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Gottmik & Disco Daddy tell the story behind The Scream look on All Stars 9 (exclusive)

Gottmik & Disco Daddy tell the story behind The Scream look on All Stars 9 (exclusive)

Gottmik in 'The Scream' runway look from RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 9 episode 2
Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

During an interview with Out, Gottmik and The Disco Daddy discuss their friendship and explain how they created the Scream-inspired dress seen on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 9.

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Judges, fans, and fellow drag artists have all been mesmerized by Gottmik's "Drag Imitates Art" runway look featured in the second episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 9. But before making this grand debut on the Drag Race runway, disco-obsessed crystal artist The Disco Daddy had already worked on various projects for A-list clients.

Namely, Disco Daddy's past work includes a pair of Erotica boxing gloves for Madonna, embellished looks for Lil Nas X and Lizzo's recent world tours, a glistening swimsuit for Megan Thee Stallion in the "Bongos" music video, sparkly outfits (and even microphones!) for Dua Lipa, high-camp costumes for Las Vegas residencies from Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue, a fabulous tank top for Joe Jonas, and the crystal western garb worn by Karol G in the "Location" video. This impressive list of celebrity clients also includes Doja Cat, Saweetie, Jolin Cai, Cardi B, Pink, Ciara, Winnie Harlow, Adam Lambert, Zara Larsson, and perhaps most importantly, the one and only Violet Chachki.

"I've been working with Violet for almost 10 years now. We have a very close friendship," The Disco Daddy, otherwise known as Vincent Braccia, tells Out. "When Gottmik got on the show and they started working together, we bonded over crystal work. Gottmik is a big fan of the artistry. It was actually a very crazy night out when we met. It was right before the [season 13] finale. Mik had a shaved head for the Pinhead look, so I met Bald Mik first."

In an exclusive interview with Out, Gottmik and Disco Daddy discuss how they met, the close bond they've developed over time, and the detailed process behind the making of The Scream-inspired dress seen on All Stars 9 — which led to Gottmik's first maxi challenge win in this competition.

Gottmik and The Disco Daddy in Polaroid pictureCourtesy of The Disco Daddy

"Wait, I don't even remember when we met," Gottmik wonders out loud. "Was this a specific day?" Disco Daddy smiles and contemplates how much tea he's about to spill in front of other people. It's that cute, familiar little dance between two friends where one tries to telepathically tell the other, I'm trying not to give away too many details! "At the Abbey," he finally says.

"Oh, that night?! Yeah, no, that was so crazy," Gottmik recalls. "I was a huge fan of Disco Daddy because I'm obsessed with rhinestone artistry, and no one's stones look like his. I've been obsessed with Violet's outfits for so long. I was like, 'One day, I'll have one of these.' I was dying for it."

Gottmik tells Out, "We were at the Abbey [in West Hollywood] the night we met, and there could only be a certain amount of people at the table. It was the weirdest group of people ever, like Violet, Rosé, Eureka... just random. I was drinking so much, and I even tried to make out with [Disco Daddy]. But he denied me."

They both laugh. "And we've been best friends ever since!" Disco Daddy adds.

Gottmik; The Scream painting on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 9

Paramount+; Børre Høstland/The Fine Art Collections, The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Gift of Olaf Schou 1910 via Encyclopaedia Britannica

The "The Paint Ball" episode of All Stars 9 had three runway categories: "Monochromatica," "Drag Imitates Art," and "Paint Ball Eleganza." Upon learning that she would need an art-inspired look for the competition, Gottmik starts to go through all of her favorite paintings.

"I'm a huge art history diva," Gottmik explains. "I've taken lots of classes, and I'm just obsessed with art, period. I was trying to find a painting that everyone would know, but that wasn't full-on The Starry Night about it. Not so 'right in your face.' When I came across The Scream, I was like, 'Okay, everyone knows this painting,' and it's very me. It's spooky, edgy, and cool, but it also has color in it. It would be a little bit different for me but staying true to who I am at the same time."

1893's The Scream is an expressionist artwork typically seen as an autobiographical creation by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The distressed person in the painting — as well as its title — reflects the anxieties, uncertainties, and neurosis of the time. Certain art historians argue that, contrary to popular belief, the actual scream in The Scream is not coming from the person with mouth agape. Rather, the scream (whether real or imaginary) would be coming from the world around this person, hence why the covering of the ears to block out the sound.

"It was so hard to turn this painting into a dress," Gottmik explains. "We amped up the colors a little bit. Like, Disco Daddy had to go all in. We sat with Photoshop and patterned everything to look like that. Then he had to hand paint and fix everything to blend together. The Disco Daddy was painting and stoning and basically being Edvard Munch himself."

