Clubs, fancy hotel suites, plastic surgeries, drag, all the extravagance of New York city nightlife and a whole lot of glamour. This is only the tip of the iceberg when examining the rollercoaster career of veteran fashion icon, noted David LaChapelle muse and club celebutante Amanda Lepore. These days, Lepore is still doing what she knows best — being her creative, crafty self whilst performing and promoting the eccentricities of New York nightlife.
But with the isolating shift of the pandemic, we saw that parties and glamour became less of a priority to the public conscious, with health and stability understandably overshadowing all else. Now, with nightlife having returned to many countries for some time, it’s safe to say that a lot of people have realised how much they’ve missed — and the necessity of — glamour.
For Amanda Lepore, whose life has been dedicated to the glamorous, the feeling never truly left her side even as everyone was made to stay at home. These days, she shares, things are actually more exciting, creative, and stylish than ever before.
“It was great that we had the option to perform and appear digitally during Covid. It also gave us the opportunity to connect the NYC Nightlife community worldwide,” states Lepore, in regards to working while in lockdown. Just as clubs shut their doors and sweatpants began selling out online, Lepore didn’t stop dressing up. Instead, she decided to launch a self-named lipstick line — with one of the cartridges being hand-embellished with Swarovski crystals.
“The lipstick line was in the works for several years. We went through several different formulas until we finally had the right shade of red (Classic Red), made with the best ingredients. It was something I always wanted to do,” she explains.
With a return to (somewhat) normalcy, the atmosphere in clubs and excitement around nightlife these days is palpable — though sometimes a slow period is helpful, as it provides time for artists like Amanda Lepore to craft. “Since there was such a long time that we couldn’t go out, I had a lot of time to work on my dresses and accessories,” says Lepore. “I was still getting dressed up for my online events and Cameos. Glamour is a full-time job, pandemic or not!”
There are few people better to ask about the status of New York nightlife’s return. A city famous for its club scene, Lepore has been right in the centre of its nightlife since the city’s 90s heyday. “Everyone is excited to be out again, even more creative than before as they had time to work on new ideas, new looks, new costumes,” she details. “There are also many new and reinvented parties.”
Although this isn’t the 90s anymore, Lepore still feels at home clubbing, and that club culture in itself hasn’t really changed, “There are still kids that come out, and even move to NYC as they did in the 90s, and gravitate toward NYC Nightlife to celebrate their creativity, their individuality. The club scene is still very much alive in NYC, and I definitely appreciate and love it,” she excitedly asserts.
Beyond the crafting that goes into Lepore’s many projects — as well as her full-time job as a purveyor of the glamorous — she is renowned for her robust figure, which she’s sculpted sharply through a library of surgeries. Her hourglass shape — which she’s pointed out as her most intriguing feature, is surely a fine achievement. “I don’t like to concentrate on one feature,” says Lepore, in regards to which bodily feature she prefers most. “I love proportions and how things look as a whole.” Which makes sense, considering not one feature of Lepore stands out from another, all of them aligning equally to form her bold look.
The pandemic placed stress on numerous industries, but one notably hard-hit sector was travel. Once quoted for running out of passport stamps after flying so much, having to adhere to the limitations the pandemic placed on travel mustn’t have been an easy feat for a frequent flyer like Amanda Lepore. “It’s been tough this past year and a half because of COVID and with all of the travel restrictions. But I am scheduled to travel to London and Bristol… for Sink The Pink,” says Lepore, with some optimistic news for her fans in the UK.
It appears that glamour never did die with the pandemic, and certainly not for Amanda Lepore. From digital performances to releasing a lipstick line and bouncing back into the nightlife scene of the Big Apple with boosted creativity, things don’t stop there. This past September, British born and New York-based artist Patrick Church released a line of clothing in collaboration with Lepore — a collection in which her iconic image is printed and patterned across a variety of pieces, ranging from speedos and opera gloves to pyjamas and a hand-painted leather jacket.
While it may not always sit at the forefront of the public consciousness, someone has to be there to keep the glamour alive. Thankfully for the aspiring club kids out there and all of our Instagram feeds, we have Amanda Lepore.