Sunday, 24 March 2013

Life's A Drag



I left Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre yesterday on a high.

Watching Priscilla, Queen of The Desert made me want to embrace drag queen chic - ridiculously impractical heels, massive bell-bottoms, crazy head pieces, fake fur, lame, false eyelashes, lurid lipstick and neon eye shadow, lurex, sequins, glitter, catsuits, animal print, feathers and big hair. 


Then I realised I'd been dressing like that for most of my adult life.


Whilst my classmates mooned over the rugby-playing lads from the boys' school and dreamt of wedding dresses, diamond clusters and the happy-ever-after I was climbing out of the bedroom window and podium dancing to Miquel Brown & Hazell Dean at Birmingham's legendary super club, The Nightingale.


The clientèle were a exotic mix of leather boys, drag queens and Boy George wannabes so a skinny teenage girl in 1960s dresses, fetish boots, orange eye shadow, black lipstick and a back-combed to buggery spiral perm barely raised an eyebrow. It made a refreshing change from being the laughing stock of the mainstream wine bars of Walsall. 


Although my gay boyfriends were forever calling round, doing my make-up or borrowing from my massive wardrobe of vintage clothes, my parents never found out about my secret clubbing life or that one of my mates lived in my bedroom for months after his parents disowned him for coming out. I think Mum was quietly pleased that I wasn't very interested in straight boys so there was no chance of me coming home knocked up.


Although I did eventually develop an interest in men I still haven't grown out of climbing the nearest podium (or table) when I hear a banging tune.  

Mary Quant Tiger print cat suit (Helga the Great), Massive platform boots (£2, car boot sale), Accessorize sequined scarf (Birthday present from Liz, 2008), 1970s coat (inherited from Mum), 1970s felt hat (Darling Zoe), Neon feather earrings (75p, Superdrug)

I'm trying not to harp on about the 60 hours of continual snow and sub-zero temperatures the Midlands (and a large part of the rest of the UK) have been subjected to this weekend but this poem says it all.


Ode To Spring by Sonia Florentino

It snowed today
Again
Like yesterday
And once more
Snow tomorrow


A harsh winter

That's what they say

Colder than it's ever been

Snow like we've never seen

Spring... it will be late



But I will wait, for like fate

Spring always follows
Spring always comes
Spring has never failed me

Even under 6 feet of sorrow
No matter how long I burrow
Spring somehow always finds me 

87 comments:

  1. ah Vix you look fabulous, even in the stinking snow, which even I - as much as I normally love snow - am really rather sick of now.

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  2. I wish Spring would hurry up and fine me!!! I'm freezing in Brum with snow way past my ankles ...

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  3. Hazell Dean! There's a blast from the past. I'm still rather fond of a bit of Hi-Nrg, always good to dance to.

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  4. That cat suit has Vix written all over it, you are by far the bravest woman I know. What a fascinating tale of adolescence – it’s clear you’ve always known how to have a good time and live for today, not tomorrow. xxx

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  5. Love that poem! To me it isn't just about spring but something else, what a wonderful piece. x

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  6. So funny, as I read that line I was thinking DOH, you totally dress like a drag queen!!! Bahahhaa, and HOW! Drag Queens have the BEST style. I passed a gorgeous tranny on the way to the supermarket on Saturday, and we looked each other up and down and exclaimed over each other most delightfully! She was sooo beautiful!
    You are rocking my PANTIES off this morning, looking all sexaciously DIVOON! I expect that catsuit is quite nice and warm in that dreadful snow.
    You were so fabulous as a teen, I would have wanted to be your friend so bad! I used to hang out on Oxford St, Sydney's home of all things grand and gay, there were a couple of great drag clubs there, and the funkiest people!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  7. Love you in this catsuit. And I also loved that you let your friend stay with you in your room after his parents threw him out. Keeping him a secret from your parents could not have been a simple thing!

