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Gigi Goode Never Gets Rid of A Drag Look

A never-before-seen glimpse inside her studio.

Photo of Gigi Goode in her Drag Studio

“I saw a transparent fish tank pebble that looked like a dew drop,” model and drag artist Gigi Goode recounts. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, if I glue all of these all over a dress, it's going to look like I'm a little pixie covered in dew drops,” she muses. “And that's just going to be adorable.” Goode is describing a look she wore at a recent drag performance that features a near transparent bustier top (whose fabric she fell in love with on a recent trip to Mood as it disappeared against her skin). Now glittering with the aforementioned pebbles, the dress does, in fact, look as if it sat beneath a sprinkler all night—in the most fabulous way possible.

Goode loves to turn the mundane into capital-F Fashion; it’s what garnered a great deal of her initial following. Sparked by something seemingly average, like a mural of the Morton’s Salt girl in her hometown of Chicago, the budding drag queen would design an ensemble that her mother, Kristi Geggie, would then bring to life. (The result of which was a yellow raincoat and a painted bag worn for Drag Race’s Bee Mini challenge). Geggie has made a majority of the drag looks Goode has worn throughout her career. In her teenage years, that meant one a week to stretch funds. Later, as Goode ascended to the hallowed work room of Drag Race, she made a point to specifically wear looks made by her mother, “'Cause girl, you're on Drag Race, you got to have a storyline. And Kristi was my storyline.”

The ensembles in question have evolved in both design and concept. At the onset of her drag evolution, Goode’s first “persona” was that of a 1950s housewife. She loved adding elements of camp and glamour to this everyday character. Her later personas retained that task-specific orientation. “Every time I would go out in drag, I wanted to be a drag version of a different kind of career,” Goode explains. “So I'd be a businessman or a party clown, or a construction worker, or a fencer.”

It should come as little surprise that Barbie was her biggest influence. And it wasn’t just about the glamour of the big hair and painted face. No matter which of her ubiquitous career endeavors Barbie selected, she was going to do it in style. “She may have been an astronaut, but you better believe her astronaut suit was pink,” Goode reiterates. Throughout childhood, Goode was often found with a Barbie in hand. Of course, she had to take an active role in Barbie’s ensembles, crafting outfits out of napkins and toilet paper. At the same time, her mother was performing a more sophisticated operation, fashioning Goode’s designs into clothing (in this case, with the help of a sewing machine) for Barbie’s more life-like cousins: the American Girl Dolls.

The dolls made Goode fall in love with the process of it all, whether that was turning paper towels into ball gowns or chopping Kaia's hair into an unflattering bob, much to her mother’s dismay. Today, that has evolved into a love of getting ready. “It’s therapeutic.” An entire room in her Los Angeles home services this desire. Goode’s “drag room” serves as both glam room and archive. “I just wanted a place where I could put all of my shit, because I collect a lot of shit and I love my things.” The racks come alive with eccentric shapes and structures reaching off their hangers. Sheer orange curtains from the window, bags serve as art, and mannequin heads exhibit luscious faux tresses. “I can't get Pee-wee's Playhouse out of my mind,” she says when thinking about the space. “Everything that means something to me, I keep.”

Though Goode began as an outfit repeater—“I have been and will always be a frugal bitch”—she now seldom re-wears a drag ensemble. The pieces themselves diagram the timeline of her life. There’s a patchwork look that dates back to her teenage years. Her mom fashioned the pastel pants and top out of a tablecloth left over from Easter church service. The jacket she added for Drag Race’s spring runway years later. Another sentimental favorite was the powder blue, 80s prom-inspired look she wore on the Eleganza challenge on Drag Race. Made by her mother the night before she left, this one bears a ruffled front and a silk satin train. It’s from an era in which Goode was interested in the camp aspects of drag—now she’s more interested in the fashion of it all.

Next to the sartorial timeline, you’ll find a few of Goode’s accidental collections. She has a thing for “red bottoms,” or Louboutins. “No shoe designer has ever been able to make a heel that looks as stunning on the foot as a Christian Louboutin’s,” she explains. Goode has a special thing for the 120-millimeter So Kate heels. “Nobody makes heels that high because everyone is a coward.” Close by, you’ll notice her fabulous collection of wigs. One in particular sports 50 inches of blonde human hair, which Gigi assembled herself. “It was my Oedipus of hair,” she says of the process.

In recent years, she’s turned into a student of fashion herself, citing Jeremy Scott and Thierry Mugler as inspiration. “Our brains work in similar ways when it comes to referencing not only pop culture, but referencing cars, cleaning supplies, TV dinners—the stuff that shouldn't be fashion,” she says of the former. Right now, Mugler is capturing his attention more than anyone else because of his reverence for the body. Her own silhouette-focused designs are caricatures of the human form, “almost cartoon-like in a way,” she describes them. “I think my personal style is very fashion illustration.”

After trying on all of those personas and design aesthetics for size, she’s found a groove with her own sense of style and identity. Fashion served as “the outward expression of how I was feeling on the inside,” the trans icon explains, while drag allowed her to experiment. During her tenure on season 12 of Drag Race, she identified as gender fluid, then later came out as trans nonbinary in 2021 via Instagram after a facial feminization surgery. She has since revealed she prefers she/her pronouns. “Ever since I was little, I felt like my internal self was a tall, beautiful woman,” Goode explains. “And to have evolved into that in my day-to-day life has been a really special thing. I am Barbie now, which feels correct.”

Photographer: Myles Loftin
Creative Director: Talun Zeitoun
Hair & Makeup: Gigi Goode
DP: Yong Kim
Photo Assistant: Evadne Gonzalez
Associate Producer: Claire Flanagan
On-Site Producer: Alyssa Sonn

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