KIM CHI

WORDS EMILY MEOW PHOTOGRAPHY GREG BAILEY

Emily Meow: Hey Kim, how are you finding the UK so far?

Kim Chi: I love the UK! Everybody has been amazing. I honestly feel like people have been so sincere, at least the ones I've met, nothing bad to say! It's beautiful. It tells a story, every building has a history behind it!

EM: That's wonderful! So back home in Chicago, what's your own drag scene like?

KC: The drag scene in Chicago is really cool right now. About three to four years ago it used to be all pageant girls doing Top 40 numbers, but now there's a huge mixture. We have club kids, alternative queens, pageant queens, we also have our persona queens, like "this is who I am and this is what I do". If you come to Chicago there's always a drag show to go to at any time of the week. At weekends, there's so many different drag shows to choose from. It's like drag heaven! So many queens from America are actually moving to Chicago now, our drag scene is so up and coming.

EM: Can you name any Chicago queens we should look out for?

KC: Oh my god yeah, so Imp Kid is amazing, Sara Andrews, Trannika Rex my best friend, she's awesome. Valentine Addams is cool, and that's just to name a few, there's so many, I could just go on for hours and hours. 

EM: Do you find the drag over here in the UK differs from the drag style back home?

KC: I guess it's hard for me to tell how different it is because when I'm in the show, I only get to meet the queens backstage, I don't get to see how they come to life on stage. But based on the costumes and everything, everybody is really polished and there's a lot more of a gender neutral quality to the queens, you know? It's like all about blurring the lines!

EM: What inspires your looks?

KC: Various things inspire my looks, my inspirations comes from a lot of random places. Right now, it's a little bit difficult, because I like to wear lots of extravagant, delicate costumes. But when I travel what I can wear is pretty limited, so the costume doesn't get destroyed at the airport and whatnot. But being in the UK and meeting so many queens with a Lolita kind of style is really cool! 

EM: When I first clocked you online, I felt like you were someone I could fully relate to in regards to kawaii fashion. I remember seeing Evah Destruction in Lolita at DragCon, which was so lovely. 

KC: I love Evah Destruction! She's another one to look out for. 

EM: 100%! So, what was your first ever drag performance like?

KC: HAHAHHAHAH! Tragic. Terrible. Misguided. The very first song I ever performed was "Stop" by the Spice Girls.

EM: That makes me so happy. Please bring this back!

KC: Hahahahah, I don't think I could ever bring it back, it was so bad. 

EM: What were you wearing? 

KC: I was wearing an orange skirt with a polka dot top, I had victory rolls in my hair that Pearl styled. The hair looked good! I don't know about the rest.

EM: Iconic! Can you tell us about your new Youtube series "When's Dinner?"

KC: So I started the series "When's Dinner?" just to show the audience all the places I get to go to and all the different people I get to meet. I wanted to do it from an angle that hasn't really been approached from a drag queen and I think that's food. Food and eating is something that everyone has an opinion on, it is such a huge part of our daily life. We wake up in the morning and think about what we're going to have for breakfast.

EM: At least I do anyway!

KC: I mean I'm always thinking about what I'm going to eat, you know? Hahahah!

EM: What's the best food you've tried in the UK so far?

KC: Oh my god. What I love about the UK is all the people are like "our food is terrible" but I completely disagree. Everything I have tasted in the UK tastes less processed than American food. Even like the traditional breakfast fry up with the potatoes and all the different cuts of meat is so good. Even a sandwich at the airport was better than the sandwiches we get at the airport in America. I've tried a chicken tikka sandwich, where the bread is fluffy and the meat is flavorful. Cucumber and cream cheese is so good! Even the potato chips! Prawn cocktail?! I wish we had that in America!

Kim Chi and Emily Meow

EM: How was collaborating with Sugarpill?

KC: Sugarpill is amazing. Amy (Shrinkle) has been a good friend of mine and it's the perfect opportunity for me because I love makeup, and I love Sugarpill. I couldn't think of a collaboration that would have been better suited for me. And I'm wearing it tonight! 

EM: Any updates on performing in Korea? I know you mentioned you'd love to on the show.

KC: Yep! I'll be performing in Korea on September 23rd. I don't know the full details yet, but stay tuned!

EM: So what's next for you?  

KC: Basically I'm travelling to a bunch of places right now. We have the Season 8 (RuPaul's Drag Race) tour coming up and then I have a Brazil tour, and an Australian tour, then Korea. Basically travelling all over the world and America right now! I'll also be launching a personal project soon which will all be coming out shortly. 

EM: Any last words?

KC: Follow me on social media! Everywhere is @kimchi_chic

 

Follow Kim Chi and Emily on InstagramI: @kimchi_chic | @emilymeowww

Greg BaileyComment