Alaska Nebraska is the queen serving you homemade Moschino, Versace, and Saint Laurent
It’s an obvious statement, but fashion and drag go hand-in-hand. If you need receipts, look no further than the lewks of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s reigning queen, Aquaria, or season 9 winner Sasha Velour – who just appeared at Opening Ceremony’s SS19 show with Xtina. For Spanish make-up and drag artist Alaska Nebraska, her passion for fashion started at a young age, when she was (as she puts it) “A little bitch who liked fashion.”
“I’ve always been in love with magazines, fashion shows, and films,” she explains. “And I’ve always wanted to be part of a world that used to seem out of reach.” Creating the character of Alaska two years ago, the drag star takes inspiration from the fashion of cult films like Heathers, Clueless, and Jawbreaker, with her design heroes including Jeremy Scott and Donatella Versace.
“They are two creators who have done wonderful things with the legacy of the houses they currently work for,” Alaska says. “Both of their shows and look are a sight to behold, they are the basis of my style and that’s why I’m so determined to recreate iconic looks that I’ve had in mind for years.” It’s easy to see the influences of her idols on her looks, as she regularly pays homage to looks like Versace’s Pop Art print dress, Jeremy Scott’s Jackie O-esque Moschino aliens, and the heart-shaped fur coat from Hedi Slimane’s final Saint Laurent collection.
“Alaska isn’t just me, it’s my partner too – between us we create the complete look,” the artist explains. “Sometimes it takes weeks and other times we only have a few days. We go through all kinds of emotions, but seeing people value the work more every day makes us want to continue.”
Now she is more established on the drag scene, what looks can you expect from Alaska? “I have lots in mind, I’m just trying to find the perfect moment to show them,” she concludes. “I like not revealing anything, so it’s a surprise. With me you’ll never know what’s going to be next.”
Here, Alaska talks through some of her most iconic fashion recreations – from Moschino’s Jackie O aliens to Parsons graduate Kota Okuda’s giant money clip.
“The money clip dress is one of my most recent looks, and was also the most fun we’ve had. The original design is by Kota Okuda, a jewellery designer who created a collection of dresses for her graduate collection for Parsons during the NYFW SS19 shows. His entire collection is amazing, but the money clip look captivated me – it’s the kind of thing I’m always looking to create. Despite all the stress involved, it’s one of my favourite looks.”
“Every time I create a look for an event or party, I like to be part of the theme. In this case, it was an event for a make-up brand. At first, I wanted to go as a giant cosmetic product, but I saw Miley Cyrus wearing a look by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and I thought ‘why not?’ This recreation was made out of cardboard and paper. It wasn’t comfortable at all, but none of my looks are really…”
“Just like the money clip, this was another look I knew I had to recreate as soon as I saw it. The first time, I made one in blue with vintage looks from the 60s – it was my most-liked look on Instagram so I was asked to do it again for a party during Pride. I was happy to repeat it, but I wanted to do it in another colour. Lots of people thought I was wearing coloured stockings, but both times my whole body was painted in the colour to match my face.”
“This look was at the beginning of Alaska’s career. It was the first time I had been hired at a party and the looks were much simpler because I couldn’t invest that much in them. We looked at one of my favourite Moschino shows, SS15, and I began to imagine myself in a look that might fit. We opted for a towel dress with a matching turban, covered in crystals. We made everything match, down to the smallest details, like earrings that were glitter-covered plugs, and a glitter face mask. There was a wet floor sign that we added our own touch to, reading: CAUTION WET PUSSY.”
“The party for this look didn’t really have a theme, but there was a fryer on the flyer so we improvised. We decided to make a McDonalds menu – like Moschino AW14 – consisting of two boxes of French fries as a bra, a Happy Meal fascinator, and a handbag shaped like a drink. I still have the look at home and people always ask me to take the bra to parties.”