The seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race debuted Monday night; did you gag on the eleganza? I was gagging until the cows came home and went back out again, as we were introduced to the latest queens to infiltrate our worlds with their inventive "couture" looks and mostly-lovable personas.
Because the show debuted smack amid fashion month, RuPaul introduced an appropriate Spring/Fall runway theme, and it was a savvy move: the first couple episodes are all about gleaning what each queen has to offer, and we got to see a pretty full spectrum of their personas as interpreted via fashion. (And, important to note: there were no offensive trans slurs, good riddance.) Because I fully subscribe to the concept that style should be fiercely personal and fashion is its most fun when it's about putting on a persona or creating a fantasy—no matter who you are or what you do—style in New York City, the Bay Area and elsewhere would be nothing if not for drag queens. While Paris Fashion Week stomps and slinks its way across the runway, here are some of the best looks from the Ru-way.
Max of Minneapolis (so "Frederick's of Hollywood") doesn't seem to be an early fave online, but I think everyone is tripping: the way she puts together this "old Hollywood" thing she's obsessed with is impeccable, but even more intriguing to me is the way she imbues it with a sense of futurism: for her Spring look on the runway, she looked like the robot from Metropolis mixed with Daisy from The Great Gatsby and I could not get enough of it. Not to mention her wild, slightly scary, probably controversial final judge's look, which she verbally invoked "polio," leaned on crutches, and wore 1930s lingerie beneath her tear-away geometric two-piece. Judge Michelle Visage said it reminded her of Helmut Newton photographing Nadja Auermann; there were also elements of Alexander McQueen's A/W 1998 show.
But Max also showed versatility: her Fall look was stunning in an entirely different way, full on late-'80s modernist in brown with a goddamn hairflip. A drag queen in BROWN! GET INTO IT.
Miss Fame is from New York City, in case you couldn't tell from this Poison Ivy/alien crown club kid situation she walked in with. I'm getting shades of last season's Vivacious (GAG, my fave), which makes sense, since Vi was and is a total style icon who embodied the best parts of New York City's ball scene (ugh and her RUNWAY WALK). Miss Fame is younger than Vi but carries this tradition with aplomb, and I hope she doesn't mind if I borrow some of her make-up tricks, cause those aqua-blue eyebrows are the most.
Her Fall runway look, though, also exhibited her versatility—she was a vision as a 1930s film star, complete with turkey-feather spectator hat and shoulderpads that could poke somebody's eye out, which is perfect—all 1930s ladies of the silver screen need a weapon on hand, just in case. (The hat looks very stabbable, too.)
To be honest I'm not feeling Kandy Ho's attitude! She was really mean to Tempest DuJour and not even in a funny way! Seriously, what is the point of even being a drag queen if not for being funny-mean. She should take a cue from Empire's Cookie Lyon, who is absolutely funny-mean, and also who Kandy's perfectly channeling in this '80s glam perfection. Empire hadn't even started when they filmed this episode, though, which means Kandy may be psychic, that's one redeeming quality.
This look was responsible for new judge Carson Kressley's only truly funny joke, which was "Fur, more fur—it's shaved beaver, I believe." Touché. I'm still skeptical of the new school!
Kennedy is a renowed queen from Texas and wow, does she ever do Valley of the Dolls, Southern belle perfection in this psychedelic gown. I can't even say anything funny about it because I love it the most. Except maybe to publicly ask if I can borrow it? I'd get it dry-cleaned!
Pearl did not like the comments the judges made about her fur-meets-Givenchy-couture ice queen ensemble, and quickly dropped a barb that convinced me she's gonna be in the top three of my personal faves: "Bitch I'm from New York, and you can wear fur in spring. Kay?" KAY!
You can't really see her runway look here, but it was great, too, and she described it as, "tacky '90s Versace-inspired and bubblegum pink perfection."
Jaidynn Diore Fierce
This is Thierry Mugler for Beyoncé gorgeosity but even better, because can you see Bey wearing that shade of royal purple? I can't! I'm thinking the flashier element is 'cause she's from Nashville, where varying shades of lamé just seem right.
Look. Violet Chachki of Atlanta, Georgia, SWEPT the runway with one tiny flick of a belt, when she flipped this black sequin dress into chic daywear for a sexy equestrian. (Sexequestrian? Sounds like someone Jia would interview.) Tartan plaid is never a wrong direction but this 2-in-1 costume change was breathtakingly dramatic for any runway, fashion or (maybe moreso) a queen's proscenium. I could die! Look at that little hole in the top of her hat for her ponytail! And the GLOVES!
I mean, couldn't you just die?!
In conclusion, I would like to remind you that RuPaul's "Sissy That Walk" has banging production, includes the lyric "My pussy is on fire, now kiss the flame," and has been stuck in my head for two straight days. So excited this season has begun!
RuPaul's Drag Race airs Mondays at 9/8c on LOGO.
Images via screenshot/LOGO.