Getting Met Gala-ready with ‘Drag Race’ star Symone
Photographs by Dina Litovsky/Redux for CNN
Published September 14, 2021
Shortly before Symone, winner of the latest season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” hit the Met Gala red carpet for the first time Monday, she was busy getting ready at New York’s The Mark Hotel, where many of the night’s stars complete their evening transformations. Dripping in a Moschino gown of gold chains and fringe, the “Ebony Enchantress” channeled classic glamour, with an extra twist for the gala’s 2021 theme, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”
Here, we caught up with Symone just before she headed out for the night.
CNN Style: How are you feeling about attending the Met Gala and walking the red carpet tonight? Are you nervous?
Symone: I’m not going to even lie to you — I’m very nervous! This is fashion’s biggest night, honey, and ya girl has to be right and right! More than nervous though, I’m very excited! Things like this don’t happen every day, so I’m ready to feel and experience all the things today has to offer.
CNN Style: Is there anything you do as a ritual before any major event?
Symone: Oh, yes! I always have to take me a good, long shower before starting the glamification — it helps clear my mind and my nerves. Then, I put on my getting-ready playlist and go in. Music is a huge part of my process because it helps get my energies right and where they need to be.
CNN Style: How do you feel in your outfit tonight? What do you love most about it?
Symone: You know how Brandy felt (in the movie “Cinderella”) after Whitney (Houston) twiddled her fingers and made her the most gorgeous diva for the ball? That’s literally the moment. I just feel so glamorous after putting it on. And what do I love about the dress? Baby, everything! I love the silhouette, the color and the fringe with the topaz jewel hanging on the ends. I mean, come on — it’s a moment!
CNN Style: What was the vision for your hair and makeup?
Symone: I wanted the makeup to be simple gold glamour to complement, but not overshadow, the dress. A lot of work went into making the dress, so I didn’t want to take away from that. For hair, I wanted classic beauty, but make it Symone: crisp curls with a slicked bang. Yet still glamour, dahling!
CNN Style: Tonight is a celebration of American fashion. What does that idea mean to you?
Symone: To me, American fashion is diversity and individuality. The country is made up of so many different kinds of people, which comes out in the way we dress ourselves. There’s not just one way to describe American fashion, which is what makes this Met Gala theme fun and exciting. It gives people the opportunity to show who they really are and their point of view.