Disco Daddy says, "I also refuse to have seams on outfits, so all the designs have to match up. But this 40-pound giant gown had tons of seams. It was like she was literally wearing a painting that I also crystaled. It couldn't be more perfect for the category."

While Gottmik envisioned the dress and Disco Daddy was directly involved in bringing it to life, legendary designer Marco Marco physically constructed the garment. The stoning of the outfit involved three people working for over two weeks in "at least 1,000 hours of stone work."

Gottmik in 'The Scream' runway look from RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 9 episode 2

Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

This theme also fell right into the ball challenge, which required Gottmik to wear not one, not two, but three looks on the runway. With so much intricacy in the look — and the very specific makeup that would accompany it — this became an even bigger challenge for Gottmik.

"I had to pre-appliqué my face for some of the ball looks… which, actually, Disco Daddy provided me with the lace and taught me how to do it. I was so messy with rhinestoning," Gottmik says. "I would put glue everywhere, and then I'd glue it to the table, and I was like, 'What's going on?!' He helped me provide all of that, and I had to make little appliqués of my face so I could change fast."

The All Stars 9 competitor continues, "When we shot the look, we [sought out] to do exactly what we wanted. Disco Daddy rhinestoned the outfit onto my face and blended my makeup more seamlessly than I was able to do on the show, and it really made such a difference. It's fun working with Disco Daddy because he actually cares about the art part of it. It's not like anyone I've ever worked with, designer-wise, where it's like, 'Okay, cool, I want this dress,' and they just do it. Disco Daddy actually cares about the references, knows the references, and cares about making me feel gorgeous. He also pushes the artistry to a level that I didn't even imagine. We end up making the craziest stuff together."

"We're dangerous for each other," Disco Daddy agrees, "because we keep pushing. We're both 'yes-men.' Gottmik is like, 'Yeah, that would be great, but what if we did that?' And I'm like, 'And what if the stones came out of your face?' I love working with people who care about the aesthetic and the overall artistry. I work a lot with celebrities, which is fast-paced. They mostly don't have a say in what they're wearing, and some don't really care. It's fun, but there isn't a lot of collaboration."

The designer adds, "The Scream dress is something custom-made for Mik that no one else will ever wear. It will never be made again. It's literally a museum piece that gets to be showcased in one of my favorite shows. Again, it can be dangerous [laughs]. We can rack up a budget like nobody's business because there aren't any limits. I also refuse to not be able to do something. So if Mik asks, 'Wouldn't it be crazy if there were lines that were painted crystals?' I'm automatically like, 'Done.'"

The Disco Daddy

Steven Simione

Constructed by Marco Marco, The Scream dress was hand-stoned with 500,000 rhinestoned crystals and weighed somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds. "I have a hard time just lifting it," Disco Daddy notes. "I can't imagine how Gottmik walked the runway in it."

Gottmik explains, "It was crazy because… it's also unnecessarily a tube dress [laughs]. For some reason, inside of it, your legs can only move one little inch, on top of it being a hundred million pounds. It's really long, so I had to wear insanely tall shoes as well. And then, obviously, the second you turn that runway, there's a million lights and cameras, and RuPaul's sitting two feet away from you. So, yeah, it's stressful! I practiced in the werk room, in the mirror, trying to figure out if it was better to do little steps or big steps. It was really painful and hard to walk in it."

Speaking of RuPaul, the Drag Race host's reaction — in complete awe of Gottmik's dress — is already becoming a meme on social media.

"This outfit was one of my favorite RuPaul reactions I've ever gotten. I love it when there's a campy moment and RuPaul gets it. We have a very similar sense of humor, so he usually gets my references. But this one, I could hear gasps over the music. It was wild. They were just freaking out. In the end, I was just so obsessed with that moment. No matter how heavy or painful it was, I felt like I wanted to walk the runway with that look a hundred more times."

The Disco Daddy via Instagram story

Instagram (@thediscodaddy)

Leading up to All Stars 9, many fans wondered what Gottmik was going to wear this season after she had already brought an All Stars-level runway package to season 13. And yet, that didn't seem to be a huge concern for the Drag Race superstar.

"Going into season 13, I wasn't really doing drag full-time. I was working on my physical artistry and who I was as a person. I wasn't at the bars every day turning it," Gottmik says. "My jokes and references were very in-your-face… not subtle. It was like, 'I'm a literal anal bead. I am literally this guy from Hercules that's flashing you.' Very literal. But now that I've been working as a drag queen every single day, my artistry is the number one thing in my life. I've honed in on combining fashion and campy, tongue-in-cheek humor."

