New York gig sends up fashion priestess Anna Wintour

NEW YORK - It's Fashion Week and Anna Wintour is front row at all the best shows, immaculate in her trademark bob and shades. But come midnight she's in drag in a nightclub.

The high priestess of fashion, the English editor in chief of Vogue who has sat atop a $300 billion industry for 26 years, is infamous to millions for her style and steely persona.

Her world may be inhabited by a tiny clutch of the world's most glamorous women, yet Wintour is so well known that she can pull in a totally different crowd for a music-comedy gig.

The four-night run at Joe's Pub at The Public, "Ryan Raftery is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion" has even claims to have the blessing of his muse.

The one-act show hinges on Wintour's decision to put reality star Kim Kardashian and her now husband rapper Kanye West on the cover of Vogue in April to the outrage of fashion purists.

Dressed in a blonde bob wig, shades, jacket and sequined top, Raftery's Wintour pours scorn on lesser mortals and cracks in jokes for the fashion set by re-writing lyrics to pop songs.

There's a cover of Adele's "Skyfall" re-written as "Skymall" about shopping, and Raftery shimmies through a song confessing to an alleged extra-marital affair with Texan millionaire Shelby Bryan.

There's a running joke about constipation, gags about Michael Kors and Hillary Clinton, and lashings of Kardashian insults.

Raftery sees Wintour as part Darth Vader, part Clinton.

"She has the look of a Darth Vader in that she has this helmet type hair and she always looks exactly the same.

"Then she is as shrewd as Hillary." He has only seen her once, at a busy intersection in New York, where she stood next to him, coffee in hand, arms folded, sunglasses, hair perfect.

Darth Vader and a grimace

"I said 'good morning Anna' and she kind of grimaced and kept on walking and that's exactly what you want to happen when you meet her. You want her to be like the Devil Wears Prada."

The show is incredibly camp, but Raftery also explores a softer side to the woman who inspired Hollywood film.

"More than anything else I want people to realise there's a real person. She's not Darth Vader even though she may look like Darth Vader."

The show ends with a monologue about how hard it is to be Wintour, always having to look perfect, with the quip "right now I have 26 products in my hair".

Raftery is nothing if not a fan.

"I think people think of her as an iconic New Yorker, the same thing as the Statue of Liberty or as the Chrysler Building."

He confesses to sending the tennis-mad style queen tulips for Fashion Week and the US Open, before her favourite Roger Federer crashed out in the semis.

Wintour's daughter Bee Shaffer turned up on the opening night, stopped by his dressing room for a picture and said how much she enjoyed the show.

Turns out her mother sent her.

"It makes perfect sense to me. Anna is not going to have someone open a show about her in her hometown at a reupatable venue and not know about it!" said Raftery.

Shaffer posted a backstage picture with the comedian-singer to her Instagram with the caption "my surrogate mother?" "Her daughter could not have been nicer," he said.

"Afterwards she told me that she told her mum the show was a smash and now I feel that Anna has kind of blessed the show."