Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Legendary: Crystal LaBeija, Remixed

Lady Bunny did a short post this week about Crystal LaBeija (above), and I'm taking the liberty of expanding upon it a little bit...

Crystal LaBeija was a legendary drag queen and the founder of the House of LaBeija. From wiki:
In 1977 an imperious, elegant queen named Crystal LaBeija announced that a ball she’d helped put together was being given by the House of LaBeija, as in House of Chanel or House of Dior. It was a p.r. gimmick, something to add a little more panache and, not incidentally, to increase the luster of Crystal LaBeija. The concept caught on, and suddenly every ball was being given by a house. Some queens named their house after themselves, like Avis Pendavis’ House of Pendavis or Dorian Corey’s House of Corey. Others took the names of established designers like Chanel or St. Laurent. 
Crystal gets a shout-out at the very beginning of Paris Is Burning, when Pepper LaBeija (below) introduces herself (I'm reciting from memory, so this probably isn't an exact quote):

"My name is Pepper LaBeija - legendary Mother of the House of LaBeija.
Not the founder - Crys was the founder. I just rule it now ... with a soft glove".

But Crystal LaBeija is probably best known as the sore loser in 1968's drag beauty contest documentary, The Queen. Please watch this all the way through - this rant is TRULY legendary...

"Look at her makeup! It's TURRIBLE!!"

Well, it took 40+ years, but Crystal LaBeija has been remixed - and it's pretty damn hot:

This track is the OPPOSITE of "turrible" - it's FIERCE.


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