Most stylish New Yorkers: Lady Bunny

The wisecracking drag diva and DJ flaunts showstopping frocks, larger-than-life baubles---and even bigger hair.

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  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    "This look has nothing to do with fashion, but it's fantastic onstage," says Lady Bunny of this red ruffled confection, whipped up by "drag sister" and freelance costume designer Dustin Winters. "It's very old-school drag glamour---in fact, it was modeled after a duster coat they gave me after season two of RuPaul's Drag U, on which I play the Dean of Drag," she adds.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    If you don't have bling to match your outfit, try Lady Bunny's secret...

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    These red, holographic-crystal-studded stilettos are from a "stripper store" in Hollywood called Lady Studio Exotic Shoes. "They sell slutty shoes in large sizes," notes Lady Bunny. "And I'm a petite 12."

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    Lady Bunny's lollipop-size faux-ruby ring was created by New York designer David Mandel (917-434-4571), while the stone cluster was a brooch converted by drag-queen jeweler Farrah Moans (facebook.com/farrahmoans). For back-scratcher talons, she simply applies square-tipped Kiss nails (kissusa.com) with Krazy Glue and gives them a lick of white frosted polish. "I can't wear them this long onstage since they tend to pop off," she confides. "I honestly don't understand how real women wear this length and wipe!"

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    Geoffrey Mac made this bubble-embellished minidress for Lady Bunny's DJ gig at a Paco Rabanne fragrance-launch party during Paris Fashion Week. "It was meant to invoke Paco's designs of the late 1960s," she explains. "Of course, the Mylar bubbles cut the thread that attaches them. My attempt at an homage looked rather pitiful since it broke whenever I moved."

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Style Icon; Most Stylish New Yorkers; Features; Lady Bunny

    This rhinestone-encrusted planet ring, designed by David Mandel, "actually spins like a disco ball inside its orbit," says Lady Bunny.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    These glitzy drop earrings are another David Mandel creation, and were "made from rhinestone balls found in one of the brilliant notions stores near Times Square," she recounts. "I know that online shopping is all the rage, but you need to physically feel a fabric to see how it hangs---kind of like I do with my dates. Oink!"

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    These towering platform thigh-high boots were another Lady Studio Exotic Shoes purchase. "Perhaps because they were pale green, they were only $35," speculates Lady Bunny. "I spray-painted them black to add to the Barbarella feeling---but please don't think I'm delusional enough to compare myself to the stunning Jane Fonda, who starred in that film."

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    When Lady Bunny spied a mannequin draped with contrasting fabric in a Garment District store window, she "had to have a dress like that" she recalls. "What a kooky idea---half black and half blue." The result was this sparkly gown made by Geoffrey Mac. "[He] added some of his own design touches at the neckline, which reversed the half-and-half theme. Basically, I like to distract from my gut by adding detail elsewhere, like the bust!" she jokes.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    The performer stumbled upon this Medusa-esque necklace in L.A.'s Santee Alley, "a huge marketplace full of everything from butt pads to Mexican delicacies," she says. "I love that it's both slinky and spacey." The rectangular ring and earrings are both David Mandel creations.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Style Icon; Most Stylish New Yorkers; Features; Lady Bunny

    This groovy rainbow minidress is also by Geoffrey Mac. "I just loved the vivid starburst pattern in rich jewel tones," gushes Lady Bunny. "It has no glitter, but a big girl can pull off a bold print that might dwarf a petite li'l lady."

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    "Because they are so oversize and yet so light, I bought a pair in every color," says Lady Bunny of these huge red hoops from Chicago vintage and costume trove Beatnix (beatnixclothing.com).

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Style Icon; Most Stylish New Yorkers; Features; Lady Bunny

    Lady Bunny ordered these Lucious wedge mules, made out of Lucite, which she says are "available wherever stripper shoes are sold" online (jennlin.com * thefind.com). "NYC used to offer a lot of stores that sold fetish and oversized shoes," she recalls, adding that this retail sector has largely moved to the Internet.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    "The Cocktail Collection by Snuggie" is how the drag queen sums up this plush zebra-print cover-up. "I saw these blankets at Santee Alley and thought they would make a great cape," she recounts, adding that it's a practical alternative to a traditional topper. "I often wear full sleeves, which you don't want to bunch up in the arm of a coat and arrive wrinkled."

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

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    The performer reveals she's wearing nothing under her cape except "a few foundation garments" and this elbow-length sequined gauntlet by Dustin Winters, anchored by a supersize crystal ring created by Texas drag queen Dragon Lady. The David Mandel drop earrings are so heavy they have to be superglued onto her ear. "But beauty knows no pain!" she quips.

