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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Avant-garde fashion show offers glimpse of the abyss

The organisers of Glamazon, pictured in hair salon The Dollhouse
The organisers of Glamazon, pictured in hair salon The Dollhouse. From left: Ryan Drewe Taylor, Brandon Lee and Yulia Khouri. Eli Meixler

Avant-garde fashion show offers glimpse of the abyss

Avant-garde fashion show Glamazon will kick off Friday night, featuring real women (and one man) revealing their inner model on the runway and finishing with a parade of extravagant outfits inspired by an “abyss” theme.

Started three years ago by salon The Dollhouse, the annual event exhibits haute couture fashion designed by the hairdressers – this year neon and translucent materials will dominate the stage.

“The abyss – it is mysterious, a little bit scary”, says Ryan Drewe Taylor, owner of The Dollhouse and one of the founders of Glamazon.

The theme was inspired by a James Cameron documentary, he said.

“We took the shapes from the deep, from shells and spirals . . . A lot of metals and plastic and things that are moldable, we actually contracted building constructers to work with us on melding,” he said.

Hosting the evening will be last year’s guest star, American drag queen Jujubee, best known as a contestant on Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race.

It will be the second trip to the region for Jujubee, whose parents are Laotian.

Cambodian pop star Nikki Nikki, who is also a finalist in the Cambodian original music competition Song Kites, will also be performing.

Friday night’s event consists of two sections. The first half will feature nine women and a man who will be transformed into models for the night.

“The transformation is important because it has always been about female empowerment. We get the real women and then transform them,” said Taylor. “We’ve never really used men before. He is a surprise, he is a part of the show”.

The ten transformation models receive a complete makeover with their hair being coloured and cut into a new style, by the team at Dollhouse.

They will then be outfitted in a specially made dress by Phnom Penh-based fashion designer Romyda Keth and invited to walk down the catwalk.

“The expat community is quite small everybody knows each other, so your friend comes on the stage and she looks like a fabulous women on the catwalk and you just go ‘wow’,” said Yulia Khouri, CEO of Innov8, partners with The Dollhouse.

This year’s installment of Glamazon will be the last show of its kind, but Taylor promises a new formula for 2015.

“We didn’t want to keep milking a formula which people got tired of, so next year we will come up with a complete new kind of show,” he said.

Taylors advice on how to prepare for Friday’s show is: “Expect the unexpected, you never know what you’re going to see.”

Glamazon will be held at CodeRed Friday night. The show is by invite only.

The after party is open to all and will start at 11pm, music by Kimchi Collective.

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