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Violet Chachki and Allie X have a lamp problem

Violet Chachki.

When two stars meet, scientists call it a stellar collision. When two stars collaboration, however, scientists call it a stellar service. This week Violet Chachki and Allie X released a new song “Mistress Violet”, a decadent sound experience filled with great fashion moments. The song, conceived by Allie X in just an hour and produced by Lecomte De Brégéot, is a synth-filled tribute to the divine feminine, which the singer and drag superstar embody with immaculate perfection.

I’m a little addicted / To be represented / The bitch with the whip and Dior tights,Purrs Chachki in the opening scene of the music video for “Mistress Violet”, directed by visual artist Jennifer Juniper Stratford. The two queens captivate in everything from Schiaparelli dresses and jewelry to personalized corsets, a nod to Chachki’s now-iconic burlesque pin-up aesthetic. The video, as gays on Twitter would say, gives what it’s meant to give. To mark their collaboration, Allie X and Chachki jumped on the phone to discuss everything from Catholic school uniforms to fetish clothing, and shared with us exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the set of the “Mistress Violet” video.

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ALLIE X: Violet, what a trip we’ve had since “All the Rage”. You said you don’t work well with others and I would say the same about myself in most aspects. Why do you think we work well together?

VIOLET CHACHKI: I think we’re just both good at what we do. We see each other for who we are and there is a mutual respect we have for each other. It’s hard to work with anyone, but when I work with you I know it will be worth it.

ALLIE X: That’s how I think of you. As a songwriter for hire, I got really jaded about it. I really don’t like writing for someone other than myself most of the time, but it was really fun writing for you. I wrote it all down in an hour or two because what you wanted was so clear, and I identify so much with your style and attitude.

CHACHKI: You know exactly what you want in terms of aesthetics. JJ is also in the same category: knowing what she wants, knowing how she wants to do it and go for it.

ALLIE X: It made this process really easy. There is no room for doubt, we just do it.

CHACHKI: It’s the fastest I’ve ever gone from a rough music demo to a full video launch.

ALLIE X: Six months. You are one of the best stylists I know and you don’t even call yourself a stylist. What was your process of creating the fashion history for our video? I don’t understand how you did so well.

CHACHKI: I’ve been doing my hair for a long time. I did fetish for so long and it kept it glam and 80s – still fetish, but not too obvious. I think the mood board was everywhere for that. It was a bit like John Willie, Pater Sato then we got it Schiaparelli thrown in, and some Japanese cyborg moments. I wanted it to smell of the 80s, glam and couture.

ALLIE X: You did a really amazing job. I was like, “Damn, she just did it so easy.” Okay, who do you think is a bigger bitch?

CHACHKI: Oh, it’s hard. People know I’m a bitch publicly, but no one knows how harsh you can be. I feel like you’re more of a bitch because you’re secretive about it.

ALLIE X: I love that answer. People don’t know!

CHACHKI: No one knows how fierce and stern Miss Allie X can be. You are secret and it is part of my brand identity.

ALLIE X: Well maybe I’m going more in that direction now that I’m on this track.

CHACHKI: Yes, absolutely. I support it.

ALLIE X: I realized while writing these questions that I don’t know much about your upbringing and your family.

CHACHKI: Oh my God.

ALLIE X: I mean we don’t need to go to therapy but like Coles Notes?

CHACHKI: Well, I grew up in the south, so it’s like Bible belt vibrations. I went to Catholic school, so I had a male uniform all my life. I’ve always had very specific gender roles with hair, makeup, and nails. Every little aspect of me was gendered, then I was told aesthetically what was allowed according to my gender. I started dragging as a form of rebellion and expression and then I got attention and it snowballed. I really think the Catholic school uniform played a big part in my creative process.

ALLIE X: Did you go from zero to 100? Were you a fully Catholic schoolboy then fully drag queen how did it go?

CHACHKI: I remember, like in kindergarten, being singled out. I was just always different, always struggling, and always attracting attention.

ALLIE X: Same!

CHACHKI: People started calling me gay before I was even sexual, like “Oh you’re gay” and I’m like “Okay, so I’m eight”. I hadn’t even grown pubic hair yet, so let’s calm down.

ALLIE X: Well, thanks for telling me about this. Are you someone who is behind the trends?

CHACHKI: Trends really annoy me. There’s that old adage that gays find out something and then five years later straight guys find out.

ALLIE X: Oh my god that’s so true.

CHACHKI: Even skinny jeans, when it was a gay boy thing and now straight brothers wear skinny jeans. I think that’s kind of how I see the drag now, like, “Okay, so all of a sudden the drag is in”. It’s like, “Where were you ten years ago? I’m not a fashionable person, I don’t like to be. I have a mule right now, which is very trendy.

ALLIE X: It’s very trendy. Points deducted.

