Jan 11, 2011 12:00AM

Oyster Recommends: Paris Is Burning

Our Fashion Director Imogene Barron recommends one of her favourite videos.

Every week, one of our super-interesting Oyster all-stars is going to recommend one of their favourite things. First up: Fashion Director, Imogene Barron.

Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary about the ball culture of 1980s New York. Contestants 'walked', or competed, for trophies and other prizes. Some participants danced or vogued, while others performed in different genres of drag, or as exaggerated social stereotypes - such as Commentator vs Commentator (where MCs showcased their ability to hype the crowd), Hands Performance (a vogue routine using hands only, or Banjee Realness (where contentants were judged on their similarity to a certain type of Latino, Black, or multiracial gay men).

Imogene has this to say about the film:
 

Anyone who hasn't seen it should watch it because drag is a really important part of life. I wish that they were all my friends. People should also know where Madonna got Vogue from (and what those Hercules & Love Affair Banjee t-shirts actually meant). Everybody's school dances should have been like this. It's inspirational, but also sad because a lot of them have sadly passed away.

and Imogene Barron