Liu Xianping vs Peter Pan: Drag race
With his frankly sensational stems and loving indulgence of his granddaughter, Liu Xianping has become an online fashion sensation. The 72 year old, who hails from China’s Guangdong province slipped on a dress from his granddaughter’s fashion line as a joke, but when Miss Lu realised her grandfather looked impeccable in the frock, she went for it, employing him as a site model.
The resulting pictures, which are a little Blair Waldorf circa Gossip Girl season one, a little Priscilla, and a little Advanced Style, have been picked up by the global mainstream media, and seen a huge upswing in sales for the site.
While these images are campaign and look book shots, a world away from personal style blogging, they remind us of another flamboyant fashion pioneer, Randy Constan of Pixyland.org.
Before there was a Real Life Barbie Doll, a Rumi Neely or even a YouTube, Randy was showing the world his fondness for the boy who never grows up, through elaborate home-made costumes.
Up until now, Randy’s ability to rock coloured tights and frills has been peerless, but Liu Xianping gives Peter Pan a serious run for his money.
So, when it comes to the internet's greatest cross dressing super star, who will claim the crown, and who will have to sashay away? We put the two head to head in a few key categories to find out.
Joie de vivre
Liu Xianping has a “”young heart” and loves visiting parks and zoos, playing games on his mobile, and got into modelling partially because he liked the colour palette his granddaughter had chosen.
Randy Constan is a devoted Christian who follows “Through the Cracks Ministries”. He married his wife in a fairy themed ceremony, has a business card that reads "Guitarist, Inventor, Engineer, Eternal Child" and loves to attend Renaissance Fairs.
Winner: Liu Xianping, who despite living through some of the most oppressive years in China's history, is still smiling.
So fierce did Liu Xianping look when he slipped on that first dress, that it was enough to convince his fashionista granddaughter to go out on a limb and hire him as a model. He’s also in possession of some of the most enviable stems that exist outside a Victoria’s Secret fashion parade, while his cheeky grin counteracts a bit of his fashion’s frou-frou.
Randy Constan has shampoo-commercial shiny hair, and nice muscular definition on his arms, however he can go a little overboard on the blush at times.
Winner: Liu Xianping, because his legs are unbeatable, and when your main truck is tights, that’s the most important thing.
Liu Xianping is impeccably styled, but you have to give credit where credit is due here and acknowledge it’s his granddaughter who dresses him.
Taking inspiration from paintings, literature and fairy tales, Randy Constan’s costumes are entirely his own creations, made from a combination of thrift store shopping, and sewing.
Winner: Randy Constan, because it takes a lot of guts to be the model and the designer at once.
Over all winner
Liu Xianping. Sorry Randy, but there couldn’t be a more worthy man to pass your gilded tights to.