Violet Chachki and Allie X Have a Lamp Problem
When two stars come together, scientists call it a stellar collision. When two stars collab, however, scientists call it a stellar serve. This week, Violet Chachki and Allie X released a new song “Mistress Violet,” a decadent sonic experience filled with major fashion moments. The song, conceived by Allie X in just one hour and produced by Lecomte De Brégeot, is a synth-filled salute to the feminine divine, which both the singer and drag superstar embody with immaculate perfection.
“I’m somewhat addicted/ To being depicted/ The bitch with a whip and the Dior tights,” purrs Chachki in the opening scene of the “Mistress Violet” music video, directed by visual artist Jennifer Juniper Stratford. The two queens captivate in everything from Schiaparelli gowns and jewels to custom corsets, a nod to Chachki’s now-iconic burlesque pin-up aesthetic. The video, as the Twitter gays would say, is giving what it’s supposed to give. To mark their collaboration, Allie X and Chachki hopped on the phone to discuss everything from Catholic school uniforms to fetish wear, and shared some exclusive behind the scenes images from the “Mistress Violet” video shoot with us.
ALLIE X: Violet, what a journey we’ve had since “All the Rage.” You said you don’t work well with others and I would say the same about myself in most aspects. Why do you think we work well together?
VIOLET CHACHKI: I think we’re just both good at what we do. We see each other for what we are and there’s a mutual respect that we have for each other. It’s difficult working with anyone but when I’m working with you I know it’s going to be completely worth it.
ALLIE X: That’s how I think about you. As a songwriter for hire, I’ve gotten really jaded about it. I really don’t enjoy writing for anyone except myself for the most part, but it was really fun writing for you. I wrote the whole thing in an hour or two because it was just so clear what you wanted, and I relate so much to your style and attitude.
CHACHKI: You know exactly what you want in terms of aesthetics. JJ is also in that same category: knowing what she wants, knowing how she wants to do it, and going for it.
ALLIE X: That made this process really easy. There’s no room for doubt, we just execute.
CHACHKI: This is the fastest I’ve ever gone from a rough musical demo to a full video launch.
ALLIE X: Six months. You are one of the best stylists I know and you don’t even call yourself a stylist. What was your process with creating the fashion story for our video? I don’t understand how you pulled that off so well.
CHACHKI: I’ve been styling myself for a long time. I’ve done fetish for so long and it was keeping it glam and 80s— still fetish-y, but not too obvious. I think the mood board was all over the place for this. It was a bit of John Willie, Pater Sato then we have the Schiaparelli thrown in, and some Japanese cyborg moments. I wanted this to feel 80’s, glam, and couture.
ALLIE X: You did a really incredible job. I was like, “Damn, she just did that so effortlessly.” Okay, who do you think is a bigger bitch?
CHACHKI: Oh, that is tough. People know that I’m a bitch publicly, but no one knows how severe you can be. I feel like you’re more of a bitch because you’re secretive about it.
ALLIE X: I love that answer. People don’t know!
CHACHKI: No one knows how fierce and severe Miss Allie X can truly be. You’re secretive and it’s part of my brand identity.
ALLIE X: Well, maybe I’m moving more in that direction now that I’m featured on this track.
CHACHKI: Yes, absolutely. I support it.
ALLIE X: I realized in writing these questions I don’t know much about your upbringing and your family.
CHACHKI: Oh god.
ALLIE X: I mean we don’t have to go to therapy but like Coles Notes?
CHACHKI: Well, I was raised in the south, so it’s like Bible belt vibes. I went to Catholic school, so I had a male uniform my whole life. I always had very specific gender roles with hair and makeup and nails. Every single little aspect of me was gendered and then I was told aesthetically what was allowed per my gender. I started doing drag as a form of rebellion and expression and then I got attention and it snowballed. I definitely think the Catholic school uniform had a big part in my creative process.
ALLIE X: Did you go from zero to 100? Were you fully Catholic school boy and then fully drag queen, how did that happen?
CHACHKI: I remember, like in kindergarten, being singled out. I was just always different, always in trouble, and I was always getting attention.
ALLIE X: Same!
CHACHKI: People started calling me gay before I was even sexual like, “Oh you’re gay” and I’m like, “Okay, well I’m eight so.” I hadn’t even grown pubic hair yet, so let’s calm down.
ALLIE X: Well, thanks for telling me about that. Are you someone that gets behind trends?
CHACHKI: Trends really annoy me. There’s this old saying that the gays discover something and then five years later straight people discover it.
ALLIE X: Oh, my god that’s so true.
CHACHKI: Even skinny jeans, when that was such a gay boy thing and now straight bros are wearing skinny jeans. I think that’s kind of how I see drag now, like, “Okay, so all of a sudden drag is in.” It’s like, “Where were you guys ten years ago?” I’m not a trendy person, I don’t like to be. I do have a mullet right now, which is very trendy.
