1990 was a really important year for me musically. In 94 I came out, as in to gay clubs, (hell, I came out of the womb wanting a man), started my love affair with gin and rum and anything else wet , and fell instantly in love with club and house music, in addition to my love for the lonnnnng nights clubbing. For the first time ever, I started to empty out my piggy bank which paid for nights out and for two cassette tapes: Clivilles and Cole, and Deee-lite's World Cliché, and Madonna’s “Vogue” which to me all of these were the pinnacle of human musical achievement. But an amazing song was released, with a video that would provide me with enough giddy ’60s fashion inspiration and fly dance-move fabulousness to last a lifetime. That song was “Groove Is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite, and its lead singer, Lady Miss Kier, quickly became my own personal proto-Spice Girl, not to mention my major source of drag style.... the pop idol against which all other pop idols would forever be judged. Deee-lite and Lady Miss Kier would be my introduction to New York City night life, another idol, Lady Bunny and all the nights of labor with my good friend and sister Mame, on the club scene. Just thinking back gives me chills, seems like yesterday, I can still hear the thumpa thumpa of the music. My first musical love will always be house music.
Like most of us, Lady Miss Kier was from a small town.... in Youngstown, Ohio. She moved to New York to study fashion design at FIT and began selling her crazy, disco-inspired clothes to friends she met on the club scene., silver platform boots and blue glitter suits—and that was just for the dudes. One of her clients, the Russian DJ Dmitry Brill, convinced her to record a demo with himself and the Japanese DJ Towa Tei, and thus the three-headed hydra of disco-house-funk amazingness known as Deee-Lite was born, which gave us endless night of worshipping to the cool vibe house sound to this way cool group.
Adopting the name Lady Miss Kier and styling her band in addition to co-writing their songs, Kirby transformed herself into the ultimate club diva. A lot of people were working the colorful retro-’60s thing at the time, but she was the most fabulous of them all. With her penchant for skintight Pucci catsuits, oversize chunky cocktail rings, sculptural John Fluevog heels, and a teased-and-flipped hairdo, Miss Kier was largest-than-life in a scene where EVERYBODY was competing to look the craziest.
Can we also talk about her makeup at the time? With her white-powdered face, razor-sharp drawn-on brows, and three-inch fake eyelashes, Miss Kier was like a female drag queen. I could say a whole lot of Feminist Theory 101 stuff about how her over-the-top makeup was like an ironic commentary on the construction of femininity in our culture, but I’ll spare you my second-rate Judith Butler spiel and just say that she looked really freaking fabulous
I can also remember talking to her on two occasions, one as high as a kite and the other probably drunk and high. Once in Philly, and another time in Baltimere....yes, yours truly went all over the place to club. She was the most cool vibed person I ever talked too, laid back, extremely nice and kind hearted. I think I even adopted her dance after the second night. Even though it was before my time she was like a modern day Emma Peal. And gurrrrls could she ever spin for a club........... while I still enjoy going out, club music WILL NEVER be like this again.
A 3 Hour set by Lady Miss Kier kept the dance floor packed at this venue for a LGBT event a couple years ago. Excuse me now while I tear up the living room floor. This is my music!!!!!