Black is... Categories

November 11, 2023 Washington, dc

BQ Face: era vs Era $2,222

Icon Whitney Garcon is well-known as the Blueprint for face!
Like Whitney, Grandeur, and Opulence, you too must embrace.
In elegant attire, you should display the same.
Tonight, of all nights, be on top of your game!
No silence, blank stares, or undecided judges.
Bring us carta untold, if make-up, no smudges.
Face is a must there should be no hesitation.
Don’t bother explaining, true face needs no explanation.
Tonight is about FACE, it’s our only fixation!

Golden Era: 1967-1973, White Era: 1974-1985, Red Era: 1986-1990, Black Era: 1991-1998, Blue Era: 1998-2005, Green Era: 2005-2011, Yellow Era: 2011-2016, Orange Era: 2016-2022, Purple Era: Now

(9 Trophies 1 for each Era),  The winners of each era will battle for the Cash.

BLACK IS…STYLE: Best Dressed Spectator $1,111

In honor of contemporary Black designers, in this category we will celebrate the contributions from Black fashion icons like Virgil Abloh, Christopher John Rogers, Sergio Hudson, Laquan Smith and Aurora James. Tonight, we give you the opportunity to express and display your personal style to contribute to the Black Is…… Style conversation. Bring us a look specifically inspired by the visual aesthetics of one of the Black designers listed and be able to demonstrate your inspiration through imagery. (You may use other Black fashion designers)

BLACK IS…DYNASTY: Team Realness $4,444

The term Black excellence refers to an elevated level of achievement, success, or ability, which is demonstrated by individuals within the Black community. The term is often used to highlight and celebrate specific examples of such achievements and abilities, especially as the hashtag #BlackExcellence. In this category you will present Black Excellence in the form of a Black family. The family can be fiction or nonfiction, from anywhere or any time period, but we must know who you are without explanation.  (The team must consist of 4 members who must all be from a different house).

BLACK IS…MOTION: Legendary Performance $2,222

The tribal movements of our African ancestors that were forbidden to us as slaves were reborn into Cab Calloway’s jitterbug. Then new versions began emerging matching the soulful music of the 1960’s. From Hand Dance, Chicago Style Stepping, to Gwara Gwara Dance of today, every social gathering includes some form of dance. African American culture is a quilt made up of the practices, influences and traditions developed in response to a tortuous beginning. Celebrate joy through dance culture by incorporating West African and/or capoeira styles into your performance.

BLACK IS… MOVEMENT: Tag Team Performance $4,444

Black culture is famous and rich in creativity. We make the ordinary spectacular. The same is true of dance. Like first visits to barber shops, talent shows and beauty salons, learning social dances is a rite of passage in the Black community. Nothing is written. The old teach the young. Social dance gatherings embody a culture of care. Clothed in soulful music, partner dance is part of our mental wellness. In this category you and your partner (teams of 2) will incorporate contemporary Black dance moves into your performance. Make sure we know what dances you are incorporating into your vogue performance. Examples of Black contemporary dance moves: The Dougie, Chicken noodle soup, Electric Slide, etc.

Sex Siren Sponsored by Deviant & Daryl Wilson $2,222

For every Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, you will find a Pam Grier and Billy Dee Williams. The sex symbols of yesteryear were plenty to go around, but only a few earned true mainstream successes. Tonight, bring us an adaptation of a sex symbol from the past. Be in character but most importantly be sexy!

FF examples: Lola Falana, Dorothy Dandridge, Jayne Kennedy, Eartha Kitt, Vanessa Williams, Robin Givens or Josephine Baker. 

MF: Taimak (Last Dragon), Frankie Lymon, Huey P. Newton, Marvin Gaye, Deangelo, Morris Chestnutt, Boris Kodjoe, Tyrese, Tyson Beckford, Ginuwine, Shemar Moore or even LL Cool J.

GP MF – $1,111 and GP FF – $1,111

BLACK IS…BEAUTY: Female Figure Face $2,222

It was not until the 1960s that the “Black is Beautiful” movement emerged, representing a shift towards Afrocentric pride and away from Eurocentric conformity. Black models made up for only six percent of models used on the runway. In the 1970s, Black models began to achieve great opportunities, and that trend trickled down into the 1980s and the 1990s. As the 90s ended, top designers opted for an aesthetic that excluded models of color, however Black models and fashion icons stood up to proclaim that Black, is indeed beautiful. In this category we ask you to bring it as one of the trailblazing black models in fashion history, as we pay homage to Pat Cleveland, Beverly Johnson, Louise Vyent, Iman, Beverly Peele, Tyra Banks, and the incomparable Naomi Campbell. Bring to life an editorial image of any well-known black model.


