Sneak Peak of What's New in Gaga's Closet: Custom Queen Bee Shoes
By Andrew Villagomez
Aside from being a pop music icon and LGBT rights activist, Lady Gaga is known for her unique and outlandish fashion. She's held the high spots on the list of fashion's top buzzwords from the Global Language Monitor in 2010 and 2011, number one and two respectively, and graced the cover of Vogue September issue in 2012.
What does a diva like Gaga have in her closet? It can't be all blood-spilled lace, the meat dress, nor the galatic theme swim suits—well those she might have. She did recently purchase many items from the late Michael Jackson via auction, but those are to be archived she said. Despite of what is already there, Out was given a first look of what's coming next.
Currently on tour, Momma Monster is stopping off in Minneapolis, MN tonight, and the venue host wanted to present Gaga with a 'thank you' gift of custom-made shoes. They turned to new lesbian co-owned business from Seattle, Hourglass Footwear, which just over six months ago launched their online business with the help of Kickstarter.
Kira Bundlie (pictured at right, on the right) was head over heels when she found out Hourglass's next shoe design would be created for Gaga herself. "We had to read [the request] about five times to each other before we believed it. Once the initial shock had worn off, though, and the screaming and jumping up and down had died down a bit, the enormous pressure of creating unique shoes for the artist who is known for her unique shoes sunk in," said Hourglass co-owner Lisa Storm. "Talk about pressure! We called an emergency Gaga brainstorming meeting with our artists for the next day."
The two work part of a group of nine female artists that make up Hourglass, and came up with a "Queen Bee" concept. "Part of the Lady Gaga phenomenon are her throngs of 'little monsters.' Her fan base–or community, really–is more intense and devoted than the fan bases of most other stars," Kira explained, "which led Debbie [one of the artists] to think of Gaga as Queen Bee, with swarms of fans."
Photo credit: Jeanie Lewis
"Debbie's concept was to paint the shoes to look like actual honeycomb–very geometrically intricate and detailed, with swarms of realistic bees covering the heels and migrating toward the toes, and little painted beads or drips of honey here and there. The warm, slight sexiness of the honeycomb and the glistening, sticky honey mixed with the mildly unnerving swarm of bees is perfect for Lady Gaga’s beautiful/ugly aesthetic."
Hourglass creates original, hand-painted footwear for women of all ages, but the fun of owning custom shoes from these talented ladies isn't just for women. With the business's "Your shoes, our paint," both women and men can send their shoes to be artistically recreated. Kira said, "We've had orders for everything from outlandish flames to someone who simply wanted his Oxfords painted to look like saddle shoes."
Photo via Facebook
It led me to ask about shoe orders for drag queens. "We have a hard time finding stilettos and platforms in very large sizes, so the 'Your shoes, our paint' option helps there," said Lisa, who also shared that they are working on a partnership with "local Seattle drag icon," Ben DeLaCreme. Kira teasingly added that Lisa would "faint from happiness" if they were asked to partner with RuPaul's Drag Race—clearly they are fans just like us.