually paired with our next queen, Bourgeoisie.
#regram from @sinkthepinkldn's last ball. ⛪️⛪️⛪️⛪️ A photo posted by Bougie (@onlybourgeoisie) on Apr 6, 2016 at 6:13am PDT
Come-awnnnnn metallic head wraps. A name as political as all 1463 pages of Les Miserables, this London queen is a Sink the Pink regular, Room Service attendee and woman of the night. Looking this good apparently means stacking five pairs of lashes on top of each other and spending your last year of studying fine art watching drag tutorials online. Probably covered in glitter right now. Probably.
I dare you to find a queen who can pull of a beard as well as Maxi More. After all, more is less and Madame More loves a little more. One of London’s fabulous alt queens, Maxi articulates and signposts perfectly how drag is changing, what it’s truly becoming. Blurring gender distinctions and not looking like a man or a woman, drag has henceforth formed a form of complete gender fuckery, and a fuckery Maxi succeeds immensely.
Lolo Brow after her Lizard People / David Icke performance at Virgin Xtravaganzah presents Illuminati @lolobrow A photo posted by Damien Frost (@harmonyhalo) on Oct 30, 2015 at 10:11pm PDT
Representing the gals of drag, in the same right and way of the aforementioned Lacey Lou, Boo Sutcliffe and Amber Cadaverous, Lola Brow’s Lizard look (performed at Virgin Xtravaganzah Presents Illuminati) has formed itself as one of the most iconic looks of London drag in the past few years. Reptiles have never been so sexy and Lola’s queer mashup of zoology and drag represents everything everyone loves and wants from modern day club kid drag. Viva la Lizard gal.
Virginia Wright at the Church of Sink The Pink @virginiawrightx NIGHT FLOWERS the book is available for pre-order via merrellpublishers.com Launching 6pm 24th March, Photographers Gallery, London. Supported by @illamasqua All welcome! A photo posted by Damien Frost (@harmonyhalo) on Mar 16, 2016 at 2:09pm PDT
A talented little heartache on the London scene, Virginia is a darling through and through and through and through. A singer, musician by day and queen that can demonstrate looks to kill, Virginia is a night flower in every right and way. Having fallen for her Church of Sink the Pink look (seen above), we’ve been obsessing over this quirky lil’ queen’s looks and talents every day since. Catch this queen across the Big Smoke, you won’t regret it.