VOGUING IS VOGUE
Whether its taking a spectacular tumble at the Brits, speaking in tongues with Britney or reeling off jaw-dropping spread eagles in Hung Up, Madonna has always been one to turn heads. I even thought Madonna was the creator of stylishly turning the hands around the head – otherwise known as Voguing.
This thinking turned out to be quite a faux paus. I reached enlightenment this weekend at the hands of Seen On Screen, during one of their brilliant workshop’s. SOS unveiled my eyes to the flamboyant and cutesy underground world of Voguing which I never knew existed.
Madonna was undoubtedly the catalyst for a Voguing phenomenon but the movement gained fashionable footing back in the mid 1960’s from the Harlem ballroom scene. African and Latin Americans from the LGBT scene (in particular drag queens) would emulate the affluent, fashionable women they spotted strutting around New York’s streets. The dancers imitated the striking, rigid and angular body movements which VOGUE models became household names for. Voguing also blew life apon far more ancient times: poised figures in Egyptian art and hieroglyphics. Omni Burris claims vouging was not only ‘a celebration of beauty’ but ‘vogue was a beautiful escape, a way to dance away the pain and oppression they [LGBT communities] were experiencing’.
Formal Voguing competitions were held in the form of balls, where different houses [different LBGT communities] competed against one another. Madonna was so impressed by Voguing sensation Willie Ninja (from the House of Ninja) that she asked him to choreograph her 90’s hit Vogue.
The voguing movement has stylishly passed through three different fashions, the ‘old way’ (pre 1980- hard angles and straight lines), the ‘new way’ (post 1990- rigid movements paired with contorted limbs, hand and wrist illusions) and ‘Vogue Femme’ (circa 1995- revolving extreme fluidity, exaggerated feminine movements, tricks and stunts). FKA Twigs is the latest star adopting it as her trademark and making it more iconic than ever.