RuPaul’s Drag Race has taken the once-niche art of drag and put it on centre stage in the mainstream, with the show itself becoming an entertainment juggernaut. Since airing in 2009, Drag Race has won 24 Emmys, replicated 12 international franchises, and expanded into live events with touring and conventions in New York and Los Angeles.
Over the years, the various runway challenges have made the competing queens have to exercise creativity and style in the most unlikely of scenarios. Create a look in 24 hours out of bags? Plastic? Feathers? You name it!
It’s impossible to choose an all-time favourite. However, there are a crop of queens who have risen above the rest and delivered memorable ensembles that fans still talk about today. Fashion queens such as Sasha Colby and Jaida Essence Hall have upped the ante and turned Drag Race into a full-on design spectacle.
On July 27, Paramount+ announced that it would debut an extended cut of the Emmy-nominated season 15 of Drag Race, featuring “more heartfelt moments” that didn’t make MTV’s initial broadcast. In honour, Previdar has rounded up the most iconic Drag Race runway looks of all time.
Trixie Mattel – Red for Filth (Season 3)
Trixie’s alluring look for the “Red for Filth” challenge exemplified her perfectly: conceptual, classic, and most importantly – fun. The latex on her bottom added a shiny and sheeny finish to the ensemble. Moreover, Trixie balanced books on her head and made us straighten our backs in reverence.
Ra’Jah O’Hara – What’s Your Sign? (Season 15)
Ra’Jah O’Hara showcased an array of stunning runway looks in season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, out of all her ensembles though, the billy goat zodiac number with braided horns stood out amongst the pack for its effortless appeal.
Luxx Noir London – Beautiful Nightmare (Season 15)
Looking like a character from Netflix’s “The Haunting of Bly Manor”, Luxx illustrated their versatility with an avant-garde zombie-inspired look. The bold look proved that they were unafraid to be terrifyingly glamorous.
Jaida Essence Hall – Drag Finale (Season 12)
Jaida Essence Hall brought “Alien Superstar” energy with a futuristic, space-like ensemble. The extraterrestrial look exuded boundless style and glamour.
Sasha Velour – Drag Finale (Season 10)
Embodying Eve in the Garden of Eden, Sasha Velour’s drag finale look for season 10 look was out of this world. Her alien-esque ensemble even included a snake, as well as an apple for reference. It gave all the makings of a perfect drag look – particularly the glam.
Naomi Smalls — Plastique Fantastique (Season 4)
Under the theme “Plastique Fantastique”, Naomi Smalls opted for a Barbie-esque look that was colourful and downright fabulous. Exuding timeless style, Naomi adorned a silver pair of stilettos to compliment the look.
Kim Chi – That’s My Mama Realness (Season 8)
The episode’s runway challenge had the competing queens paying homage to their mothers through style. Kim Chi did so by sporting her version of a traditional Korean hanbok – bringing a dash of cultural flair and pride to the competition.
Raja Gemini – Extravagant Drag (Season 3)
Channelling their inner Marie Antoinette, Raja modelled a look that has gone down as one of the best fashion moments on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Instead of doing a literal take on Marie Antoinette with a major ball gown, Raja opted for a sleek corset top and cigarette pants with a baroque print that is reminiscent of 18th-century France.
Sasha Colby – Who Is She? (Season 15)
Last but certainly not least, a mothering occurred when Sasha Colby walked the latest season’s first runway in the dress that won her the esteemed Miss Continental prize. The stunning gown oozed elegance and was a showstopping way for the ultimate queen of Drag to introduce herself.