“The House of Garcon moves Black forward by being visible, by not being bystanders and by using our platforms to further liberate our Black, Brown and Queer people in all forms and spaces. Where there is not a seat at the table, we will bring our own.” – said Angel Rose Garcon, Overall Empress of the House of Garcon
Ballroom culture is a vibrant and influential subculture that emerged in the LGBTQ+ community in the late 20th century. It originated in New York City and has since spread to various cities around the world. Ballroom culture is characterized by its unique blend of dance, fashion and self-expression. Participants, known as "houses," compete in elaborate events called balls, where they showcase their skills in various categories such as voguing, runway and realness.
At the heart of ballroom culture is the celebration of individuality and the creation of chosen families. Houses provide a sense of belonging and support for their members, who often face marginalization and discrimination in mainstream society. These houses are led by "mothers" and "fathers" who provide guidance and mentorship to their "children." Ballroom events serve as safe spaces for self-expression, allowing participants to explore their identities and showcase their talents.
This past, Saturday the ballroom community gathered in Washington D.C. for the House of Comme Des Garcons’ “Black Is…” ball. The incentive for winning a category at the ball is not only bragging rights but also a cash prize. Houses participated in various categories such as legendary performance, sex siren, female figure face, and tag team performance to name a few. The renowned category "Runway" called for contestants to hit the walkway in their BEST fashions and runway-like pieces and the cash prize was the highest and highlight of the night, $11,111.11 which was won by the captivating House of West.
Overall, ballroom culture is a powerful and inclusive community that has had a significant impact on art, fashion and popular culture. It continues to thrive as a space for creativity, self-empowerment, and the celebration of diversity. Below you'll find an inside look into the House of Comme Des Garcons’ “Black Is…” ball.