The Drag Queens of Oktoberfest

We follow the transformation process of Sheila Wolf and Gloria Viagra as they get ready for Oktoberfest's sister party Rosa Wiesn

With the sky getting gloomier by the day, September 16th — the start of Oktoberfest — marked the day Autumn truly began. Every September, Oktoberfest becomes a pilgrimage for tens of thousands of beer-lovers, including a huge amount of LGBTQ+ identifying people who descend on the city for the alternative event of Rosa Wiesn. Each year a huge party, affectionately known as “Gay Sunday”, dominates the opening weekend of Oktoberfest, and this year Sleek were there to capture the process of two drag queens getting ready for the celebration.

Balloon dresses by Sina Greinert

The venue for our Oktoberfest preparations was the new pop-up hotel The Lovelace, a former Bavarian State Bank building in the heart of Munich. Not just a handy place to stay during Oktoberfest, the owners plan to use the space for exhibitions, concerts, film screenings and pop-up concept stores. At the top of the temporary space, Paulaner Beer have created the “Zwickl Apartment”: the cool and kitsch space in which our drag queens got ready.

Our two drag queen stars are Sheila Wolf and Gloria Viagra. Wolf and Viagra are first and foremost artists. Viagra is arguably the most famous drag queen in Berlin, and Wolf is a master at the art of Burlesque. For “Gay Sunday”, the were both decked out in the artwork/clothing/ultimate statement pieces of uber-talented Sina Greinert. The Hamburg-based artist known for her balloon sculptures and incredible fashion looks created pieces that effortlessly work with the glamour and outrageous nature of the two queens. 

Shaping sculptures, clothing, and large format installations out of balloons, Greinert’s chosen medium is unconventional, but the end result is playful and unique, much like the drag queens themselves. Through the series of images, it becomes apparent that the process of getting ready is just as important as the end result, and the same can be said about creating the new “Zwickl” beer Paulaner have released. Through the time-consuming and labour-intensive “Dreimaisschverfahren” process, their new release should appeal to the more alternative beer-drinkers of the world. The bottle was awarded for its packaging design, the beer tastes good, and the hotel room they have created alongside it is super chic — what more could you ask for?

Balloon dress by Sina Greinert

With Oktoberfest still on for another week, we suggest you head down and enjoy the party yourself. The Lovelace is open for a few more months, the Paulaner beer is flowing, and the party won’t stop for a few more days. If Oktoberfest is as fun as the kweens in this shoot make it seem, why wouldn’t you?

Balloon dress by Sina Greinert
Balloon dress by Sina Greinert
Balloon dress by Sina Greinert

For more information about the Lovelace Hotel, check out the website; more information about Paulaner & the Zwickl beer can be found here.

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