History & Culture

How Drag Became One of the Fashion Icons of the 20th Century

The 20th century was one of the most influential and ever-changing periods especially when it comes to fashion, the fashion industry usually takes many influences from a wide range of different sources and the 30th century was no exception. We saw many different developments in fashion during this time with active and sportswear making many appearances within the world of mainstream fashion. A strong influence that you may be surprised to hear about when you think of the 20th century would have to be the huge role that drag has played within fashion. Drag has seen a huge shift into the mainstream world in recent years but in the 20th century, some aspects of drag were not as huge a part of mainstream society as they are now.

 

As the influence of drag has seen a huge increase I think it would be safe to say that its influence within the fashion world has also grown, fashion relies upon trends in clothing and what is considered to be popular at a given time. With social media playing a huge part in this process it is clearer than ever that drag has influenced some of the world’s most luxurious fashion releases as enthusiasts often make comparisons between a drag queen’s work and high-end runway outfits. There are many reasons that could have contributed towards making drag such a fashion influence, which I will be detailed below.

 

Drag Race

Although drag has been around for a very long time it could be argued that its popularity has been brought about due to the recent drag interest when it comes to television. Hit show RuPaul’s Drag race is one of the most successful shows within its genre, it has even developed to become an Emmy award-winning show which I think is a testament to the show’s popularity and its influence within mainstream media. Drag Race has become a factor within the fashion world due to the large following that the show has and the fact that so many fashion statements are made on their iconic runway. With the show’s super famous host it is no surprise that the show has such a large amount of popularity with Rupaul creating his strong reputation throughout the years.

 

Trends in Drag Styles

With fashion becoming such a strong factor within the world of drag we have seen many influences make appearances on top runways around the world. It is not always in a dramatic way that we will see elements of drag within fashion but more subtle inclusions of hairstyles, certain fabrics, or a new combination of clothing items are very common. An example of a trend in drag styles that we have seen in the fashion industry would be things like using a human hair wig and certain fabrics which have been seen on many Queens which have also been seen on the top models.

 

Drag Queen Work Ethic

One of the reasons that we may see drag as a very fashionable industry would be the fact that drag queens are known for having a great work ethic, many queens make their own outfits and style their own hair and makeup so it could be argued that they are skilled when it comes to constructing a fashionable garment. Many drag queens have the experience and the mindset to be able to keep track of trends in the fashion world and to choose the correct pieces to build their drag repertoire whilst remaining in sync with what is going on in the fashion world.

 

The Clubbing Scene

One of the most famous eras of drag would have to be the drag clubbing scene, with iconic eras and groups such as the Klub Kids showing off their unique fashion to their adoring fans. The Klub Kid style of drag is something that cannot be at all replicated in any other art form, so the fact that we can see this kind of drag having an influence in fashion would be a clear indicator of the level of power and influence that drag has, this unique clubbing scene within drag is home to some of the wackiest and most interesting fashion choices.