Ilaria Romito is Deville LeBleu, profession Drag King: “In Italy very few, but we exist too”

There are few Drag Kings in Italy. Among these is Ilaria Romito, who tells about his evolution: “Perhaps the public is not used to this kind of figure”.

That drag is an art with different facets is now well known. But the fact that there are also women who dress up, make up and show off in men’s clothes is probably something less known. He knows it well too Ilaria Romitoa thirty-year-old originally from the province of Bari, who has been living near Bologna for some years together with her boyfriend and her alter ego Deville LeBleuor one of the very few Drag Kings in Italy.

“But even in the world in general there are very few of them” the girl tells “Perhaps the public is not used to this kind of figure, probably because drag is par excellence a particularly eccentric type of art, which in the collective imagination is better linked to a man who dresses as a woman. Though it would be nice to see that there is also another perspective”. Like that of Ilaria, in fact, and of her character of her Deville of her, born in the bathroom of a student apartment, in Rome, when she was a student at the Dams.

Showy in the costumes and sets, created by Ilaria herself, often with the help of her partner, Deville “is a cretin”, admits the Apulian performer with irony. A character who, however, reflects his desire to “be equal and to show that even a drag king can put on a very exuberant show”. Just like the queen cousins ​​played by men most of the time already taller, on exaggerated heels and with sequined dresses. “My drag king is sort of parody of masculinity” says Ilaria instead, calling him “a crude, a bit trashy”, without however transcending into vulgarity. In short, no stereotypes about the male world. But pure entertainment and lots of fun, guaranteed during performances around Italy“from village festivals, my favorites, to discos”.

“In most cases it is a type of art also linked to sexual orientation, but in fact it is not” continues Ilaria, who currently collaborates with a theater company in the Emilian capital, among other things. She, for example, is one “straight woman and I’m with a man”. Not really a custom in the drag world, reveals the girl, who also passed by Drag Queen Academy of Bologna). His companion, “who was born a metalhead, when Ilaria is Deville she becomes Demon LeRouge, his fiancée. “It’s beautiful like this, that is, we are happy in these clothes because the important thing is that you feel good about yourself”.

Finally, Ilaria talks about Deville and herself as if they were two different people. And deep down, perhaps, they are. “Before he was a character reflected in a mirror, but when he started to take hold, Ilaria asked herself questions. Especially during the lockdown period (when the videos on social networks of her creature have become more and more, she reveals her, ed). He is a real person, he lives, he does things, he is different from me. On stage she does things that Ilaria wouldn’t do. And so it’s amazing how a character like that can have a life of its own.” But the principle remains the same. “When I play Deville, my aim is not just to have fun and entertain. But also to send a message, that this kind of art, but let’s say art in general should be for everyone. So Deville insists for this too, despite the great difficulty for a Drag King to stay on the scene, given that in fact there is little visibility. It is very important that king characters come out, just to say that we are here too, that we are another point of view”.

Ilaria Romito is Deville LeBleu, profession Drag King: “In Italy very few, but we exist too”