Drag queen Coco Pop lets us into her closet


For premier drag queen Coco Pop, preparing for a show is all about the three essential F’s – fierce, fabulous and fun. By Arthur Tam

Coco Pop has been one of Hong Kong’s top drag queens for a good part of a decade, flaunting her fabulously fierce outfits while miraculously maintaining balance around LKF in feet-rupturing heels. This lady knows what it takes to do drag and, coming up, the six-foot-plus lovely is gearing up to celebrate her 40th birthday party in charitable fashion by raising money for both AIDS Concern and the upcoming Hong Kong Pride Parade. “My dear friend Greg Derham [1968-2012, madame and owner of House of Siren] was always passionate about giving back, especially for AIDS-related issues, which is why I’m hosting the first part of my party at House of Siren.” 

On the same night as the invite-only birthday party on October 11, Coco continues the fun later in the evening with a performance at Propaganda. And a few weeks later, she returns to the stage at Propaganda’s Halloween Bash on October 31. It’s a busy October for Coco Pop and, ahead of this duo of shows, she tells us how she prepares for taking to the stage in exaggerated glamour… 

The cleaning and grooming
“First I take a shower to clean off all the excess oil so I can prep for makeup. Then I shave the loose areas around my head so my wig can fit properly. Finally, I shave the rest of my face, armpits and crotch. Loose hairs popping out would be so embarrassing.”

The makeup
“It takes me three hours to do makeup. The first hour is dedicated to applying foundation, covering my eyebrows with children’s glue and then layering wax on my eyebrows. The wax helps to set a plastic piece of skin that I place on top of my brows to prep for eye makeup. The second hour is dedicated to making my eyes fierce, which is probably the most important part of drag. You mesmerise with the eyes. I use my 18-colour eyeshadow to draw between my eyelid and fake brow. Then, it’s an application of glitter or any kind of design that I like. The last hour is left for contouring, shading and drawing big lips. I need to exaggerate all the details of my beautiful face.”

The wardrobe
“I always style myself a few days before a performance so I can go out the door as soon as I’m done with makeup. I use a lot of gold, metallics, bracelets, blinging earrings and – my favourite – diamond chokers. I order my wigs from Australia because the choices in Hong Kong are slim. I usually get a lace front wig, which goes for about $1,000. A nice bra, corset and pads are essential. It helps reshape your body as well as fill out those hips and bum for a curvy, lifted and rounded appearance. Most importantly, you have to remember to go out and bring a fan. In Hong Kong, when you have three undergarments and a wig on, you turn into a volcano.” 

The posse
“I call them my Queen Collection – young drag queens who help me get from point A to point B. It’s not easy walking around and hailing a cab in drag.”

The attitude
“Firmly believe in yourself. I must thank Anita Mui. She is my goddess. Her look, singing and outlook as a performer really inspire me.” 


Coco Pop’s 40th Propaganda, Fri Oct 11, $240;

Halloween Bash Propaganda, Thu Oct 31, $180, free entry with costume; facebook.com/cocoishot.


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