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After looking into the origins of the voguing scene in Paris, Hornet focuses this week on an important structure of voguing culture: the Houses. Voguers gather in these groups, which serve as a place of learning, of socializing and of helping each other out. In fact, to their members, Voguing Houses are often like a second family.
With our second video in the series Voguers of Paris, you will meet two mothers of Houses in Paris, Mother Rheeda Ladurée and Mother Honeysha Khan, as well as Father Charly Ebony. They give us precious insight into their roles as mothers and father, discuss how the Voguing Houses work and what Houses mean to them.
Watch Voguers of Paris, Chapter 2: Houses
Paris hosts a dozen Voguing Houses
There are two kinds of houses, major Houses and kiki Houses, for the two kinds of Voguing events — balls and kiki functions. The ball is the main event of Voguing culture. There are many categories, and for each, every participant has to be at the top of their game with regard to performance and their outfit. The kiki function is a lighter version of the ball, with generally less participants, less categories and a less complex theme.
In France, 13 Voguing Houses are represented. Most of them are chapters of American Houses, like the Houses of Ninja, Ebony and Khan. The House of Ladurée was the first French exclusive House. It has been followed by the brand-new House of Million and the House of Yamamoto, founded by a French woman and a Sweden-based American.
The ballroom scene is a matriarchal culture. Houses are run by a Mother, with the help of a father. The Mother of all chapters has the title of “Overall Mother.”
Here is a list of all the Major Voguing Houses in Paris:
- House of Balenciaga
- House of Prodigy
- House of Ninja
- House of Mizrahi
- House of Ebony
- House of Revlon
- House of Ultra Omni
- House of Labeija
- House of Miyake Mugler
- House of Ladurée
- House of Khan
- House of Million
- House of Yamamoto
Each House has its own unique features. Some are more runway-oriented, while others, like the House of Ultra Omni, are very strong on “Old Way” (Voguing as it was danced at the beginning, while the modern version is called “Vogue Fem”). Each House has its own chant, loudly shouted by its members when one of its own has taken to the floor.
That said, you don’t need to belong to a House to participate in a ball. Those who have just arrived on the scene or those who left a house and haven’t found a new one take the name “007.” They are cheered with the chant “Double O! Double O!”
Watch the first episode of Voguers of Paris: Origin here.
Photo of the House of Ninja, Paris Chapter, by Xavier Héraud