Legendary Judge Law Roach on the Importance of Ballroom Culture and Matching With Megan Thee Stallion
"[I just want] people to discover a love and appreciation for what ballroom is and the people that are on the scene and in the culture."
HBO Max's Legendary, which is a reality TV competition that explores ballroom culture, is now streaming season two. And if you're not watching, you're missing out on some incredible voguing and the fashion to match — curated by costume designer Johnny Wujek — along with expert judging tips from Image Architect Law Roach. Law (whose celebrity clients include Zendaya and Anya Taylor-Joy) focuses on the wardrobe in the show and joins fellow judges Leiomy Maldonado, Megan Thee Stallion, and Jameela Jamil, all of whom dole out scores on runway walks and performances throughout each episode, ultimately making for some major house victories. While season one was filmed with a live audience, due to COVID regulations, season two involves just the cast and crew. But the incredible production team makes up for any energy that is lost. "The way it was shot is so beautiful — all the camera angles from above and the lights! Where we're lacking in the energy of the audience, Scout Productions and HBO Max did a really great job with elevating everything else," Law says when I hop on the phone with him.
He wants to make one thing clear about his role on Legendary: "I'm very experienced in ballroom and I've been going to balls for more than half of my life, but Megan, Jameela, and I are not ballroom people. We are there to bring the eyes that are on us to Legendary. I just want as many people to watch as possible — for those people to discover a love and appreciation for what ballroom is and the people that are on the scene and in the culture. That's why I agreed to do the show — to bring as much light to the community as possible, because it was an overlooked, underserved community for so long, and I think Legendary is helping to change that and shift the narrative about ballroom," he says.
The ballroom scene has been an empowering creative space for LGBTQ+ people of color since the early 20th century, emerging during the Harlem Renaissance and referenced today in shows such as Pose and RuPaul's Drag Race. It's more important than ever for industry leaders with large platforms like Law's to participate in celebrating the culture, and Law doesn't disappoint throughout season two. While new episodes are released every week, you can learn a bit more about how the judges prepare their outfits to support the iconic fashion houses on Legendary straight from Law himself, who gathered an incredible lineup of crystalized suits, sunglasses, and metallics to get the job done in style.
How the Judges Dress For the Show
"The balls are always themed, and the categories are so vast, so we'll always dress to the theme and allow it to dictate our wardrobe," Law says. "It's so funny because a couple of times Megan and I look like we spoke about our looks, but we never do. Everybody has their own stylist. For example, one night Leiomy paid homage to the Spanish transgender performer La Veneno, coming in the spirit of her style."
Law's Job as a Legendary Judge
"My job is fashion, right? My job is to really critique the fashion on the show, and it feels so seamless because all I do every day is look at clothes, form an opinion about clothes, and figure out if a certain dress is right for a certain client. It's almost like I'm still coming in and doing my job, but I get to be entertained while I do it."
Law Dresses Jameela Jamil For the Show
"I dress Jameela, so I am in on everything she wears since I choose it. Episode three is the Tinseltown ball [above], so people dressed in the theme of Old Hollywood."
Law's Favorite House Looks of Season 2
"At the Tinseltown ball, the House of Icon did an homage that felt very Hairspray 1960s. It was colorful and I gave them a 10 for their looks. They had big hair and really pretty makeup. It was one of my favorites from season two for sure."