“Shoes are My Least Favorite Part of Mandatory Dress”

By Eric Sellers and Michael Shaw Talley, PQ Monthly

In a city teeming with fashion, personal expression, and trend setters, we want to get into the heads of some of Portland’s stylish LGBTQ icons. To us style, is personal. That is the reason for this style deconstruction.
Name: Mads Dudebabemodel.
               Age: 28.
               Occupation: Esthetician/Drag performer.

                PQ Monthly: What age were you when you realized style mattered?
Mads Dudebabemodel: I believe I always understood the power of personal style and fashion to some degree. Many of my childhood stories involve me loving an article of clothing so much, I wouldn’t dare take it off. Certain items gave me insta-power and confidence. I was always very picky with my clothing as a child, immediately voting down many items my parents had chosen for me. Tapping into my internal stylist, I would feel the pitter-patter of my heartbeat, my eyes widen, and would know that’s what I wanted to put on my body.
I knew what made me feel good, and often times would get made fun of what I wore in school. Partially, my family did not have the money to buy Abercrombie & Fitch (thank gawdesses), nor was I ever interested in looking like everyone else. It wasn’t until I was featured in my high school paper as a “Fashion Goddess” that I realized anyone liked what I was wearing. In fact, I was always inspired by making people uncomfortable with what I wore. Honestly, I still love when people hate what I wear. Rebellion has inspired my lifestyle as well as my style. I took bits and pieces from rebellious movements such as Punk. I was tapering my boot-leg jeans from Wal-Mart to be skinny jeans way before you could buy skinny jeans, thanks to being inspired by Punk fashion. I was wearing vintage polyester man shirts, despite being pressured to be modern and feminine.
PQ: Who gives you a style boner today?
MD: Anyone who has a unique look and owns it literally gives me a boner. Drag performers who blur lines between king and queendom. I’m fascinated with playing with gender and fashion, and I like to in my drag performances. I move one article around and all of a sudden I went from butch daddy to femme fag. I just love queerdos who break binaries, leaving muggles confused about what category they may fit in.
PQ: Do you wear jewels? What accessories are a must have in your closet?
MD: EARRINGS! I am beyond naked without them. The bigger, the brighter, the flashier, the better. I haven’t mastered any other accessory to the extent of earrings. Many people don’t understand that I must leave earrings on in the river, while camping, and during sex. Try to take them off me, I will slap your hand. I believe it began when I cut my hair super short for the first time many years ago and thought I needed to compensate. But then I got obsessed. And Mid-K has bomb-ass earrings for under $2, so I always get stocked up.
PQ: EAT, DRINK, SCENE. What do you nosh? What’s your sip? Where are your haunts?
MD: I am a sucker for a good breakfast/brunch. Bridges Cafe is my fave (get the catfish hash!). Sweedeedee is too cute and so delightfully Portland. That beet and bacon sandwich they got is a very special sandwich. When I grab a beer (any kind of porter or stout) or a Maker’s & ginger, you can find me at my local dive bars: Kenton Club or Barlow Tavern.
PQ: Shoes! O my god! Shoes! What do you have? What do you need? Brands, color, styles? Let’s talk shoes!
MD: Shoes are my least favorite part of mandatory dress! Don’t get me wrong, I love to look at shoes. Stiletto pumps are hot as hell and platform sneakers are bomb. But I have a very difficult relationship with shoes. My feet pretty much always want to be free and when I was 16 I went barefoot for a month. That’s so embarrassingly hippy of me, but it is a part of my past that I must admit. Then I wore just ballet slippers that I had to replace every few weeks because of course I busted holes in them. These days when I find a comfortable pair of shoes that I don’t feel terrible in, I wear them every day and bust through them within a couple months (some claim I am “heavy-footed”). But I am proud to say that I have finally invested in some black Alexandra-style Docs. I will be wearing them every day with everything.
PQ: Forever young! I wanna be forever young! What do you slather and slop on to pamper yourself?
MD: As an Esthetician, I am obsessed with face masks. Mud, exfoliating, enzyme-filled masks. Also a tonic I mix myself with witch hazel and essential oils I spray all over at least once a day. Also this magical serum I get at my workplace is one of the best exfoliants I’ve ever tried. Pick up a pump of it at Urban Waxx after you come see me for your body and facial waxing needs.
PQ: Who’s you favorite artist, fashion designer, musician and why?
MD: Favorite fashion designer is Rei Kawakubo. I mean, her designs are hilariously horribly gorgeous. I would never spend money on any of her designs, but the fact she can sell handkerchiefs with burned holes in them for thousands of dollars…yas queen, werk! Favorite musician is Bjork. Because she is a high priestess and weird as all hell.
PQ: What’s your most irritating fashion faux pas?
MD: Looking like everyone else in Portland. Try something no one is doing…even if it fails, I will give you major kudos for doing something REFRESHING. Turn a look!
PQ: Where are some of your favorite places to shop?
MD: Fat Fancy and clothing swaps.