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      culture i-D Staff 16 March, 2017

      louie banks captures sussi and his fellow queens of the night

      When Louie heard Scotty "Sussi" Sussman was moving to London with partner-in-crime Harry Charlesworth, he could feel a project brewing. Here, the photographer shoots the enigmatic pair alongside actress and model Gia Garison.

      To photographer Louie Banks, clubs are not just a space to find release, but a place to find references and visual cues for his imagery. Looking at his work, it's hard to deny his pictures are imbued with the spirit of the night and the power of the underground. So, when it came to shooting these three, it all made perfect sense. "Sussi, Harry, and Gia are queens of the night, just like myself. I am not alone in finding my inspiration at underground parties. But when you take the kids out of the clubs there is more to be seen. Over the past few months I have been shooting Sussi, and all of the beautiful people that surround him, and this is the first shoot from an ongoing series. Each shoot ties in with the last but each is its own special day I have spent with these new friends of mine. These images were all hand printed by me in the dark room. Love and care went into every one."

      "When I think about what I want from a subject, the priority is always attitude, style, and individuality. When I am not working to a client's brief I spend all my time searching for these subjects. Strong older women, unique female pop stars, drag queens, my LGBTQ brothers, sisters, and all in between. These are the people I relate to the most and that I want to empower and in return be empowered by. Some of my favorite subjects have been Zandra Rhodes, Pam Hogg, Dinah Lux, Brooke Candy, Mimi Wade, Love Bailey & Betty Bailey, Daphne Selfe… to name a few."

      Read: Scotty Sussman is living proof that the nightlife wheel is still turning, as fierce and fast as it ever did.

      Gia Garison, timeless. Actress, Model, Creator.

      Who would play you in a movie of your life? 
      I have no idea who would play me but it better not be another straight, cis, male A-lister pretending to be a woman... I must be portrayed by a transwoman!
      Tell us one thing you've never told anyone before? 
      I wasn't born on Earth.
      Have you ever pretended to be someone else in the mirror? 
      Once I pretended to be that scary dead bride that shows up inside the mirror in Insidious.
      What did you want to be when you were growing up? 
      A veterinarian.
      What one item of clothing is 100 percent essential to you?
      Thigh-high stilettos.
      When was the last time you laughed out loud? 
      Five minutes ago, at a text my friend sent me. I laugh at my phone way too much.
      When was the last time you cried? 
      Last night while attending a performance of A Bright Room Called Day.
      When was the last time you cringed? 
      I cringe so much I don't think I could even keep track.

      Harry Charlesworth, 20. Makeup Goblin.

      Who would play you in a movie of your life?
      Myself of course — no one can portray this!
      Tell us one thing you've never told anyone before?
      Something a lot of people probably don't know about me is that I'm a huge weeb. Basically all my time that isn't spent working or going out is devoted to watching anime.
      Have you ever pretended to be someone else in the mirror?
      No, I don't like trying to be something I'm not. Every character I want to be already exists within myself, and they all get their turn to give shows in front of the mirror.
      What did you want to be when you were growing up?
      I always sort of wanted to be a veterinarian when I was little, until I realized that you didn't just get to pet dogs all day. Then I thought I'd settle on designing car interiors until I realized there was math involved. "Queen of Everything" has always stuck with me, though.
      What one item of clothing is 100 percent essential to you?
      My touchscreen-friendly, clawed gloves made by the incredible Hana Holquist.
      When was the last time you laughed out loud?
      Last time I laughed was five seconds ago at nothing in particular! I would say my horsey Jewish-mom laugh is one of my signatures.
      When was the last time you cried?
      The last time I truly cried was upon hearing the heartbreaking news of the murder of Jaquarrius Holland, the seventh trans woman to be murdered in the US this year. There have been too many reasons to shed tears this year already.
      When was the last time you cringed?
      Last time I cringed was Kendall Jenner taking the AUX cord from the DJ at a big fashion party to play her stale Top 40 Spotify playlist, and having to witness everyone pretending to enjoy themselves. Girl, "Bad & Boujee" was so last season.

      Sussi, timeless. Visual Artist.

      Who would play you in a movie of your life?
      If I had a movie of my life I would want it to be animated so I could be in charge of the fantasy, no one could ever play me. I would also hate having to make an actor wear all of these uncomfortable costumes day after day because only I have the energy to do that. 
      Tell us one thing you've never told anyone before? 
      I've never eaten a grape.
      Have you ever pretended to be someone else in the mirror?
      I don't want to be anyone else, just a more exaggerated version of myself. 
      What did you want to be when you were growing up?
      When I was growing up I wanted to do exactly what I'm doing right now. Everything feels right. It's your life, it has to be perfect: exactly how YOU want it. From day one. 
      What one item of clothing is 100 percent essential to you?
      I will never leave the house without a headpiece on. It is the cherry on top of every look!
      When was the last time you laughed out loud?
      I don't remember the last time I laughed because I'm always laughing at something; you can't take life too seriously. Find humor in the negative things.
      When was the last time you cried?
      The last time I cried was on a plane, because I always cry on planes… feeling so far from home, even though you know it's the right thing to do.

      Credits

      Photography Louie Banks

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      Topics:culture, photography, lgbt, lgbtq, louie banks, scotty sussman, sussi, drag, harry charlesworth, gia garison, queer nightlife, beauty

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