    And I love that you snuck out to go clubbing! I used to do that too at that age. My best friend would sleep over, we'd wait until my dad was asleep and then leave out the window and down the fire escape. Then off to the clubs with the fakest looking of fake IDs but fortunately this was before they started cracking down on that sort of thing in New York.

    If you have pix of you from those clubbing days, you should post 'em!

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  8. Great post , remebering Hazel Dean .. and all the crazy outfits one used to wear!

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  9. Love the coat! I can relate a bit with your teenager story because, although they were straight, some of my friends were going through a big Bowie phase and I was more than happy to have them at home to put make up and do the hair! I also recall a pyjama party where they wore my nightdresses and that was probably the reason why my parents didn't worry too much! xxx

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  10. Fab outfit - love the catsuit!!

    What a shame that you had to house someone because his parents' disowned him for coming out :( how sad for him (at the situation not the living arrangements!)

    www.mancunianvintage.com
    xxx

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  11. X to the O. You are a drag Queen's dream! I love the tiger suit on you too, RAWR!!!!

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  12. You look such a cute little tiger, but reading about your exploits it seems you were a monkey too! Well done you. I would have loved to have seen you in action. Have you got any photos from your clubbing days?

    I had a lovely party phase when I was young. I still love to dance, but I wouldn't want to go clubbing any more.

    I loved that first paragraph. I almost had a thought bubble coming out of my head, thinking, but you DO dress like that! Funny. That middle picture of you in that purple outfit at New Year is just the best. xxx

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  13. OMG - that much snow? I had no idea it was that bad. Maybe you'll have an amazing summer in exchange.

    You're one of only a handful of people who could wear that catsuit so well! I can imagine you wearing it as you dance on a bar somewhere, or lounging across that coat on a shag (ahem!) carpet. Marvelous!

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  14. Aah...Hazell Dean. Proper music that!
    Loving your coat. Pleased to see the hat getting some wear too!!
    Not sure about this snow; I want WARM weather. NOW!
    Z xx

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  15. You do look fab in the snow love.
    I did love all that about the Eighties...the clubs, the tribes, the DIY clothes and the dancing all night. I loved the gay clubs, drag queens and my gay friends, and felt very at home.
    Can't wait for the spring now..it's bound to come....eventually.
    xxxxxxxxxx

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  16. oh poor you vix . that weather is non stop. it isn't snowing here in dublin. but the rain, rain , rain!!

    i love your outfit. and all the photos of your dresses. dressing up is the best it has got me through many of lifes ordeals.

    i was an only child and when i came into my teens i turned int my mothers nightmare with the clothes i wore. god love her. she didn't know what i was into. however i was so obsessed with clothes nothing else was in my orbit. i have nothing but good memories of all my clohes.
    the poem has brought sun into this miserable day. love lucyx

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  17. That catsuit is simply wonderful! Your early clubbing days sound amazing! x

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  18. Wowee you're looking so HOT in the snow, lovely Vix, totally stunning and very Anita Pallenberg in that incredible Quant catsuit!

    What a wonderful poem too, so appropriate for the present weather, and just as much for the human condition. I found a quote recently that I've been finding a great comfort: 'Once in the midst of a seemingly endless winter, I discovered within myself an invincible spring'. Thank goodness for the invincible spring of the human spirit.

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  19. p.s. forgot to say, I so loved reading about your teenage years :)

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  20. Hi there-you really rock this look- I just adore your catsuit and your coat! You sure know how to stay stylish and cosy in this awful weather! xxx

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  21. You dress better than the drag queens Vix. They get it right a lot of the time but you never miss. Me and my friends went through a stage of going exclusively to gay and drag clubs dressed in pvc corsets and faerie wings. It was just so nice to be able to enjoy yourself without drunken morons trying to grope you. Always ended up back in the goth clubs moshing our little hearts out though.
    I am so over the snow too. It's hard not to keep on about it cos it's just so relentless. Spring will come soon I know it! xxx

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  22. Bonito abrigo!
    Saludos
    http://judithbysucre.blogspot.com.es

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  23. ha ha you make me laugh I can imagine you getting up on the podium dancing . xx

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  24. You are amazingly fabulous for taking care of someone who got tossed out for coming out of the closet. Amazingly.

