Une Fille un Style: Daddy Long Legs
Bearded lady or boy in stilettos, Andre J., creature perched high beyond clichés. Impervious to criticism, his glamour speaks as much about generosity as it does of flamboyance. His mission: radiate. To the tune of “I Am Every Woman,” his own personal hymn. By Carol Sabas. Photography by Thomas Dozol.
Andre wears Third Floor’s Patent Leather Helmet.
ONE STYLE “Sauvage, honey!” “‘Fierce’ is my favorite word.” Andre doesn’t live as a drag queen but, rather, emancipated. “You always expect an exotic man to be in XXL jeans and Timberlands… and then here I am!” Shorts and cowboy boots, caftan and sandals, beard and lipstick; he loves the looks he gets. “I want people to feel inspired and smile when they look at me.” Anyway, “good or bad, a comment is still just a comment.”
SERIAL LOOKS For a long time, Andre surveyed Melrose Avenue in a fur hat, a ripped rock t-shirt, and jeans down around his pubes. In New York he discovered the miracle of high heels. “My whole body stretches.” A panoply of girl chic followed—a mélange of vintage from great places like Frock, on Orchard Street, or Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn, and a good bit from his designer friends: Marco Hall (for whom he’s walked), Jose Duran, Malcom Mal-Sirrah of Malcom Harris. Stretch to show off his legs, cashmere or Mongolian lamb for softness, red and gold “to reflect in windows.”
ATTITUDE Walk with suppleness, let your hair sweep side to side, bewitch with a look… Andre J. has a master’s degree in femininity. To the point that he teaches it to disadvantaged teen girls from the Lower East Side Girls Club, in his workshop called “What Is Beauty?”
WORST FASHION MEMORY Not a one. “When you know your own style, it’s impossible to make mistakes.”
FETISH “My hair; I’m obsessed.” 23-and-half inches long, smoothed each week by his favorite hairstylist, Isaac Davidson from CyberParlor, a shop famous in New York for spectacular styles, extensions, dreadlocks, and wigs. When Andre does evening, he prefers sophisticated curls, for which he calls upon Paul Lodge, Patricia Fields stylist.
JEWELRY Tons, enormous, piles, and all by Noir, Leeora Catalan’s fantasy jewelry boutique on 38e Rue. He explains: a 20cm stone, a pendant, four or five raised gold bracelets on each wrist, three multicolored cabachon rings. Semi-precious bling-bling, but Andre is gearing up for “the next day when they’ll be pure diamonds.”
LIPSTICK His signature. Triumphant, he takes four out of his handbag, all M.A.C. Gloss for daytime, red lipgloss for nighttime, each in the loud shade of “Russia Red.” With lip balm in a tube—”more discrete, for running to the laundromat.”
PERFUME Andre’s first work was as at the Michael Kors perfume counter at Lord & Taylor. “I stayed faithful: rich and creamy florals.” For days when he’s in a “happy sexy” mood, he switches to the more niche creations of Mel Merio.