Chantal Regnault’s Ballroom Portraits
The French-Haitian photographer who captured the 1990s vogue scene in New York. Chantal Regnault is the photographer behind the images in Voguing and the Ballroom Scene of New York 1989-1992, a new publication by Soul Jazz Records. She talks about her days behind the lens alongside some of Harlem’s most vibrant performers. Her story was told to Rosie Swash.
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Tagged 125th Street, Ballroom Drag Shows, Bar, Chantal Regnault, Dancers, disco, Drag Ball, Gay Club, Harlem Nights, Miss Foxy, Miss LaBeja, Miss Octavia, nyc, Photographer, The Crystal Ballroom, Voguing
Shown: Willi Ninja in his studio, 1989. Willi, considered a pioneering godfather of voguing became one of the scene’s biggest mainstream successes, featuring in Malcolm McLaren’s vogue-inspired hit Deep in Vogue and going on to coach many supermodels in the art of runway walking. Without him it’s unlikely Madonna would have touched upon Vogue in 1990. The House of Ninja was founded with the aim of mixing Asian influences with voguing. Willi died in 2006. Voguing was made popular in the late 80s and early 90s thanks to Madonna’s number one hit and the New York ballroom film Paris is Burning. But behind the scenes, photographer Chantal Regnault followed the predominantly African-American and Latin gay scene at its height between 1989-1992, capturing the energy of balls where men competed against one another, and the ‘houses’ that took inspiration from fashion labels… read & see MORE & Read a Q&A with Chantal Regnault