Voguing came out of the extraordinary house ballroom scene that emerged in Harlem, New York in the 1980s where men competed against one another for their dancing skills, the realness of their drag and their ability to walk on a catwalk runway like a model.
Voguing erupted into the mainstream in 1990 when Madonna’s song Vogue became number one in over 30 countries. The year before Malcolm McClaren first brought voguing into the mainstream with his song Deep in Vogue featuring dancer Willi Ninja. In 1990 Jennie Livingstone’s film Paris is Burning, documented the house ballroom scene in it’s ascendant, the film a runaway success grossing over $4,000,000.
As voguing entered into the mainstream the house ballrooms of Harlem came downtown mixing with the downtown fashion crowd of Manhattan, before the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic ravaged the ballroom community.
These wild years of voguing and the house ballroom scene are vividly captured at its height in hundreds of amazing, previously unpublished photographs. A visual riot of fashion, gender, polysexuality and subversive style, Voguing and the House Ballroom Scene of New York 1989-92 is also a fascinating document on sexuality and race.
The 200 page book, Voguing and the House Ballroom Scene of New York City 1989-92, features hundreds of stunning photographs from the hidden world of New York’s house ballroom scene out of which came voguing, the dance made famous by Madonna. Available now at Storm. Click for video.