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  25. I do love Priscilla, how can you not be inspired by the drag queen chic? Looking far more glam than me in this rotten weather. Xx

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  26. You are rockin' the cat suit in the snow!!! Gorgeous!!

    I've stood on a bar and sung in my day...LOLOL

    I loved your vintage bathingsuits and if I looked THAT good I'd strut around in them all day !!!!

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  27. Fabulous cat-suit, Vix. And Priscilla is a grand movie/show - I know it can make your spirits soar. Thanks for sharing all the goodness with Visible Monday. xxx

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  28. It takes a lot of guts and a whole lot of attitude to rock that catsuit.. and you have both! I love a woman who stays true to herself when it comes to style :)

    GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

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  29. How I love the collage of all the cool outfits and accessories. Also the story to go with this post is great. It's always good to hear about your life.

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  30. Mary Quant! WOW! I used to sew from her patterns in high school. And your mom certainly left your some iconic pieces of clothing.

    Was chatting with an older gal at my yoga class who said, "Isn't it nice not worry so much about how you're dressed as you get older? You can kind of do anything you want." I nodded and muttered, "Well, that's pretty much never has been a problem for me."

    I came of age in the Glam Rock era of the 70s; 'nuff said. ;)

    As you've quoted Keef in the past, "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing."

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  31. I think, Vix, that if you turned around quickly in the snow in that outfit, you would discover a melted trail in your wake...
    I liked reading about your wonderfully naughty nighlife as a teen. You are the ultimate in Priscilla style. You don't just wear it, you live it. Wild cheering!

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  32. One day I will make a flip flop dress.

    After the 24 hours of non-stop rain, the sun came out today and it was 86! Freaking bi-polar weather.

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  33. SNOW!! That looks like fun to us over here. I know - the novelty factor would soon wear off. My boys curse us every winter that we don't live somewhere where it snows..

    i was a bit like you as a teenager - being involved in teh theatre it was pretty hard to avoid a bevvy of fabulous queens and gay mates... So much more fun then school blue light discos. I was the one that wore 'wierd' clothes. So the one year there was a '70s' theme for a disco that I went to. Several girls borrowed some of my dresses. I am still so angry now because at the disco they arrived, having turned the maxis into minis. So pissed off.
    Humph! Rant over!

    You look great all glam-rockered up in the snow. x

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  34. Fantastic catsuit!! I always hung out with all the gay raver and gay goth boys and you're right, they really appreciated my style, which everybody else though was insane.
    Becky :)

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  35. Hello!, nice to meet you!. Your post really uplifted me!.Lol. I discovered you through my buddy Jo Devoe, I LOVED your interview!. You ooze uniqueness!! (is that a word?). I'm in London, and as you know all it is here in the UK right now is snow snow snow!. So bloody dreadful!. Your funky clothes in such wonderful colours really brightened my (very very early) morning!. You are so imspiring!, and you have inspired me to go out and wear crazy stuff. Because I always want to and then I think ''Better not..'' Lol. Love the poem as well!, I hamy own poetry blog, so thats something I enjoy. Anyways this post was all kinds of amazing!.

    Peace & Love to You & Yours,
    Claire

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  36. You made me laugh with "your gay boyfriends forever coming 'round." I can't believe one lived in your bedroom without your parents finding out! But your secret clubbing sounds like something I did in the last few years of high school, sneaking in with a friend's sister's ID, and leaving my Coke bottle glasses in the car to bump up what I hoped was my cute factor. Of course, I danced with everyone at least once, in no small part 'cause I couldn't see them...

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  37. Podium or tabletop, yep instant dancefloor baby!! The sight of you frolicking in your leopard-print catsuit and faux-fur in the snow has got me all hot and bothered and I don't have to use too much imagination to visualise you looking drag-fabulous at what sounds like the best club in town!!! You are fabulous rain, shine, sleet or monsoon darling!! xxxxxxxx

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  38. You are a lovely person for taking in your friend.