BLACK IS…LOVE: Team Trilogy Sponsored by Uncle Nearest $2,222

The Black experience has often been portrayed as only being one of struggle, pain, and dysfunction. Those who attempt to tell our story tend to focus on that. Black love is an acknowledgement of sacrifice to triumph. Our genetic makeup has always been grounded in resilience — the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and toughness. Black love creates balance, space, growth, and change making for a fundamental part of our identities. This is why seeing Black love represented is so crucial. From the big screen to real-life examples, we have to empower Black women and men to cherish each other above all. Truth is, we all want that Dwayne Wayne-Whitley, Michelle-Barack, Beyonce-Jay-Z, Malcolm-Betty, Tamia-Grant, Darius-Nina love that withstands all things. In this category we ask you to bring it as a Black Power couple from any era that truly displayed how to love as an action. We must know who you are! (Team trilogy: face, body, sex appeal)

BLACK IS...Mesmerizing: FQ Face Era vs Era $4444

Highlight the features, block the nose…. and be TOTALLY DONE from head to toe! Which Era will prevail?

Golden Era: 1967-1973, White Era: 1974-1985, Red Era: 1986-1990, Black Era: 1991-1998, Blue Era: 1998-2005, Green Era: 2005-2011, Yellow Era: 2011-2016, Orange Era: 2016-2022, Purple Era: Now

(9 Trophies 1 for each Era),  The winners of each era will battle for the Cash.

BLACK IS...HERITAGE: (Team) Runway as a House $4,444

There are many reasons to attend a Historically Black College or University, better known as an HBCU. At the forefront is the special attention and focus on creating a supportive atmosphere with a strong sense of community. Students are exposed to a diverse college experience surrounded by people with similar backgrounds of social and cultural experiences. There are also many opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities that have long-standing traditions and principles that have valuable impact on the community at large. Greek Culture and Band Culture are two that share three of the principles on which the House of Garcon was founded, Strength, Sophistication and Fraternity.
For this category, form a group of 4 members with no more than 6 to participate in either of one of the two activities, Greek Culture or Band Culture.  Your team should create a unique routine that combines all the elements of Runway as a house, creativity, synchronization, and movement with the implementation of elements from Greek or Band culture.  You cannot use any active Greek or Band Organizations (name, title, colors, etc), but must create your own unique organization with a name.  Teams must consist of at least (2) members from different houses.  Your team must select their own color palette and costume and/or apparel design.  Individual music selections are permitted but must be provided to the House of Garçon by 12pm 11/11/23.


This year, GLAAD is partnering with House of Garçon to raise awareness of the discrimination, disproportionate violence, and poor health and economic outcomes that trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people often experience.

As an extension of House of Garçon’s Black Is… House Ball, which will be held in Washington D.C. on November 11, 2023, the House is launching a Public Service Announcement (PSA) category. The category will task interested folks with creating a PSA that will raise awareness about the daily issues that trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people face, and educate how to protect, advocate for, and show genuine community and allyship to those people.

PSA’s can be video, but should be no longer than 60 seconds and should focus on one of the following four areas:

Health – Transgender people face enormous health disparities, including staggering rates of HIV infection, lack of primary care (including individualized, medically necessary transition-related healthcare), and high rates of attempted suicide.

Economics – Transgender people bear the economic consequences of discrimination, including high rates of poverty and unemployment, discrimination in education, and homelessness. Trans people are more than twice as likely to live in extreme poverty (earning under $10,000 a year), with Black transgender people face three times the poverty rate of the general U.S. population.

Safety – Transgender people, and Black transgender women especially, experience frightening levels of physical violence. This is particularly true among transgender people participating in sex work and other informal or criminalized economies. The American Medical Association declared violence against transgender people an epidemic in 2019.

Civil Rights – Recognition and respect for the civil rights of trans people is critically important because their legal needs span many aspects of life. These needs include identity documents that accurately reflect who they are, protections from employment discrimination, and immigration rights, to name a few.

The PSA that is voted the most impactful will be announced as the winner of the category during the second half of the Black Is… House Ball.

Submissions are open now, and will close two months prior to the ball, on September 11th, 2023. For more information, please contact

Please submit videos at

GRAND PRIZE OTA RUNWAY: $11,111.11 Sponsored by TruEvoluiton

We are standing in the lineage of all of those who came before, and all those who will come after us. The Motherland has been known as the Cradle of Life to people across the globe. In this category, we want you to bring culture to life in a show-stopping runway effect inspired by the aspect or region of Africa assigned to your specific category. Make sure you represent your region/aspect and its contributions to Black global culture.

The House of Garçon has created an invite-only list for each of the following runway categories: All-American Runway, European Runway, Female Figure Runway, Legendary Runway, and Iconic Runway.
All American: The Mali Warrior
Female Figure: The Nigerian Orisha
BQ European: The Congolese Shaman
Legends: The Egyptian Netjer (God or Goddess)
Icons: The Parade of Nations (Choose a country; bring the colors of their flag to life.)

"“Your life is already artful- waiting, just waiting, for you to make it art.””

— Toni Morrison