She adds, "Looking at my All Stars package, I've gotten it to a place that I've always wanted it to be, and I'm so proud that I got there. I knew that I had worked really hard to get to that place, so I wasn't really thinking, 'Oh god, what are the fans going to think?' I knew that I had already grown so much as an artist. I was more coming from a place of excitement to show everyone how much I've grown."

"I even told RuPaul that one time," Gottmik reveals. "I was like, 'Honey, I can't wait to show people my outfits now. They're so much better.' Ru was like, 'Better than before?' I was like, 'Get ready, honey. Yes. A hundred percent.'"

Gottmik in 'The Scream' runway look on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 9 episode 2

Paramount+

In 2014, at age 20, Disco Daddy moves to New York City to pursue a career as a professional dancer. He meets Violet Chachki as one of the backup dancers for her world tour after being crowned the winner of Drag Race season 7.

"It was kind of a random cast of older queens and Violet," Disco Daddy notes. "We were both 22 at the time, so we had no choice but to bond. Everyone else was not featuring us at all. So that was the beginning of our relationship, and since then, I've been making outfits for her. I was also the choreographer and creative director of her solo tour. Similar to my relationship with Mik, Violet is also hyper-f*cking-artistic and we encourage each other to ridiculous degrees that we can't even live up to. And now our good working relationship sort of transferred over to the three of us."

But the years go by, the lockdown happens, and Disco Daddy's dancing prospects come to a halt. So he starts making a collection of outfits with Violet and other friends, which gets picked up by Vogue's Christian Allaire in November 2020.

"We just posted the campaign and Vogue picked it up within that same week. And ever since then, I've been doing this full-time, which is crazy," Disco Daddy reflects. "It was never really the plan. It just happened."

Gottmik in Polaroid picture

Courtesy of The Disco Daddy

Meanwhile, Gottmik meets Violet around 2015. "I was working the door at a party she was booked at, but we didn't really connect until I did her makeup a couple of times. It's like Disco Daddy is saying, she's such a perfectionist and so good at making references her own. It's so fun having these two as some of my best friends."

"Any time we're together, even if we're not working, we're thinking of all these crazy scenarios. We're creating full TV shows and solo tours. We're like, 'What if we did a P-Town residency together?'" Gottmik says. "Just dreaming at all times, and pushing each other's limits, and laughing the whole way. It's the most inspiring friend group I could have ever asked for. When do you get to be best friends with this level of talent, and travel the world with them, and be able to create things like this? I just feel like this doesn't happen in any industry, ever. We're so lucky."

One of Gottmik and Violet's main projects as a duo is their YouTube series/podcast, No Gorge, in which the two drag stars discuss their lives, careers, fashion, and artistry. A fun fact: Disco Daddy is responsible for crystalizing the white calla lilies that sit between Violet and Gottmik on their podcast set. "Anywhere I can integrate myself," he jokes.

Gottmik adds, "We were like, 'Maybe the microphones should be fully crystal and hematite in four different colors. It has to be wild.' And Disco Daddy is always just like, 'Yes, and they have to be size zero. I'll have them ready by tomorrow.'"

Gottmik's Scream dress marks the first time that a Disco Daddy look is featured on RuPaul's Drag Race. "I'm a huge fan of the show. I watch every single episode," he says. "And if I ever made something for Drag Race, I wanted it to be something that I was really proud of, worn by someone that I really connected to. It was always on the mood board, but this made the most sense."

Disco Daddy explains, "As soon as this idea came to me, I was like, 'This is what I'm doing. We have two weeks, but we're going to get it done.' And as the van was picking up Mik for Drag Race, I was running with the dress. Well, walking, because it's a hundred million pounds, but it was definitely one of the last things to be finished."

When asked if Drag Race fans can expect more Disco Daddy creations on All Stars 9, Gottmik confirms that more collaborations between them are, indeed, featured in this season.

Having worked with so many A-listers already, we ask Disco Daddy which collaborations he's dreaming of doing in the future. "Even as you're listing off the people that I've worked with… it just happens so fast that it's hard to keep track of it. I would love to do Cher. Cher is my queen. And I would love to do RuPaul. I would love to do Gaga."

He concludes, "I also want to have more collaborative, artistic relationships. I told Mik that if I was a billionaire, I would just make outfits for Mik all the time. The end result is way more fun and gratifying for me than who's wearing it, honestly."

New episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 9 are streaming every Friday on Paramount+.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.