ALLIE X: This is very trendy. Points deducted.
CHACHKI: Points deducted for sure. Actually, I’m just gonna get a rat tail soon, so I can be above it all. I don’t think I’m trendy.
ALLIE X: I agree, you have a more classic sense of style. Not like you just stick to one genre, one era, or one designer, you just pick the classics.
CHACHKI: I’m constantly trying to be like, “Okay, well, I already did classic this way, so let’s try to make it classic in this way.” I’m going back to that Bettie Page pinup aesthetic as a baseline and using variations of that to make it new and the next step of style evolution of the zeitgeist.
ALLIE X: Last impulse purchase?
CHACHKI: Oh God, I have a problem. I have a big problem. I’ve been following all of these interior design accounts on Instagram.
ALLIE X: Oh my God, I have the same problem. I didn’t realize that’s what you were gonna say.
CHACHKI: I have a lamp problem. I’m addicted to lamps. At this point I’m collecting lamps, I have no need for them. Right now, I have seven standalone lamps in my bedroom. Seven!
ALLIE X: I mean those, if they’re vintage and they have value, it’s not the worst idea. They will always have a worth.
CHACHKI: So, the last thing I bought was a wall mirror that has this marble shelf and blue neon lights going around it. I saw it and I had to have it. I don’t know what for, but I can even see someone like JJ using it in a video or something. That’s my last impulse purchase and I am addicted, I can’t stop. I cannot stop buying furniture and lamps on Instragram.
ALLIE X: I love that. Do you go on First Dibs?
CHACHKI: Oh, I go on First Dibs for inspiration, but I’m offended by the prices, like you’ve got to be kidding me.
ALLIE X: The higher price something is, the more I want it and the more I feel like it’s worth it. I’m so easily swayed and tricked by the prices.
CHACHKI: I’m like, “I’ve seen that in a Goodwill before, I will find it again.”
ALLIE X: I need more of that spirit. That’s so funny I didn’t know we had the same addiction.
CHACHKI: Oh yeah my house is ridiculous, it’s just covered in lamps. Wait, what was your last impulse purchase?
ALLIE X: I bought a hand woven royal blue rug from Italy and it was not cheap, but it’s so beautiful though.
CHACHKI: That sounds stunning.
ALLIE X: I did the whole room in walnut and clay. I just wanted like—
CHACHKI: [Laughs] The colors!
ALLIE X: Don’t even get me into this, this is like an interview for another magazine because I’ll start talking about my DIY, butch side and get into that whole thing.
CHACHKI: Still aesthetic space, honey.
ALLIE X: What was the best meal you ever had?
CHACHKI: Oh my God! There’s this restaurant in Paris called….fuck. I forget what it’s called. All the cool people eat there and they have this risotto and it is the best risotto I’ve ever had in my entire life.
ALLIE X: The food in Paris was so good.
CHACHKI: Was it La Pubelle? I haven’t been to Paris in a long time.
ALLIE X: I think that’s in Beachwood [Laughs].
CHACHKI: That’s like the one French restaurant in L.A. Anyways, it’s this one restaurant everyone goes to after shows. I went there after Vivienne Westwood and we had negronis and risotto with chicken and it was amazing. Maybe it’s because I was famished from fashion week.
ALLIE X: You get so hungry from wanting to be skinny in your looks and then, when you finally do eat, it’s the best.
CHACHKI: I’m manic during fashion week. Running here, running there, trying to make it on time to all the things. When you finally have a moment to sit down, it does feel like the best meal you’ve ever had in your entire life.
ALLIE X: I had a couple of those. The funny thing is that I wasn’t addicted to Drag Race when we met, I hadn’t even seen your season and you didn’t know my music. Neither of us knew what the other was like doing. Why did you even do that gig?
CHACHKI: That’s a really good question. Oh! I know why. It’s because of the producer that you were working with. I thought I might want to produce with him down the line.
ALLIE X: Oh, my God. You conniving bitch, I love that. I’m the same. Then I watched your season and I was like, “She’s like the best one ever.”
CHACHKI: I have all your songs saved to my Spotify and they come on all the time. “Downtown” is one of my favorite songs ever, I have a whole drag number to that song mapped out in my head with cartwheels and splits.
ALLIE X: I didn’t even know you could do a cartwheel.
CHACHKI: I cannot! In my mind, it’s like the perfect lip-sync song.
ALLIE X: Violet, who do you think has bigger arms, of the two of us?
CHACHKI: Oh my God, definitely me, 100%.
ALLIE X: It’s just so good to hear you admit it.
CHACHKI: My arms barely fit into any of the couture. We had to get custom arm corsets made to whittle my arms down to fit Schiaparelli couture. I mean, and if you look behind it’s just all tape and glue and pins and needles and we were just sucked into that couture, honey.
ALLIE X: I need to make sure this gets printed. I need it in writing, I need a physical copy of this admission.