Artist Top 10 Category is….Strange

I, Kico Le Strange, am an artist, performer, fashion designer and a studio manager of Real Time & Space, living and working in the Bay Area. With more than 10 years of sewing and garment construction under my belt I have selected 10 looks that represent my fashion journey from start to now, sectioned into categories that reference ballroom culture.

“In real life you can’t get a job as an executive unless you have the educational background and the opportunity. Now the fact that you are not an executive is merely because of the social standing of life.

In a ballroom you can be anything you want.

You are not really an executive but you’re looking like an executive and therefore you are showing the straight world I can be an executive. If I had the opportunity I could be one because I can look it and that is like a fulfillment.” Dorian Corey, Paris Is Burning 1990.

My whole life, fantasy and fantasizing my reality is how I live, thrive, evolve and survive. The concept of ballroom and the believability in what you present as you walk a category feels very much like fantasy-to-reality. As in, I must think it to be it and not just think it, but truly feel and know you can be that and much, much more.

First category is: PURformance!

I was asked by Kim Anno to perform at her Art for Cuba event at Minnesota Street Project in 2019. I created ensembles for myself and two others and choreographed a dance to  “I need your loving” by Teena Marie.  We started in hues of brown, orange and bronze and then revealed our pink outfits in the middle of the performance. The dancers are friends of mine and through costume fittings, rehearsals, and performing, we became Le Strange sisters.

My dearest home gurl Channing Morgan told me her father introduced her to Teena Marie. Her love of the song, the musician, and the genre grew due to her dad—a transfer of love. I really felt that in the song and chose the song based off of that. #givinglovereceivinglove

Pictured (left to right): Thomas Boatwright, Kico Le Strange, Serena Thomas

I conceptualized a Cruella Devil and Mariah Carey number for my homie’s holiday party in 2021. I knew I had to have an iconic black and white outfit as Cruella. I really wanted this performance to be entertaining for my homies, to be visually striking, and above all be infused with love.

My drag is all about the reveal. The dress snapped off to reveal a sexy Santa onesie. Oh, you thought this look was serving? Well, BAM! Look at the look I’m wearing underneath! I perform most often for my homies, my loved ones, and my community. It's about the love I have and showing that through dance, face (makeup), and fashion. The reveal darling!!!! #sexysanta

Category is: Folsom

Folsom has had a huge impact in my practice and my life. I learned a lot about myself through this event. I learned: I loved to be watched, I loved all the musky smells during the heat of the day, what play I liked and disliked. I wanted all my Folsom looks to be striking with the intent of viewership and invitation. #consentofcourse

Ms. Leatherette
The Leatherette dress 2015, was my very first Folsom outfit that I designed and crafted. It was a definite “go big or go home” mentality. I never shy away from mixing textures. Material allows me to clash colors, textures, and concepts. I'm all about texture: the sleekness of the vinyl, the rough florette mesh, my smooth body, the hard boning. I wear a red jockstrap to round off my punk- princess-meets-exhibitionist vibe. It’s not about breaking the rules: it's about growing and learning what “rules” make sense for your personal style and aesthetic. To feel comfortable and confident in your second skin. #texturefetish

“The King Who Wore No Clothes but Ima Kween''
I wore this look to Folsom in 2017. I purchased a ruffle collar from the children's section of IKEA, paired with my pink sparkly boots, a white jockstrap purchased in the Castro district, and a clear vinyl dress that I constructed. Very much inspired by the King Who Wore No Clothes fable, I wanted to be sexually enticing, edgy, and regal. #butimakween