Every now and then, you get a chance to meet someone whose energy is so infectious they can’t help but be the center of attention. Most of those people end up being entertainers of some sort but when it comes to local stylist and Chicago native Tiger Lily, she’s happy working behind the scenes in a medium she’s loved since she was a child.
“It started when I was really young,” she says. “The first thing I fell in love with was the 1950s. When I was little I would look at picture books and photocopy them in color and put them up in my room. I remember discovering what a mandarin collar was. I was always into that stuff. What made something so special. The way I feel when I see a head to toe person just serving up a look, I die. I fucking die.”
Hanging out while smoking blunts in her childhood home, I got to have a perfectly high conversation with the up and coming stylist.
On her favorite artist:
I have many but Yoshitomo Nara is one of my favorites. I had no idea I was pretty much his subject. They all look like me and she’s such a little badass.
On her favorite drag queens:
Shea Coulee (of course!) and Kimchi. You can tell just by looking at their aesthetic. [They’re] really serving a look and owning it.
On possibly moving to California:
I was thinking I’d move out to LA and do what everyone fucking does but then I was talking to Shea Coulee and she was like “they ain’t got no water” and I was like “Bitch you’re right!” That’s some real ass shit. That’s like the only thing I drink besides liquor.
My favorite thing to style is myself.
I can’t plan out what I’m going to wear tomorrow, I just have to go with what I’m feeling
On where she sees herself in 5 years:
I have no idea where I’ll be in 3 months! I definitely want to be completely self employed and have a name for myself. I would love to have some huge projects under my belt.
I want to be international. Intergalactic and shit. You know, got my moon boots on.
Tiger Lily isn’t just a good time. The Columbia College grad’s unique eye for the avant-garde and superb alteration skills allow her to move between spaces: from theatre to network television to the always lively club kid scene. When asked how she navigates all those worlds simultaneously, she said it’s all about her attitude:
“The higher up you go and the more successful a person, the better their personality is going to be, at least in our field. You will vibe off them instantly, it’s just their aura and shit. It’s like, nobody fucks with a moody artists anymore. That’s so 90s. No one likes that shit.”
Truer words have never been spoken.