The Colors of Lola

  • Simon Richter


The unveiling is at hand. Lola, the gorgeous, imposing drag queen from London, has come to the Price Shoe Factory in rural Northampton to see Charlie’s creation: leather boots for the demanding male- to- female transvestite. Charlie presents the boots. But there is a slight problem with the color. Lola expresses her dissatisfaction with increasing campy vehemence: “Burgundy. Please, God, tell me I’ve not inspired something burgundy. Red. Red! Red!! Red, Charlie boy. Rule one. Red … is the color of sex. Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles. Red is the color of sex and fear and danger and signs that say, ‘Do Not Enter.’ All of my favorite things in life!” The Lola of Kinky Boots is right. Red is Lola’s color. Lola Montez knew this. Joseph Stieler also knew it—his 1847 portrait of Lola is seared with the red color of her lips, the flowers in her hair, the couch behind her, and the ruby in her necklace. This being the case, just imagine the plight of black- and- white cinema! It would be thirty years before cinema could show Lola’s colors.


Surface Color Colored Spot Helmeted Motorcyclist Spiral Staircase Favorite Thing 
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© Simon Richter 2013

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  • Simon Richter

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