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Fashion alert: Diva’s Frank Marino talks shop.

Closet Encounters

Photo by Robert John Kley

Let’s be frank. If anyone knows fashion and shopping in Las Vegas, it’s Frank Marino. After all, he has a closet full of Bob Mackie gowns and Giuseppe Zanotti pumps; plus, he changes costumes 19 times during a 90-minute show and works across the street from one of the most famous malls in America. That pretty much makes him an expert.

“I have a black belt in shopping,” says Marino, browsing in novelty shop KOTO at The LINQ. . “I could live in The Forum Shops.”

For the past 29 years—the last five at The Quad Resort & Casino—Marino has channeled, and dressed, as the iconic Joan Rivers in hosting the city’s longest- running female-impersonator revue, Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas. “The show has staying power,” he continues. “It’s not a multimillion-dollar production that’s set in stone. Our show changes daily. If Justin Bieber does something wrong, I can talk about it. We keep it light, fast and fresh.”

These days, that means female impersonators performing as Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry (“for the young kids”). But Cher, Céline Dion, Dolly Parton and Madonna still make appearances.

As for his fashion police assessment of Las Vegas, Marino says the Strip is “losing the glamour” of women dressing in evening gowns, but hopes that “young ladies will start dressing up” again. “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness just doesn’t know where to shop.”