If you see Dani Danger out and about, chances are likely she's dressed up to perform.
The 28-year-old Mohawked fetish model and performance artist can often be found at local nightspots and alt-cultural events participating in flesh-hook suspensions, burlesque routines, or her monthly comedy gig at Goat Head Saloon in Mesa.
"I consider myself to be a very creative person and I have friends that help me pick out what to wear for shows and when performing, and that really helps a lot," she says. "One of my roommates is a drag queen, and let me tell you, living with a drag queen really can double your wardrobe."
When Danger isn't putting on a show, she usually wears ensembles she's pieced together from cut-up thrift store purchases, such as the throwback Star Trek minidress she's worn to Phoenix Comicon.
"I feel like what you wear has less to do with your style than who you are, because a lot of my clothes reflect the style of my personality," she says.
What are you wearing?
I have a skirt that I purchased off a clearance rack at a Wet Seal paired with a tank top from a Goodwill in Valencia, California a few weeks ago.
What's your favorite outfit to wear?
I like a lot of blacks and grays. I wear a lot of black skirts with gray tanktops. I do go out of my way to sometimes purchases dresses that I think are specifically hideous just because I know I can make them look fabulous. I know how to take ugly clothing and wear it well.
What do you like to accessorize with?
I like to accessorize with my body modifications, like I got my knuckles tattooed because I didn't like wearing rings and lost 'em all the time. And its permanent, I don't have worry about it, I can roll out of my bed and look that way.
What's the most shocking thing you've done for a performance?
I sometime can be very political with my outfits. I wore an outfit for a Christmas show many, many years ago. I don't like what American ideology has done with the Christmas season. And I was performing with this fetish troupe called the Pussy Posse, which was made up of all feminine-looking girls with long hair. I showed up with all my hair shaved off and I wrote on my head "Merry Fucking Christmas." I was wearing very little clothing but my body was covered with statements against capitalism.
Any other shocking ensembles you've worn?
I've worn head-to-toe latex outfits for shows before, and that's uncomfortable and hot as shit.
Beside being extreme in your clothing choices, do you also like wearing more girly or dress-up stuff?
Yeah. Even when I'm wearing cutoff shorts, an oversized shirt, and my combat boots, I still think I look feminine. Lately, it seems like the older I get the more dresses I wear and it always surprises me because I was such a tomboy as a kid. Now, you can see me wearing ball gowns sometimes because it's the last thing people would expect to see me in.
What's the last item of clothing you bought?
I was shopping at Goodwill and got a couple tank tops, which I cut up to make it fit better. I have a very decent-sized chest that - to be honest with you - doesn't fit into regular t-shirts at all. So I'm cutting the sleeves off and cutting big slits in the front of it. The cleavage makes it look better. I feel like my cleavage is the best accessory I can add to any outfit.
Where do you usually shop?
Secondhand stores mostly. When I do shop retail, I usually end up at Arizona Mills Mall because its right around the corner from my house and it has a lot of outlet stores. Like I said, I cut up all my clothes anyways, so I feel less badly about cutting up something if it only cost me $5 as opposed to $20-$30.
What item of clothing do you most covet at the moment?
I worked for Fredrick's of Hollywood for a long time, so I really love underwear and love lingerie. It's really pricey, so something from there.
Where would you love to have a shopping spree?
Hands down, Hydra in Tucson. It's probably the biggest fetish and industrial clothing store in Arizona.
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Who are some of your style icons?
I really looked up to Gwen Stefani a lot when I was a kid because she had that very "punk rock yet still feminine and sexy look." And, of course, Tank Girl. Any female that's able to exude personality and style through her character as well as her clothing.
Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes:
I grew up with a sister that was eight years older than me in the '80s. Every little girl wants to be like her older sister, but she also helped raise me, so it was like looking up to a mother figure. And she was way into super '80s fashion: Big hair, taffeta, poofy skirts. I tried to dress like her and put crinoline underneath everything that I owned, teasing my hair really high and wearing giant bows. Just over-the-top gaudy and thinking I was the coolest thing ever.
Name five items every woman should have in her closet:
1. A black bra
2. A thong
3. A garter belt and matching thigh-highs
4. Boy shorts that cover just enough of your ass to make it okay to wear a t-shirt as a dress
5. A little black dress that goes with anything
Name an item of clothing that's best when it's vintage:
Jewelry and accessories of any kind, like earrings or bracelets.