    I hope the sun shines on you and melts all that snow.

    Have a good day, eh?

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  39. Well, damn; you're cute. Or: you're damn cute. Take your pick. I like your whole get up. It's like all your stars aligned on this day. GO! Go! Go!

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  40. Isn't Priscilla wonderful?! It's my new favorite stage musical. :D Speaking of wonderful, I am totally in love with this outfit. The coat, cat suit, sequins, boots--FABULOUS! You are the epitome of fierceness. :) XO

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  41. Great poem. You gotta admit -- snow is pretty, right?
    Not just a catsuit, but a TIGER print catsuit. Simply WOW!
    I never did much clubbing as a student. But since I was in a field that was mostly populated by gay men, any clubbing I did was at gay clubs. And for some reason, more recently, I've been to South Asian LGBT parties, and danced with gorgeous sari-clad queens.

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  42. And when I thought that nothing could be better than your purple cape etc, this catsuit pops up! Since I represent female dragqueens I like this so very much! (People use to visit my blog after google, transvestit, and of course that make me proud.)

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  43. Idwearthat hat and coat any day its a Lille combo. Loved the poem, so perfect for this crappy weather. Glad the theatre was fun too x

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  44. hurrah for Priscilla and all that drag lurex!, you're an inspiration to enjoy our inner drag queen and dance! and you look so gorgeous wearing your fake fur and fabulous hat, all that bijouterie and sexy catsuit and boots!!!, really inspiring whatever the weather, my dear lady!!
    wish you a Hot spring!
    besos

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  45. Fabulous outfit. I saw Priscilla in London and loved every minute of it so might try and catch it again in Brum. The white stuff is rather annoying village life here. Nowt to do but stay indoors and knit :o)

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  46. So peculiar that is snowing again..Spring is more missed than ever, but I'm glad we can keep on wearing fake furs and hats and this outfit is great!!
    I love the playsuit and your coat, you look stunning!!
    I watched Priscilla the movie and I liked it a lot, I bet that in theatre is even more entertaining and I'd really love to see it, when I think about the costumes they really make me want to be more outrageos, ridiculous and crazy!!
    Your boots are awesome, great fashion tips and the poem is perfect for the day!
    Lots of love
    xxxxxxx

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  47. You look absolutely amazing in that cat suit. It's snowing here in Bristol as I type - though only weeny flakes which I hope won't pitch. Surely it's time the great British weather gave us a break sometime very soon - pleeeeeeeease!!

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  48. LOVE your look today and the snow is a dramatic backdrop! Seems I lived a parallel clubbing life to yours only I hadn't discovered vintage yet and my fav clubbing gear was a black mesh tee shirt and Vivienne Westwood hotpants....still have them but can only fit one leg in :-)

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  49. I would love to see that show Vix, Priscilla Queen of the Desert is one of my all time favourite films ever. I'll have to see if it's coming up here. I wish I'd been braver about clubbing when I was younger, though I always had gay friends I never went to many gay clubs until I moved to Glasgow, and they do have a great atmosphere. There was a boy in my home town who loved dressing up and he was gorgeous, some days he'd look like David Sylvian in a suit, then he'd be all frocked up and looking like Princess Diana. I was in awe of him, he as so glam! xx

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  50. I loved reading that poem and about your clubbing years! I too am unable to resist making myself the centre of attention if a song I love comes on and usually climb onto the nearest table/chair.

