Graphic by Samantha Olson. Photos from left to right: Pose/FX, Whitney Houston/Ebet Roberts, Pose/FX.
Welcome to Shifter Selects, an addition to our digital component where we’ll highlight the latest trends in music, film/TV and fashion. Here’s how it’ll go down: on Monday of every week, we’ll be on the lookout for trending topics and give our hot takes on the matter. Sound like something you’d be interested in? Look no further than our Shifter Selects for the week of June 7–12.
This week, the category is... the series finale of FX's "Pose." The series ran from 2018 to now and paid homage to LGBTQ+ and ballroom culture in the late 1980s and emphasized the HIV/AIDS epidemic that hit in the early 90s. Through raw and inclusive storytelling, glamourous couture and the hottest music, "Pose" left its mark on the community with a similar sentiment to ballroom culture.
“Pose” and the Revitalization of 80s/90s Sounds
by Brianna Fairman
Since its premiere in 2018, “Pose” has been redefining what it means for television to be truly good. It’s genuine, it’s heartfelt, it won an Emmy — and it will be dearly missed.
It’s no secret that one of the show’s best elements is its funky, 80s-inspired soundtrack. In an interview with Refinery29, the show’s Executive Producer Alexis Martin Woodall said “You want to be accurate and honor the environment, and you also want to tickle the fancy of new viewers and people who love a certain song.”
Season 3 delivered on this front, featuring classic hits like Janet Jackson’s “If” in episode 2 and Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” in episode 7 — though my personal favorite remains “In My House” by Mary Jane Girls in the pilot episode.
In celebration of the series finale, members of the Shifter Fam have weighed in on their favorite songs: “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” by Måneskin, “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls and “Vogue” by Madonna are just a few of the top hits we believe make "Pose" so wonderful to watch.
Here’s Our Recap of the Gut-Wrenching Series Finale of “Pose”
by Ysatis Rios-Sabat
As we bid our final farewell to the glitz, glam and groundbreaking masterpiece that was FX’s hit show “Pose,” we can’t help but reflect on yesterday’s series finale and its notable take on activism, legacy, and new beginnings.
After three seasons, the two-hour-long episode brought an end to the drama that highlighted New York’s underground drag ball culture in the late 80s and 90s. Yesterday, we saw our beloved characters move on to bigger and better things as they protested for change. The episode highlighted the inequality LatinX and Black LGBTQ+ members faced during the AIDS epidemic and spoke up against the injustices minority groups encountered in clinical trials, with big pharma, and within politics. We watched as Blanca, portrayed by Mj Rodriguez, used her voice to lead multiple protests in honor of those who had passed away due to HIV/AIDS — a virus that has claimed over 34.7 million lives since the start of the epidemic in the 80s.
Billy Porter, who portrayed one of the show’s most iconic characters, Pray Tell, said farewell to the star-studded drama via Instagram. Porter reminded everyone to lead with love. He said, “leading with love is what I pray that the world takes away from 'Pose' in general...particularly this last season, and to dream the impossible.”
While we wipe our tears away and slowly recover from the impact this momentous show had on our Shifter fam, we remind you all to live, werk and pose with the best of them.
“Pose” does NYC’s Glitzy Ballroom Style Justice
by Emma Lingo
Where to watch: FX
The series finale of FX’s “Pose” premiered yesterday, June 6. The iconic queer show servered viewers top-notch looks episode after episode. To honor the hard work of costume designers and pioneers of Ball culture, Shifter wants to review the legendary ballroom fashion “Pose” utilized.
Photo by FX
Who could forget the realness House of Abundance brought in episode one? The extravagant outfits the contestants wear in their drag competitions pay homage to the old NYC ballroom styles found in the 1920s and throughout the 80s.
The queer Black and Latinx communities brought ballroom culture to life at the start of the Harlem Renaissance. Featuring loud colors, daring dresses and larger-than-life skirts, ballroom fashion became wildly popular within the drag community. "Pose" captures the movement perfectly and spares no one with their killer costumes.
Photo by Off-White Productions/Prestige Pictures
Inspired by the groundbreaking film “Paris is Burning,” “Pose” educates viewers on the history of the 80s LGBTQ+ subculture and does this movement justice with its glamorous, campy outfits.
Want to keep up with the latest trends?
Tune in on Monday for our next installment of Shifter Selects!