IT DOESN'T get much more Savannah than meeting up at The Sentient Bean with a drag queen who also used to be your pharmacist during a hurricane watch, but that's just what rising star Lavender Mist and I did before respectively gettin' outta Dodge.
The Savannah queen is teaming up with vintage emporium House of Strut next week for "The Lavender Mist Experience," an immersive evening of music, performance, drinks, and visuals. With a name inspired by a Jackson Pollock painting, Lavender Mist's performances are ethereal works of anti-art centered around jaw-dropping high fashion. This solo showcase from a House of Gunt staple is not to be missed.
You're working with House of Strut for styling...is that an 'official' collaboration?
They sponsor my drag, so we work together a lot. Mostly, I borrow clothes to promote for them and to do my photo shoots, but they're are also really big supporters of my drag, which is really fun.
How does their aesthetic mirror yours? What kind of pieces do you like to pick out from them?
I send them a bunch of pictures of themes or ideas of an outfit that I am trying to come up with and they pull a bunch of pieces, and I borrow them and put it together on-set. It's a really good collaboration because I think [House of Strut's] Erica [Cobb Jarman] has a really good eye for everything. She's amazing, and she has an amazing collection to go along with it, so I can just bring an idea to her and it will come through really easily.
For the event, are you performing and bringing in other artists as well?
So the event is Lotion in the Basket's idea and I've always been their muse for their DJ sets because they like to be in the background. I've worked with them a lot with Daas Underground. So they wanted to do a show at House of Strut and it just turned into 'The Lavender Mist Experience.' So I'm going to be more of an an anti-installation than a performance. I'll be there the whole time performing, but I'm not gonna lip-sync or anything - but that's typical Lavender Mist.
For folks who haven't seen Lavender Mist perform, how would you describe the development of the character?
Well, really, Lavender Mist is all about anti-performance. I think drag queens can be more than just lip-syncers, and I want to show a different style of performance that you're probably not used to seeing. I always try to incorporate something atypical into my performances . And I'm not a good lip-syncer to begin with! So I'm not going to try to do that.
Working with House of Gunt, how has that informed your performance?
I've been doing drag for about seven years, so about three years before House of Gunt started, and I guess it changed my performance style by giving me an outlet, but also I've gone on and done my own thing since House of Gunt.
I've really been pushing my brand in the past couple months, which is really exciting for me, but House of Gunt is still there. It's a collective, which I think is what it's always meant to be.
What are you working on in the future? You just released shirts - anything else in store?
I don't know yet! I have a couple shows coming up, that's pretty typical.
I'm just trying to do photo shoots, I've started working with Ink & Bones as a brand model...it's fun to work with other local people. I'm trying to do more collaborations.
Do you feel [Ink and Bones'] stuff plays into your style?
I have a high-fashion, contemporary style which I can use House of Strut for, but then I always have a low-key, just-hanging-out-at-the-bar style, which works really well with Ink and Bones. And I also I wear their clothes as a boy, which is fun. So in this photo shoot I'm going to do for them, i'm going to do a boy-to-girl transformation, which I've never done before, which is exciting.
What's your favorite piece that you've performed before?
My favorite performance is probably my simulated sunbathing. My track was called '10 Hours of Ocean Noises,' so I played six minutes of the track and I spread out my beach towel and just sunbathed onstage. It was for the tropical themed show at Hang Fire. I had my beach bag and my book, and I just read.
That's great. Often, there's a kind of minimalism to your performances. How has that been received?
Well, there are people who get it, and they really get it and they appreciate it, and there are people who don't get it, and I don't care if they get it or not.
Because I'm not really trying to entertain as much as other drag queens are. I'm trying to present my concept or my art.
What would you like folks to know about your House of Strut performance?
Everything is Lavender Mist themed! They're recreating the Jackson Pollock painting as my backdrop. And my sister is coming to town, she's an electronic performance artist.
She's performing at World's Second Smallest Music Festival, right?
Yeah! She does vocals and electronic sounds...it's cool to collaborate with my sister, I've always wanted to perform to one of her songs. She lives in L.A.; she's coming for a week or so.
Then we're gonna have Lavender Mist drinks, which is vodka and Sierra Mist and lavender essence.
That sounds pretty good.
Right? We'll see. I haven't tried it yet. I'm excited.