November 12, 2019 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

“No Wire Hangers” Shows a Designer’s Hard-Earned Journey to Success

From Hampton, Virginia, to Hollywood comes the amazing story of designer extraordinaire Raymond McNeill in the new documentary “No Wire Hangers.” His path to success has been a rocky one, with his lowest point involving a stint of homelessness and living in his car. Yet the adversity he experienced was no match for his talent as a garment maker. McNeill was given his big break after being asked by his hometown friend Margot Lee Shetterly, author of “Hidden Figures,” to dress Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe in the 2017 film adaptation of the book.

McNeill worked under many famous names in high fashion such as Oscar de la Renta, and while he worked behind the scenes of many red carpet looks, the garments were never accredited with his name.

McNeill’s home state of Virginia is one that has incited many racist uprisings and riots. Filmmakers behind “No Wire Hangers” capture the racism behind McNeill’s hometown as well as dealing with child abuse and expression of gender and sexuality. Filmmakers Liam Lee, Joe Bubar and Michelle Caley document McNeill’s journey back to his hometown to debut his full fashion show as Nomar Couture, the name he always imagined he’d take as his success grew. In an interview with Out, Lee talks about how he met McNeill in Brooklyn as they became roommates and how compelled he felt by his journey thus far. “He would tell me these stories about his working as a stripper and sewing the costumes for the other dancers, the racism he faced in the fashion industry, and the abuse he had to overcome as a child and I knew I needed to tell his story.”

By telling this story of McNeill’s unique experience as a gay black man, it reveals an intersectional reality that is important to hear, especially in the current political climate confronting the United States. In exposing McNeill’s world, the filmmakers hope to capture the essence of success within all individuals who feel like they have more to offer the world despite their current situations.

“No Wire Hangers” is currently crowdsourcing through Kickstarter to get to its goal of $20,000 and debut the story that has been documenting Raymond McNeill for over three years.

Related Posts

Honoring Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ Vets on Veterans Day

November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019

In honor of Veterans Day, some LGBT Senior Veterans at the Los Angeles LGBT Center shared their stories and experiences...

GAY LA: Judy Never Really Left Los Angeles

November 2, 2019

November 2, 2019

How the queer Icon has shaped L.A. There’s no doubt about it: 2019 is the year of Judy Garland. In...

More Than Just Another Gay Character

October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

In Hollywood, LGBTQ+ characters that are more than just — well, LGBTQ+ — can be hard to come by. Most...

LGBTQ Youth Encouraged to Create Video Shorts for The Trevor Project

September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

OUR PRIDE Video Fest announced a Call for Entries for videos about metal health, suicide prevention Calling all LGBTQ+ youth...

“Killer Unicorn” Film Slays in LA

June 12, 2019

June 12, 2019

Danny is your average Brooklyn party boy. This year, he and his friends couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming...

Going Bak in Time with a Photographer

May 30, 2019

May 30, 2019

Spying a thirteen-year-old Sunny Bak, amongst a crowd of New York paparazzi, Elizabeth Taylor showed concern that the young photographer...

The Revolution Will Be Televised

May 27, 2019

May 27, 2019

For the first time ever, the L.A. Pride parade will air on live television.  When the first Los Angeles Pride...

Getting in Synch with “Synchronicity”

May 1, 2019

May 1, 2019

To celebrate the completion of an all-female cast LGBTQ+ short film, The Abbey is hosting a wrap party for “Synchronicity.” ...

Clexacon Gives a voice to Queer Womxn

April 7, 2019

April 7, 2019

What started as a simple meet-up to unite fans of LGBTQ+ pop culture three years ago, has now evolved into...

Hollywood’s First Out Gay Star Was So Much More

March 31, 2019

March 31, 2019

 In the 1920s and 30s, William Haines refused to play by society’s rules.  In the studio system of the silent...

In 30 Years, GLAAD Has Come a Long Way

March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

The 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards are coming to L.A. on March 28. Rich Ferraro has been working with GLAAD for...

Q&A: 9 Months with Courteney Cox

March 11, 2019

March 11, 2019

By Staff Writer 9 Months with Courteney Cox takes an intimate approach, giving viewers raw access to people from all...

CALENDAR 3/8 – 3/30: The best goings-on around and about L.A., period.

March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Letter Writing for Lesbian, Bi, & Queer Women’s Health When: Sunday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where:...

The Most Anticipated Films Out of the HUMP! Festival

March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Dan Savage’s short-form porn fest celebrates its 14th year. Everyone has their own special relationship to porn. Some adore it....

Trans Latina Director Premieres Debut Short Film at Outfest Fusion

February 28, 2019

February 28, 2019

A young trans woman navigates the electricity of mutual attraction and the ugliness of transphobia as a potential lover pursues...