Welcome back to Hi Femme!, dapperQ’s sibling visibility project celebrating the incredible contributions that stylish femmes make to the queer fashion landscape. For this edition, we’re featuring Alex Koones, the founder and producer of Babetown, a pop up supper club for queer women, trans and non binary people, that meets monthly in different queer homes throughout New York. A product of New York kitchens herself, Alex has worked in several of New York’s top Michelin starred kitchens and has catered events for the likes of the Human Rights Campaign and the National Basketball Association. Through Babetown, she hopes to use the shared experience of enjoying a well made meal as a tool for bringing queers closer together and forging a network and bond between queer women, trans and non binary people of all walks of life throughout New York. Photos by Austin Mcallister.
Hi Femme!: Can you talk a bit about how you define queer femme style and what makes it transgressive?
Alex: I view femme style as sort of an ownership over the performance of femininity. Femme style is a little exaggerated, aggressively feminine, unapologetically sensual. Femmes of every gender identity often exist in spaces that ask them to tone down who they are, to be flexible and patient and modest. Femme is a direct resistance to that – it’s a subversive rebellion that’s emerged against oppressive gender norms. Where feminine beauty is often placed inside a culture of body shaming, femme is a celebration of the body. Where feminine sexuality and desire is supposed to be muted, femme style puts it on full display. Femme style is in some ways a giant contradiction, because you are all at once embodying this thing and kind of poking fun at it a little.
Hi Femme!: How would you describe your personal style?
Alex: I’m torn between describing my style as “sexy fairy tale princess,” ”Crown Heights disco” and “Ann Margaret on acid.”
Hi Femme!: Who are your fashion icon(s)?
Alex: Before I buy any article of clothing, I ask myself “Would Marilyn Monroe wear this?” I also get a lot of inspiration from Naomi Smalls and Ilana from Broad City, just the way they both use utilize bright colors and display their sensuality.
Hi Femme!: What item in your style arsenal can you not live without?
Alex: I love a good crop top, what can I say? A good crop top goes with anything, easily transitions from day to night and layers really well with almost anything. When you see me, 9 times out of 10, I am wearing a crop top.