    Lx

    www.whatlisawrote.blogspot.co.uk

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  51. You look so blooming good, they should have got you on stage dancing in the finale! I love your stories about your mum and dad, they sounded like really cool parents. xx

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  52. What a beautiful poem! I love that leopard print catsuit... And it's a Quant too? Amazing! Love the hat and fake fur, perfect for this weather. Which is hideous. You always look extremely glam and you've definitely cultivated your own drag homage style that's OTT but feminine and wearable. Gay culture is a massive influence on my life too. I can't believe you had a guy living with you and he wasn't noticed, you did an amazing thing for him. I wish I'd gone to more gay clubs, although I was always desperate to pull straight boys when I went out. I can definitely see you as a podium dancer! You could do it now, dodgy hip and all! Xxxxxx

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  53. Well, because I have always been a bigger gal and would often go ott with the hair and make-up I used to ask my friends often if I looked too 'drag queen' lol, so I would have fit in to your social scene ok haha. Since I went to art school and lived in the art quarter of our city I lived and worked alongside some very colourful characters myself.
    V xxx

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  54. Ha ha, I loved the stories of your youth! I can't believe you were able to keep someone staying in your room a secret from your parents!

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  55. Methinks you should have a photo taken atop your little mini-bus in something very flowing....

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  56. What a great poem. So, you've always been a rebellious little so-and-so? I NEVER would have guessed. Fortunately for you, you have the guts to follow your own vision of what you want your life and your looks to be. Do you know how rare that is?!

    Love from Shrewsbury, where there isn't much snow,
    Rosemary of www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

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  57. I used to go clubbing a lot when I was at college and I cringe now when I think about some of the things that I wore! You look fab in that catsuit x

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  58. SNOW!!!!!! I barely notice it because you are fabulous in this outfit! I think our teen years were very similar, I too snuck out my slider but I'm sure I didn't look this cool, that came much much later! I love Priscilla and often tease my Dad and say of all the gay Dads I had to get one who was NOT a drag queen, I think I really got screwed there.

    Now I know why you English are so tough just look at that white madness!!!! I can't wait to chat it up with you today!!!! I haven't bathed, have no make up on but I do have a big huge smile for you!!!
    Love you
    XXOO

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  59. I can just imagine you as a teen, as fabulous then as now! That catsuit is absolutely amazing and you totally rock it! Priscilla is showing at the bristol hippodrome soon and I am really keen to go and see it! Xxxxxxxxxx

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  60. You grow up to be to have the same teen spirit with a larger wardrobe! My mom was also happy that I had many gays friends but she was not pleased that some of then were lesbians as if anyone can change anyone else sexual preferences?
    The poem verse that says that Spring always follows, always comes and that Spring has never failed her sums up many of our Springs expectations.

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  61. Drag queen chic, hah - you do crack me up! I clearly am a wimp to be complaining about the cold - we don't have anywhere near the amount of snow to contend with as you do! (it fell but didn't stick in London) Wow look at all that white stuff! You look very cosy and warm though in that gorgeous shaggy coat. I feel your pain about not booking a warm getaway - I was so tempted to hoof it to Spain for a festival in March and it would have been some welcome respite from this eternal winter!!

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  62. Love the catsuit and that poem is so inspiring.

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  63. Love the history along with the outfit!! Truly a star. As an early teen I also climbed out my bedroom window regularly, but in my small town there weren't any clubs, bars, movie theaters, NOTHING!! But there was a very cute guy who climbed out HIS window and we spent many a night hanging out in the woods. I must have a guardian angel, because unlike your friends, he was straight.

    Love you and your outfit!!! XXOO

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  64. Hi Vix, love the background story and love your look especially the scarf. A little sparkle never hurt anyone!

    xoxo, Bonnie

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  65. No snow here! and it's melting!
    We had the snow last week!
    Love that leopard print jumpsuit so cool with the faux fur!

    Ariane xxx

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  66. Love this snow leopard look Vix, how cool is this Mary Quant jumpsuit? It looks fabularse with your mums coat and the groovy hat. So bored with this weather now, great poem btw. Going to bed with hot water bottle tonight, wahey!

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  67. I think I would have loved The Nightingale, and going dancing with you! I would have been a much happier teenager if I would have had a gay boyfriend and someone like you for a friend. I don't know anyone who could wear a leopard cat suit better than you. I had to laugh when I got to the line where you realized that you had been dressing like a drag queen your whole life. I'd have to say you dress much better than a lot of the drag queens I've seen around here.

