If you don’t notice her impeccably coiffed lavender locks, you’re sure to catch the sparkle from the gem in her tooth. Kristi Siedow-Thompson has a style all her own, and you might already be in love with her art.
A local fashion designer, Kristi has appeared in the Ultimate Queen Competition, and her work has been featured in a few Denver fashion shows. She’s worked with local drag favorites including Ginger Douglas, Krystina Fatale, and Anya Nees.
“I love haute-couture looks that are pushing boundaries,” Kristi explains. Her inspiration comes from eccentric designers like Alexander McQueen and eras like the 60s.
Along with fashion design, she’s is an actress, singer, and dancer. She is one of the featured performers on the PrideFest main stage this year, performing Don’t Rain on my Parade featuring a rainbow-inspired dress she crafted herself.
“Doing something that nobody sees coming, that’s kind of my specialty,” she smirks. And those who catch her performance at PrideFest this year will see why.
Emcee & Entertainment Coordinator for Denver PrideFest DeMarcio Slaughter chose Kristi because her talent was unrivaled. She’s part of a group that DeMarcio says represents an incredible selection of diverse entertainers.
“The girl can sang … and I mean SANG, like we do in the Southern Baptist church! OMG!” DeMarcio enthuses. “She walked into the auditions and blew the judges away with natural talent. Very rarely are we fortunate enough to see such killer vocals on the PrideFest Center stage … she is just pure WOW!”
However, that performance almost wasn’t on her agenda this summer. After she auditioned, she received an email saying she wasn’t selected.
Flash-forward a few days, when Kristi was contacted personally by DeMarcio about the gig. Her rejection was a mistake, and not only did the committee put her in the show, DeMarcio asked her to sing the national anthem at the parade. She’ll also be performing with his disco group on Sunday.
“Kristi is kind and her spirit radiates positivity — all the elements we look for — which is why I was so disappointed when I originally couldn’t find her contact info after auditions,” hesays. “She scored 78 out of 80 possible points, coming in second to a guy dancing as a half-naked unicorn.”
An art major in college, Kristi had a penchant for sculpture but ultimately chose graphic design as her career path. When shen lost her graphic design job last year, her costuming hobby evolved into an occupation. She’s currently working on at least six commissions that are due by Pride this year.
But she’s not letting PrideFest get in the way of Denver Comic Con, which both fall at the same time again this year. Last year, she was selected as a featured designer at San Diego Comic Con, where she designed a Star Wars-inspired look for Denver drag icon Ginger Douglas.
“I hardly get to make costumes for myself,” she says. “It’s mostly for other people, and I get a lot of joy out of that.”
Among her Denver Comic Con costumes this year is a “sexy Gorn,” inspired by the extraterrestrial reptiles from Star Trek. But it’s always tough for her to pick which of her designs she loves best.
“Picking a favorite costume is like picking a favorite cat,” jokes the feline enthusiast.
After making connections through a production of Cabaret with Denver’s PHAMALy (Physically Handicapped Actor and Musical Artists League) last year, she took a job costuming with the New York Deaf Theatre’s production of The Rocky Horror Show in the fall. At the end of this summer, Kristi (along with her husband Phil) will relocate to Manhattan so she can attend school at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
But she plans to stick to her values when it comes to design, and to continue pushing boundaries.
“There’s ways to dress all shapes and sizes,” she explains. “And you can body-shame or whatever, but a woman who’s a size 18 or 20 isn’t going to be a size 14 tomorrow, so she should be able to look good now.”