Tucked away in a cosy little enclave of London’s Royal Victoria Dock lies the ExCeL Centre, the glittering diamond in our capital’s cultural crown. This past weekend saw a veritable who’s who of Drag Race royalty descend upon the hallowed convention centre for RuPaul’s DragCon, swapping out the regular boat shows for another set of empty vessels (see: shade).
First launched in sunny LA back in 2015, DragCon’s UK edition was wiped off the calendar when COVID hit, but is back with a beat after three years in the wilderness. For the long-awaited return to British soil, we sent fellow drag queen, DJ and presenter Lagoon Femshayma down to the dockside to see what the girls were up to.
As expected, there was a lot going on. Over one hundred Drag Race queens paraded the pink carpet in an undeniably high-glamour entrance; A’Whora performed a rendition of “U K Hun?” with the Teletubbies as backup dancers (full choreo included); and RuPaul even did her very own DJ set, resplendent atop a giant flatscreen bearing her own image, waving down at the baying masses below. “This feels like what it must have been like in Ancient Rome,” screeched Lagoon like a gawking monkey, “where Caesar Augustus was like ‘hello subjects!’”
We also quizzed the attendees on their beauty predictions for the new year, plus the trends they’d love to leave in 2022, and the results were varied. In? Elf ears, clean lace, and unfettered self-expression. Out? Trying too hard, prescriptive femininity and, you guessed it, trends themselves. As Ellis Atlantis told Lagoon on the convention room floor, “the trend is not to be a trend… just do what makes you happy”.