High-End Drag Takes The Runway

T Camarillo portrait

There’s more to drag queens than the clothes they wear; there’s life, color, sass, and a whole lot of power. B.F.A. fashion design student T Camarillo wanted to show the world what high-end drag is really about. Drag performers are seen as illusionists as if they are just performing and putting on a show for the people to see and enjoy. The beauty on the inside gives people something curious to think about. It’s the part that no one sees or contemplate — the most important and hidden gems.

For Camarillo, drag transcends fashion. “I wanted to put on a show for the runway. I didn’t want to put on a collection that could be seen as commercial,” he said. “It’s about the personality and the attitude that a drag queen has. I wanted to show that.” His clothes are for the powerful, sexy, self-assured women. It’s about glamour and confidence, and he wants his clothes to be a vehicle for self-expression.  

T Camarillo sketch

What makes high-end drag so special is her appealing look and specialized taste. In Camarillo’s women’s collection, high-end and traditional drag components such as eyelashes, rhinestones, and full wigs are featured frequently, but mostly as a metaphor; the exaggerated eyelashes link to the length of his pieces. The wigs embody the volume of his dresses and skirts. The rhinestones convey feeling good, looking good, and being untamed.

Materials include fringe curtain as a trim, in-house made crystal fringe and crystal embellishments, and fake acrylic nails as another asset. With his handmade garments, Camarillo wanted to remind people that self-expression is always good and that it’s okay to be yourself in every possible way.

Follow T. Camarillo on Instagram: @the.tcamarillo

Words by Madison Ahmani, BA Fashion Journalism