Artist and writer Rea McNamara has built a reputation on shining a spotlight on the unexpected, the neglected and the undefined. A rigorous cultural engager, daring performer and fashion interpreter – she also introduced me to vintage stores and Karaoke in our college days – McNamara is endlessly curious and endlessly fascinating.
For McNamara style is expression and this girl’s not afraid to express herself. She is also one of the only people who can use the word “voluptuary” and “tacky” with equal pleasure and conviction. Here McNamara answers questions about style and individuality for TWM’s column, the Eclectic. Chaka V.
Rea McNamara: Style was the first form of expression I ever had at my disposal. I’m such a voluptuary, so it’s obviously a universal language that I’ve managed to find some fluency in. Any form of beauty is a construct of some kind, so you’re also battling with the frameworks of narrative, references, and even experiences that will deem those things as such. Yet beauty is also an experience, so it’s fun to be beholden to the rituals, whether they be religious or red carpet.
RM: I had a lot of fun collaborating with my friends John Taccone and Porcelaine Desire on the Sheroes cosplay. Oh, and Nancy Bocock on the anti-aging tip. Everyone should have a tickle trunk, you know? Wigs, hairpieces, pasties, shape wear, sequins. To cop RuPaul’s Twitter bio: “You’re born naked and the rest is drag.”
RM: All the above.
RM: Oh, too many to count.
RM: I really like Joni Mitchell as Art Nouveau, and Jamaica Kincaid’s ongoing attachment to pajamas.
RM: Lorna Mills has quite the printed leggings collection.
RM: Why five in the morning? I can’t make any decisions at five in the morning.
RM: You know, Flavorwire did a really good content farm a few years ago based on this very question!