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Drag Queens Awe, Inspire at Night of a Thousand Gowns


Celebrities and drag queens alike flocked to the Marriott Marquis this weekend for the annual celebration.

It's not very often that Johnny Weir feels under-dressed. After all, the award-winning (and recently married) figure skater is pretty well-known for his flashy, head-turning red carpet ensembles.

This past Saturday night, however, Weir was not the one turning heads. Instead, he left that honor to the sky-high wigs and mile-long dresses of New York's drag queen elite--an elite which happened to be joining him on the red carpet at the 26th Annual Night of a Thousand Gowns.

The event, which was held at the Marriott Marquis this year, is known for its outlandishly dressed and heavily bedazzled guests--but this year seemed to turn out a whole new batch of inspired outfits. One queen even managed to integrate plates of lobster into her dress, by placing them within see-through panels on either side of her hips.

Weir said he was happy to blend into the background for once.

"I'm actually pretty excited about being the most under-dressed person in the room," he told Out. "That never happens."

The event, held annually by the Imperial Court of New York, awards one luminary per year with the Imperial Diamond Award (for service to the LGBT community). This year's recipient was Mike Ruiz, an advocate and renowned photographer who has appeared on reality shows such as America's Next Top Model and Ru Paul's Drag Race.

"I love the pageantry of it all," said Ruiz about the event. "It's just a really fun and festive event, and it's a great way to entertain and raise money and raise awareness."

This year's ceremony, which helped raise money for PFLAG NYC and New Alternatives, included performances by Lisa Lampanelli (who called her fellow Celebrity Apprentice contestants "lazier than Paris Hilton's left eye") and the current cast of Chicago.

The ceremony's celebrity guest list also included writer Michael Musto (who, along with Weir and three others, was knighted by the Imperial Court for his contributions to the LGBT community) and Alex McCord from The Real Housewives of New York.

We also had a chance to meet Ronnie Negus, one of the stars of Slice's upcoming Real Housewives of Vancouver--and it sounds like she's going to be quite the character.

"[The cameramen] got me at my most vulnerable drunken moments," she said. "In one episode, you see me riding a sheep and trying to put sunglasses on it... It's pretty bad."

Sounds like she might be a more fun version of Taylor from Beverly Hills!

For a full collection of pictures from the event, check out Joe. My. God's online photo album.

Photo: Andrew Werner

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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