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  68. You do drag queen chic as good as anybody I know. The tiger print cat suit is divine.

    We too had a blizzard this past weekend, so your terrain looks familiar. It looks great as a background, but I too hope that spring is around the corner.

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  69. Glad you enjoyed Priscilla. I had tickets a few years back but had to miss it and haven't managed to see it again, will definitely keep my eye out in case it comes to Bristol.Love your story and your drag queen chic!

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  70. Sounds like you had a fabulous evening. My nephew has been desperate to see it. ( lets just say its him to a T!)

    Loving the cat suit, just the thing to raise temperatures in this horrid cold weather. I am so fed up with this horrid white stuff now.

    X x

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  71. Only the one and only Vix could pull that funky and cool jumpsuit off. The makeup is perfect! And, I love the poem! xx/Madison

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  72. You look fab! Your coat is gorgeous. I was very interested in your story - your poor friend was so lucky you were able to hide him. xx

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  73. What a beautiful poem im a bit emotional today so that just set me off again. We haven't snow here but its blinking freezing. only you could pull a cat suit off like that and look gorgeous :-) dee xxx

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  74. Ha, you were a naughty chickie, Vix - and you still are! Love hearing your tales of teenage clubbing and seeing all the examples of Drag Queen Chic!
    That cat suit is phenomenal on you, you are a 70s-esque podium-dancing dream. Now we need just a video of you in action, darling! xxx

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  75. life is a drag and then we die but let's concentrate on the great things in between like dressing up and having fun.I love your style although I'm new to your blog.

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  76. Oh my, you look nakkit with bits of stripes on yourself! Ah I see, Vix the snow tigress is on the prowl...again. She's not a drag, not one bit. No way.

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  77. Okay yet another item you'll have to hide from me, that coat! And you paired it perfectly with everything else. Your mum sure did have fab taste. Mine always had old lady taste even when she was young, boo! XXX PS snow snow go away don't come back another day!

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  78. I remember seeing Hazell Dean at The Nightingale. I bet we were there on the same night.

    The weather is really getting me down now, so thanks for posting that lovely poem. It's cheered me up a bit! xxx

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  79. There really is a lot of nonsense published in the fashion media!

    You look gorgeous, Vix, but you also look warm and cosy too. I can't believe it looks like we're stuck with this weather for at least another week :(

    Your new website is simply fabulous by the way xxx

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  80. You look amazing! Your teen years sound like a ton of fun and I'd love to see some pics.


    xxx

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  81. You always make me smile - you are a treasure! Yes, this cold is ridiculous now, I'm a winter type but enough is enough! When can we wear our floaty chiffon again?
    Minerva ~ xx

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  82. We don't have any snow here, its been snowing today but has not settled...luckily.

    I love your coat x

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  83. You look AMAZING! I ADORE this incredible tiger suit and OH FUCK ME THAT COAT IS TO DIE FOR!!!! You are so fabulous out in the snow - I'd probably never get out of bed in that weather!

    Love you more than SUNSHINE!

    Sarah xxx

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  84. Love to read about your teen-years. You must have had a really great time then.
    And I also love Priscilla. All those gorgeous outfits. And great music.
    (and I love Guy Pearce)
    And you look amazing in your photo's. That purple dress is absolutely gorgeous.
    And that coat from your mom is really a beautifull piece. I so much adore it.
    xxx Jolanda.

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  85. Meow, Meow-I want to pet you, love that outfit!!!

    And, love this post, and funny how similar we all are...snuck out too.;) Lucky for me though my mom would actually drop me off at the clubs...I know she was amazing!!!

    And, since half of my teen friends were gay I had many flamboyant gay boyfriends. Whom surprisingly, even my very religious father loved.

    I always thought it was funny, as I was not allowed to date, but could go out with them no problem...guess he thought I was safe and it was then OK.lol!;)

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xxx