Posted on October 11, 2019

Image of Darcelle in a pink dress

Portland’s own Darcelle XV (the stage name of Walter Cole) has been headlining the Darcelle XV Showplace cabaret club since 1973. In a career spanning over 50 years, Darcelle has worn a vast array of extravagant costumes, often designed and constructed by Walter himself. Walter, performing as Darcelle, now holds the Guinness World Record for oldest performing drag queen.

This first-ever exhibit of Darcelle’s iconic costumes, The Many Shades of Darcelle: 52 Years of Fashion, 1967–2019, features several of Darcelle’s more than 1,500 stage costumes. Spanning from the 1960s to the present, these costumes allow the public to view drag culture up close and to experience a piece of Portland’s glamorous history. The exhibit is part of the Darcelle Project, which includes Triangle Production’s fall production of the musical That’s No Lady.

New addition! We are pleased to announce that we have just added to this exhibit the tiara presented to Darcelle when she was crowned Rose Empress XV of the Imperial Sovereign Court of Oregon in 1972! The coronation was held in the lobby of the Paramount Theater (now the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall), and since the coronation, Darcelle has been officially known under the name “Darcelle XV.”

Event: Many Shades of Being Darcelle
Date: August 30-December 8, 2019
Location: Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Details: The Darcelle exhibit is currently on display at the Oregon Historical Society.

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