Photograph: Marielle Solan

Style Icon; Most Stylish New Yorkers; Features; Lady Bunny

"This look has nothing to do with fashion, but it's fantastic onstage," says Lady Bunny of this red ruffled confection, whipped up by "drag sister" and freelance costume designer Dustin Winters. "It's very old-school drag glamour---in fact, it was modeled after a duster coat they gave me after season two of RuPaul's Drag U, on which I play the Dean of Drag," she adds.

Lady Bunny, 49, DJ and drag-queen comedian (ladybunny.net), Greenwich Village

Her personal style: "I'm loud with a dose of glamour and a lot of humor—[there's] nothing understated about me."

Her inspirations: "Fashions from the late 1960s, ranging from psychedelic to mod. Vintage Courrges and Paco Rabanne. Rudi Gernreich and his insane muse Peggy Moffitt. And the bertalented Bob Mackie (bobmackie.com), who's done glitzy costumes for Cher, Tina Turner and Diana Ross since the 1960s."

Favorite stores: "Patricia Field (302 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts; 212-966-4066, patriciafield.com) has reasonably priced, flashy-trashy club wear and fun accessories. Shopping there is always an experience. Tokio 7 (83 E 7th St between First and Second Aves; 212-353-8443, tokio7.net) is a consignment shop with gorgeous vintage shoes and dresses that I can't fit into. I can barely get into the sunglasses! But I can always window-shop [while feeling] bitter with a slice of pizza. Of course, I don't know much about men's clothing, but I like to see my men in beautiful clothes before I rip them off and molest them. Menswear designer John Bartlett (johnbartlettny.com) has cranked out wearable, quality fashion for decades. It always has a dash of style, vibrant but not overboard colors and a wink of humor. He now designs for girls and pooches, too, plus ."

Her signature items: "Big blond wigs and lotsa lashes! And girdles."

Favorite local designers: "Geoffrey Mac (geoffreymac.net) makes most of my costumes, but he has also done costumes for Lady Gaga, and now has his own collection with African, Mayan and outer-space influences. In the video for "Stupid Hoe," Nicki Minaj wears his swimsuit. He also created Debbie Harry's New Year's Eve showstopper. So soon I won't be able to afford him! That's what happened with Chris March (chrismarchdesign.com) of Bravo's Mad Fashion and Project Runway, who made my giant wigs and costumes for many years until Beyonc and Meryl Streep came calling. Chris has a theatrical way of pinpointing exactly what his client wants—anything from overweight Viking opera-diva [costumes] to slinky, cutting-edge stage wear. Phillipe and David Blond (theblondsnewyork.com) have done custom show wear for Kylie [Minogue], Pink, Rihanna, Beyonc, J. Lo and Katy Perry—they were behind her ice-cream-cone dress in the "California Gurls" video. While these looks may not be comfortable or practical, this dynamic duo never holds back on that wow factor, and cover everything with sparkles, down to the rhinestoned six-inch heels."

Favorite New York style icon: "Grace Jones, hands down. With such exotic beauty, some might tone it down in order to make it. She exaggerated it and with that angular face, structural costumes by Issey Miyake and Philip Treacy hats, she's exquisite. Still!"

How her style has evolved: "It's gotten bigger—along with my waistline! But very little has changed with me; I realized which shapes work for me and stick with them. You will usually see me in a long-sleeved, A-line mini of some sort. And the shorter the [dresses] are, the better my legs look! I sometimes wear long gowns, but I look awful in any other length."

Favorite wig specialists: "I use Lacey Costume Wig (318 W 39th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves, 212-695-1996). I style some of my wigs myself and others are styled by Johnny Dean (jhnydean@yahoo.com), who has worked on everything from Hairspray to the TV show Pan Am. He's from Mississippi, so he is used to heavy teasing to battle the humidity down there."

Favorite salons: "I sometimes get my real hair cut at Space Salon (155 Sixth Ave at Spring St; 212-647-8588, spacesalon.net). And I don't patronize fancy spas, but I swear by a Chinese massage place called Yours Spa (255 W 18th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 212-647-7738). I leave there with my eyes rolling back in my head. Of course, I do take a hit of Ecstasy beforehand to heighten the experience."

How her career influences her style: "I'm meant to stand out as a party girl. No one wants to see a glum, subdued drag queen in somber, matte colors stirring a drink in the corner. So I stick with sparkles and loud prints."

How her style at work differs from life outside of her job: "At work, I wear high heels, girdles, very restrictive 'tucking' panties and things glued onto my eyes and nails. My work uniform is not comfy. So when not working, I go for comfort, including T-shirts, sweats and sneaks."

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