Many Shades of Being Darcelle: 52 Years of Fashion, 1967-2019

Editor's Pick
Southwest Portland
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Aug. 30–Nov. 3, 2019
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205

The following description was submitted by the event organizer.

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.

From Oregon Arts Watch:

"For more than 50 years Walter Cole has been performing as Portland’s now-iconic drag queen Darcelle XV at the Darcelle XV Showplace in Old Town. For the first time ever, the Oregon Historical Society presents a selection of some of Darcelle’s most fabulous handmade stage costumes dating back to the beginning of Cole’s career in the 1960s. The exhibition accompanies a new musical about Darcelle (Triangle Productions’ “That’s No Lady”) and puts the spotlight on this grande dame of Portland’s LGBTQ history."