Every time RuPaul sashays down the May the Course be with You shirt Also,I will get this runway on his hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, you simply can’t take your eyes off the iconic drag queen. Twelve seasons in, RuPaul’s catwalk fashions are still as fabulous and thrilling to watch as ever—there’s a reason Ru is known as the fairy drag mother. The dazzling creations Ru has worn have been made by his longtime collaborator, Zaldy—a three-time Emmy-winning designer who has been working with him for nearly three decades. “We met through New York nightlife,” says Zaldy. “I was also a drag queen.” One of the first projects he worked on with Ru was dressing him for the cover of his album, Supermodel of the World, in 1993.
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27 years later, their partnership is going strong: Zaldy has created every single look Ru’s worn on Drag Race. At this year’s Emmys, which will be presented virtually, Zaldy’s work in season 12 is nominated once again for an Emmy in the May the Course be with You shirt Also,I will get this “Outstanding Costumes For a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program” category. He says the latest season exemplifies the changes and risks the duo constantly try to pull off on the show. “Within 12 years, you can’t not grow,” says Zaldy. “Within the world of drag, everything has been elevated to such a level that we’re always challenging ourselves within my studio to make something more and more amazing, and something that we may not have seen on Ru in the past. At the same time, [we’re] respecting the iconic image of RuPaul that we’ve created.” The signature Ru look, Zaldy says, is “long and tall. The classic Ru look is a column gown, with an itty-bitty waist that accentuates the hips.”