Drag queen Perla Coddington is a rising star, performing alongside some of the biggest names in the biz and signing with Mode Models — the first drag performer to be represented by the agency — to do her thing on the runway. Named in homage to American Vogue’s legendary now-retired creative director, Grace Coddington (indicating her fashion bona fides), Perla is the alter ego of 25-year-old Paul Conrad Schneider, who himself appeared on Avenue’s Best Dressed list in 2017.
Icy, petite and fierce, like a Russian ballet dancer-turned-assassin, Perla steps out in ensembles inspired by the world’s great design houses and an impressive collection of wigs (natural hair only). “Right now, I feel like quintessential Perla is middle-part long blond hair, a basic brown eye with a nice, three-layered nude lipstick moment, and a sock boot,” Schneider says.
With Perla, Schneider gets to draw on his years working in and adjacent to the fashion world and recreate his style obsessions on himself. And he’s having a ball doing it. “I can be my own mannequin,” he says. “I’m my own life-size Barbie. What else does a little gay boy want than to be their own life-size Barbie?”