From hot glue guns and corsets adorned with candyfloss, the lewks that drag queens create have evolved from the themed balls costumes of Drag Race to haute couture gowns on the red carpet. Now, everywhere you look you can see a hem.

Any fan worth their salt will, undoubtedly, have heard of designers such as Alexander McQueen and Bob Mackie, who have worked with pop culture icons Lady Gaga, Diana Ross and Cher, and be aware of variations of their costumes being recreated for the main stage. McQueen’s career was even the source of inspiration for the Season 4 premiere photo-shoot, in which the queens posed on lazy susans while wearing dresses inspired by McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition on the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1999. Mackie himself, has been a recurring guest judge on Drag Race for many of the ball-themed episodes, including Season 5’s Sugar Ball, and Season 6’s, Glitter Ball. Mackie’s experience in the design industry has seen the marriage of high glamour couture and high-end Broadway productions, so his conceptual take on design is perfect to inspire many a comedy queen and pageant queen alike and cements his claim as an expert in any design challenge.


“Montoya is definitely a designer to watch for as later seasons of the show continue to get greenlit from producers, and someone that hopeful queens will be tripping over to woe and get him in their corner.”

The New York designer Diego Montoya is still basking in the limelight from his dress being featured on the Academy Award red carpet, fashionably draping the shoulders of Shangela, who appeared in A Star is Born. Montoya has also designed gowns for previous queens such as Monet X Change and Sasha Velour. Fans of All Stars 4 will be familiar with Angelic White runway that showcased another of Montoya’s papal inspired ensembles in Monet X Change’s runway that episode. Proving that Montoya can deliver campy high drag into his creations, he also collaborated with Sasha Velour to deliver the fantastical Alien Eve in the Garden of Eden, which was donned my Ms. Velour in the reunion episode for Season 10 of Drag Race. Montoya is definitely a designer to watch for as later seasons of the show continue to get greenlit from producers, and someone that hopeful queens will be tripping over to woe and get him in their corner.

Finally, looking at the individual drag queens who have made a name for themselves as designers, one needs only to search for the likes of Kim Chi, Ivy Winters, Bianca Del Rio and Bendelacreme (‘Dela’ for short; ‘Ms. Creme’ if you’re nasty). Dela showed audiences that sometimes the glue gun is mightier than the sewing machine, with her Golden Girls inspired garments, winning the first challenge of the season and proving you can have your cake and eat it too.