Say what you want about Azealia Banks, but she'll say she sold out four nights at NYC's Webster Hall — and it's well-deserved. The pop culture provocateur and fierce lyricist, whose musical accomplishments far exceed any online chatter, has amassed a seriously dedicated fanbase and they all turned out for the late-summer Manhattan residency.

Every night, Banks brought out a different custom look and bold color story, from Bitch Jeans' blue denim piece — complete with an oversized detachable bow — to a hot pink number by Pissy Pussy that featured an iconic feather pigtail headpiece and money motif.

Pissy Pussy, much like Banks, began his career in queer NYC nightlife, where he'd dress up at parties hosted by Ladyfag or Susanne Bartsch in wearable art and towering platform boots. You'll recognize his concealing face masks with devilish horns that match patterned body suits — a favorite of drag stars like Milk and Jujubee.

Ahead of Banks' Bushwig performance this weekend, which already promises another full costume, PAPER caught up with Pissy Pussy to learn more about the making of her fuschia performance outfit.

How'd you get connected to Azealia to create this custom look?

Originally a stylist she was working with asked me for a bunch of my branded apparel for AB, which I was so ecstatic about — to get someone like her in my clothing was a huge deal. But about a month later she, herself DM'd me asking for my number and a few weeks later randomly called me and was like "PIISSSSSYYYYYY PUUUSSSSSSSYYYYY! IT'S AZEALIA!" I died, honestly, and it was on my birthday. She asked me to come over that night and we started talking ideas immediately for a custom piece.

What was the design process like to create a look specifically for Azealia? How involved was she?

Oh, she was VERY involved. I loved it! I wasn't really expecting her to be sending me voice messages hyping me up. She was talking with me through the whole fabric shopping experience, and also she pushed me out of my boundaries to make a look that was what she was envisioning, but utilizing my specific talents to make it work. It was really inspiring getting to talk one-on-one with her through the whole process.

"You'll never meet someone who doesn't know the song '212,' so that kinda says it all."

Are you an Azealia fan? How would you describe her cultural impact?

Oh hell yes! I had been DM'ing her for years trying to design for her. I also saw her live in Boston in 2015. I always tell people I listen to Broke With Expensive Taste like it came out yesterday. Her talent is beyond as a songwriter and vocalist and just an overall artist. I mean, you'll never meet someone who doesn't know the song "212," so that kinda says it all.

How'd you approach creating something for Azealia, while infusing it with your own sensibility?

Well the crazy thing is, as the process went on, the more I doubted myself. I'm not a trained designer and I never went to school for design, so in some way I feel really insecure about my skill set. That's why I usually make looks for myself. I actually sent her a text dropping out of the project because I was afraid I wouldn't do well enough, and she came back with a ton of texts and voice messages reassuring me I can do this and told me to take some time off the project to get a fresh view. So she really pushed me to make this look that I don't think I would have finished without her encouragement and trust in me.

Behind the Scenes

How do you describe your design approach?

Wicked random. I don't sketch, conceptualize, mood board, nothing like that. I'll just get a flash in my head and go with that. Azealia worked really well with my approach. I felt she completely trusted me and just let me go wild, with her creative input here and there. I always work best with no theme or predetermined inspiration.

You create a lot of looks for yourself. How does that change when you're designing for someone else?

Like I said previously, I'm very insecure about my work. But I have worked with some really epic people: [David] LaChapelle, Sasha Velour, Jujubee. But every time I have to dress someone else I stress so much more than when it's just for me. So for that reason I try to be selective with what projects I take on because I want to make sure it fits into my skill set.

"I don't sketch, conceptualize, mood board, nothing like that. I'll just get a flash in my head and go with that."

Where did you pull inspiration for the look you made for Azealia?

It truly just came along step by step. When we talked ideas, it had nothing to do with the final outcome. It really did start out from the crazy huge hundred dollar print fabric that I found. Then AB threw in the idea for ostrich feather pig tails (iconic) and then this is what really came from all of it.

What was it like seeing your look performed on stage?

It was unreal. I didn't expect to be backstage physically putting the look on her. That was the highlight of my night. Then getting to see her from in front of the barricades front row was amazing. I thought I would be nervous there would be an outfit malfunction, but once she came out raging all my doubts flew away. The crowd was living for her working the feather boa pigtail.

Photos courtesy of Margaret Gorman/ Pissy Pussy

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