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In this issue of Desert Companion, science writer Alec Pridgeon takes a sweeping historical look at Southern Nevada’s many precious Indigenous rock writing sites, with an eye toward the threat posed to them by increased outdoor recreation, as well as vandalism. Also: Six local thought leaders in healthcare share what they’d do to improve healthcare if they were in charge; and 2023 Writer in Residence Meg Bernhard kicks off her six-part series of reported essays on people and climate change.

Trendsetter: Elliott Puckett

Fashion icon Elliott Puckett in the Las Vegas Arts District Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023
Ronda Churchill
Desert Companion
Fashion icon Elliott Puckett in the Las Vegas Arts District Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023

Elliott Puckett, or “Elliott with 2 T’s,” is known for making a splash on Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which won both a Critics Choice and an MTV award for best reality cast. Now a resident performer in drag brunches at local Arts District venue The Garden, Puckett is making waves in the Las Vegas community with their bold personality and vibrant looks. Gathering inspiration from sources such as Barbie and ’80s fashion, they create unforgettable ensembles that are like no one else’s.

My style influences ...
I was born in the ’90s, but I have a real love and appreciation for the ’80s. I think the ’80s were just so tacky and fabulous. The shoulder pads and lapels and everything was big and baggy, but also tight and fitted. There were so many clashes and different fabrics and patterns, and everything was bright and shiny and crazy.

Personal style ...
It’s like a housewife, if she was a real estate agent who also was a stripper.

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Drag tip for the masses ...
I think for women and people who present as women during the day, there’s a lot of fear when it comes to being bold with makeup and hair color and fashion. So, if you want to do a bold lip, do a bold lip. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but at least try it. I’ve always tried different makeup trends, and a lot of times it didn’t work, but every once in a while, something would work, and you don’t know unless you actually try.

DIY style hacks anyone could try ...
A hot glue gun and a prayer. I spent years on my own things just trying to figure it out. The easiest way to figure out how to sew something or to make something is to flip it inside out and copy it. But I think just putting glue down on something and adding rhinestones to it or flowers or feathers, anything like that, you can take something from really simple to really dragging it up and making it an exceptional, unique item.

Go-to style product ...
Setting spray and a really good primer. I performed at the pool at one of the resorts in the middle of the day, in the middle of the summer, and I was out the whole day, came home at night and my face looked exactly the same as it did when I left the house.

Off-stage style ...
I love a good H&M shirt and a good pair of jeans and a nice white pair of high tops. I like a simple outfit, but then a really nice, loud jacket. I love being able to do a simple jacket with a fun shirt, or a simple jacket with fun pants. I love being able to make one piece a standout and then kind of simplify around it so it’s not overwhelming, but you still get to have fun with your look.

Everyday fashion wisdom ...
For a lot of drag queens, drag is considered like a superhero cape. It gives them the freedom to do things they themselves would not normally do, the freedom to say things that they wouldn’t normally say. And it gives them the bravery to leave the house with an exceptional look and big hair and high heels and take on the world. And so, I think drag can inspire people to be unapologetic and brave. ✦

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