No stranger to an epic party, Amsterdam Pride’s famous canal parade was once again a smash hit. “This is my Pride” marked the theme of the 22nd annual festival, which hosted more than half a million visitors with some of the most stunning looks of the year. And in the center of it all was W Amsterdam‘s extravagant parade float.
Audaciously featuring three life-size cocktail glasses with dancers lifted to the sky, our float took first prize for Best Design thanks to the gilded costumes created by Amsterdam-based fashion duo MaryMe-JimmyPaul, whose extravagant designs paid homage to the gold plated inaugural Gay Pride celebration in 1970s New York City.
Of course, MaryMe-JimmyPaul are no strangers to glamor. They’ve dressed celebrity royalty the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Kylie Minogue. We caught up with the pair backstage to talk about their design inspiration, process, and the pride behind the golden float.
What was your main inspiration for the PRIDE parade float costumes?
MaryMe-JimmyPaul: Beyond trying to convey the glamour, luxury, and jet set life of W Hotels on the float, we wanted to portray a sense of sexual liberation. We thought about the first gay pride in the 70s (after the Stonewall riots) and the celebration of diversity. Mixing those ideas with the fun our own fun style.
What design references did you use?
MMJP: We were really inspired by the 70s JetSet disco era when the LGBTQI(AP) gained more attention.
We wanted to create flowing, beautiful glitter fabrics that shine bright from a distance, and that gives a sense of fun and glam! We thought about Donna Summer and Diana Ross, Studio 54, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and that 60s Pucci photo shoot in Morocco (look it up if you don’t know this) and gold, lots of gold!
What was the process creating the costumes from start to finish?
MMJP: We started with looking for photos of strong, powerful people that have a big following in the LGBTQIAP community, and from there on we started sketching. Then we choose the best looks that a lot of people could wear and style themselves.
What are three words you would use to describe the finished outfits:
MMJP: Glamour, fun, and freedom.
Who is your PRIDE Fashion icon?
MMJP: There are so many, it’s impossible to say who is a PRIDE fashion icon, but we can say that the new restyled Céline Dion is a good one. And of course you have Gaga, RuPaul, Katy Perry etc.
What’s a must have accessory when dressing for PRIDE?
MMJP: A smile.
Who is your dream celebrity to make a costume for?
MMJP: We love every celebrity, MaryMe/JimmyPaul has been worn already by many, like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Kesha, Ariana Grande, and Paris Hilton. We would not mind adding Beyoncé, Katy Perry, or Nicki Minaj to that list.
What makes Amsterdam’s PRIDE unique?
MMJP: The float on the canals. There’s nowhere in the world like that.
What are three essentials for a perfect PRIDE?
MMJP: A positive attitude, good shoes, and love!