October 23, 2020 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

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar 25th Anniversary

September 12, 2020

September 12, 2020

The cult classic “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar” hugely popular in the LGBTQ+ community celebrates its 25th...

OUTFEST Announces “Taiwan Program”

September 6, 2020

September 6, 2020

The 2020 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (R.O.C) and Taiwan Academy...

Long Beach QFilm Festival

August 30, 2020

August 30, 2020

The 2020 Long Beach QFilm Festival, is a celebration of the rich diversity and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,...

Award-Winning Gay Producer Ash Christian Dead at 35

August 23, 2020

August 23, 2020

Lauded producer, actor, director, and writer Ash Christian died in his sleep while vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Thursday...

31st GLAAD “Virtual” Awards

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

GLAAD the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced that it will host...

Los Angeles Premiere of Latinx LGBTQ Film at Outfest Fusion

February 26, 2020

February 26, 2020

“Acuitzeramo” screening March 9 By Staff Writer Outfest Fusion presents the Los Angeles premiere of Cabaldana Alchemy’s short film “Acuitzeramo”...

USC One Archives to Host Screening of Film on Black Trans Woman to Honor Black History Month

February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020

Meet Mary Jones, a black transgender woman born in New York in 1803. Described as a “man-monster” in the press. ...

HRC to Honor Dan Levy, Janelle Monáe at Award Ceremony in DTLA

January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

Award Season is upon us, and the LGBTQ+ Community is not immune. HRC announced today that actor Dan Levy will...

LGBTQ+ Ally Taylor Swift to Receive GLAAD’s Vanguard Award

January 7, 2020

January 7, 2020

GLAAD announced Tuesday, Jan. 7 that Taylor Swift with receive the Vanguard Award at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...

5 Holiday Movies and TV Episodes Featuring Happy Queer Plot Lines

December 22, 2019

December 22, 2019

Christmas is just around the corner and yet, you’re still searching for more holiday cheer? Flip on Lifetime or Hallmark...

Hallmark Apologizes, Reinstates Commercials Featuring Same-Sex Couple

December 16, 2019

December 16, 2019

Hallmark Channel faced a wave of social backlash after its parent company – Crown Media Family Networks – quietly removed...

‘Tis the “Season of Love” in Queer Holiday Rom-Com

November 30, 2019

November 30, 2019

Every holiday season traditional and streaming networks create a ton of holiday romantic comedies but they consistently fail to create...

Documentary Honors Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ Vets for 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...