CHACHKI: Points deducted for sure. In fact, I’m going to have a rat tail soon, so I can be on top of everything. I don’t think I’m in fashion.

ALLIE X: I agree, you have a more classic sense of style. Not like you stick to one genre, era, or designer, you just pick the classics.

CHACHKI: I keep trying to say to myself, “Okay, I’ve done classic this way before, so let’s try to make it classic this way”. I’m going back to this Bettie Page pin-up aesthetic as a benchmark and using variations to make it new and the next step in the evolution of the zeitgeist style.

ALLIE X: Last impulse buy?

CHACHKI: Oh my God, I have a problem. I’ve got a big problem. I have been following all of these interior decorating accounts on Instagram.

ALLIE X: Oh my God, I have the same problem. I didn’t know that was what you were going to say.

CHACHKI: I have a problem with the lamp. I am addicted to lamps. At this point, I collect the lamps, I don’t need them. At the moment, I have seven free-standing lamps in my room. Seven!

ALLIE X: I mean those, if they’re vintage and valuable, that’s not the worst idea. They will always be of value.

CHACHKI: So the last thing I bought was a wall mirror with this marble shelf and blue neon lights surrounding it. I saw it and I had to have it. I don’t know why, but I can even see someone like JJ using it in a video or something. This is my last impulse buy and I’m addicted, can’t stop. I can’t stop buying furniture and lamps on Instagram.

ALLIE X: I love it. Are you going to First Dibs?

CHACHKI: Oh, I go to First Dibs for inspiration, but I’m offended by the prices, like you’re laughing at me.

ALLIE X: The more expensive something, the more I want it and the more I feel like it’s worth it. I am so easily swayed and fooled by the prices.

CHACHKI: I say to myself: “I have already seen this in a good will, I will find it. “

ALLIE X: I need more of that spirit. It’s so funny I didn’t know we had the same addiction.

CHACHKI: Oh yeah my house is ridiculous, it’s just covered in lamps. Wait, what was your last impulse buy?

ALLIE X: I bought a hand-woven royal blue rug in Italy and it wasn’t cheap, but it’s still so beautiful.

CHACHKI: It sounds amazing.

ALLIE X: I made the whole piece in walnut and clay. I just wanted to like—

CHACHKI: [Laughs] Colors!

ALLIE X: Don’t even get me started in this, it’s like an interview for another magazine because I’m going to start talking about my DIY side, butch and getting into it all.

CHACHKI: Another aesthetic space, honey.

ALLIE X: What was the best meal you ever had?

CHACHKI: Oh my God! There is this restaurant in Paris called …. whore. I forget what it’s called. All the cool people eat there and they have this risotto and it’s the best risotto I have ever had in my life.

ALLIE X: The food in Paris was so good.

CHACHKI: Was it La Pubelle? I haven’t been to Paris for a long time.

ALLIE X: I think it’s in Beachwood [Laughs].

CHACHKI: It’s like the only French restaurant in LA Anyway, it’s this one restaurant where everyone goes after the shows. I went there after Vivienne Westwood and we had negronis and chicken risotto and it was amazing. Maybe it’s because I was starving for fashion week.

ALLIE X: You’re so hungry for wanting to be skinny in your looks and then when you finally eat, that’s the best.

CHACHKI: I’m a maniac during fashion week. Running here, running there, trying to get in time for everything. When you finally have a moment to sit down, it feels like the best meal you have ever had in your life.

ALLIE X: I’ve had a few. The funny thing is I wasn’t addicted to Drag race when we met i hadn’t even seen your season and you didn’t know my music. Neither of us knew what the other was doing. Why did you even do this concert?

CHACHKI: That’s a very good question. Oh! I know why. It’s because of the producer you worked with. I thought I might want to produce with him down the line.

ALLIE X: Oh, my God. Bitch accomplice, I love it. I am the same. Then I looked at your season and I was like, “She’s like the best ever.”

CHACHKI: I have all of your songs recorded on my Spotify and they are showing up all the time. “Downtown” is one of my favorite songs, I have quite a drag number to this song traced in my head with wheels and dividers.

ALLIE X: I didn’t even know we could cartwheels.

CHACHKI: I can’t! In my mind, it’s like the perfect lip-syncing song.

ALLIE X: Violet, who do you think has the bigger arms of the two of us?

CHACHKI: Oh my God, definitely me, 100%.

ALLIE X: It’s so good to hear you admit it.

CHACHKI: My arms barely fit into the seam. We had to have custom arm corsets made to shrink my arms to fit the Schiaparelli seam. I mean, and if you look behind it’s just duct tape and glue and pins and needles and we’ve just been sucked into that seam, honey.

ALLIE X: I have to make sure this gets printed. I need it in writing, I need a physical copy of this confession.


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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes

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