London was burning on Thursday night, as drag royalties, supermodels, and LGBTQ icons gathered at Koko, Camden for the inaugural Cîroc Iconic Ball ahead of the London Pride parade on Saturday.
The audience enjoyed a night of New York-style drag ball, a fashion and dancing competition for the LGBTQ community that entered popular culture thanks to the documentary “Paris Is Burning,” the TV series “Pose” and the reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Hosted by Jack Mizrahi, Jonny Woo and Shon Faye, the ball saw globally celebrated drag houses competing to be crowned the Cîroc Iconic House 2022.
Judges of the ball included British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful, English singers Jade Thirlwall and Mel C, models Jourdan Dunn and Stella Maxwell, fashion designer Giles Deacon, Dominic Skinner from MAC Cosmetic, and drag performers Tayce, and French DJ Kiddy Smile, who is going to be a regular judge on “Drag Race France.”
The ball started with judges walking down the runway showcasing their looks for the night. Dunn sported a sexy LBD with giant afros pulled to the back, while Maxwell donned an oversize blazer with a lace bra. Others wore fabulous fashion looks from designers such as Julien MacDonald, Giles Deacon, Michael Halpern, Maximilian Raynor and Roksanda.
It was followed by an emotional moment as Enninful shared a kiss with activist Ted Brown, who started London Pride and a kiss-in of 2,000 people in Trafalgar Square in 1972.
“Thank you for leading the way for all of us to be able to go out there and be who we want to be and love who we want to love. All because you laid a great path,” Enninful said when handing over a magnum of Cîroc vodka designed by Matty Bovan to Brown, in front of cheering audiences including actor Ed Westwick, fashion designers Julien McDonald, Pam Hogg, Charles Jeffrey, and DJ Princess Julia.
Other honorees spotlighted during the night included Vicki Lee, cofounder of the WayOut Club, one of the U.K’.s longest-running trans clubs, and queer nightlife DJ Ritu.
The night saw numerous performances as members from the five blended houses comprised a who’s who from the U.K. ballroom scene, headed by five renowned house mothers Sinia Alaia, Devine Gucci, Stasha Sanchez Garcon, Jusss Kelly and Lola Gucci, competing for the crown.
Karteer, JJ Prodigy, Jozea Flores, Kyle London and Ed Montero were winners in the Vogue, Fashion Bazaar, Face, Best Dressed and Runway categories, respectively.
The House of WayOut led by Lola Gucci snatched the crown after winning a dancing battle with Jusss Kelly.