Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race ended in dramatic fashion, with Jaida Essence Hall taking the crown thanks to her iconic confessionals, head-turning looks, undeniable charisma, and drag superstar-worthy talent. The entire season was a visual feast from start to finish, with the contestants taking a drastically different approach to drag that spawned some of the most creatively stunning outfits we’ve seen in quite some time.
From Crystal’s off-the-wall runway odes to Jaida’s flawless all-leather outfits, this series’ looks will forever live on in our hearts. But the season 12 queens aren’t the only ones who turned it out — not to mention referencing an iconic fashion moment on the show’s runway.
Let’s dive into some of the best high fashion and couture-inspired looks we’ve ever witnessed in Ru’s stage, courtesy of Gigi Doode, Gia Gunn, Rock M. Sakura, and more.
Dior’s New Look, Gigi Doode
There’s no mistaking that Gigi Doode is a formidable queen. She’s proved time and again that there’s more to her impeccable style as she brought the lewks this past season. While her references span over pop culture and high fashion, there’s one look that was more Haute than the rest of them and it’s none other than Gigi’s black wedding dress.
The silhouette drew inspiration from Dior’s revolutionary New Look: strapped for the gods at the waist, with a full skirt extending from the hips. While it’s not the first time a queen has referenced this iconic style (Violet Chachki comes to mind) but this black on black number matched with a veil, some sheer gloves, and a glossy red lip, it’s truly one of the best high-fashion looks to ever grace the Drag Race runway.
Chanel’s Hula Hoop Bag, Gia Gunn
It was in the first episode of Season 6 where Gia Gunn walked into the work room with a pretty major accessory, one that went straight over the heads of her competitors. Remember Chanel’s infamous hula hoop bag? Well, Gia brought out a DIY version and from there it made an immediate impact!
The bag was originally made by Gunn’s friend for a swimsuit category in a pageant, but she had other plans and decided to whip it out on the runway. From there, the infamous bag has infiltrated pop culture since first appearing on the runway. Kris Janner was caught trying it on while Floyd Mayweather, on the other hand, flexed it on Instagram.
Comme des Garçons, Rock M. Sakura
While Rock M. Sakura’s tenure on Season 12 was short-lived, her bright, loud aesthetic left a lasting impression among fashion fans. Inspired by all things manga and anime, Rock M. went full Comme des Garçons in the first mini-challenge
Rock M’s look was inspired by the Japanese house’s SS18 collection which featured manga faces in XXL and printed onto avant-garde dresses. Her Tomo Koizumi-esque tulle dress is also worth noting along with her inclusion of braces and polka dots. It’s a shame we weren’t able to see what else Rock M. had under her sleeve, but one thing’s for certain; her loud and explosive drag truly made a huge statement.
Zac Posen, Trixie Mattel
When Trixie Mattel first showed up for Season 7, she really wasn’t serving it in the looks department. But upon returning for season three of All-Stars, she unveiled to fashion fans her smart looks and paired it with her comedic chops as well. Trixie did that in her own style throughout the season, but it’s her finale look that catapulted her into the fashion hall of fame.
Drawing inspiration from the Zac Posen gown that Christina Ricci wore for the 2011 Met Gala, Trixie’s lace dress wraps around the arms and the neck, revealing a tiny window of bosom before ballooning out at the bottom into a mermaid tail. To step up the look, Trixie wore the gown with a stole and bouffant hair that appeared poodle-esque.
With Trixie admitting that the gown was the only thing she had left to wear, the timing couldn’t have worked more perfectly, and it’s probably the most glamourous we’ve ever seen her look.
Thierry Mugler, Aquaria
Looking back at each and every one of Aquaria’s season ten runway looks, with the fresh, glorious sounds of Chromatica along with it, people were genuinely moved by the sheer, unadulterated beauty that she brought to the table.
Fashion fans were left in awe after seeing Aquaria’s circa season ten fur ensemble that looked fluffy and cotton-candy coloured. The look was a direct reference to Thierry Mugler’s AW91 collection and more specifically, an outfit first worn by immaculate supermodel Christy Turlington alongside Helena Christensen and Naomi Campbell.While it seemed more like a rip-off of Monsieur Mugler’s OG for some, many viewed it as a tribute with an ombré extravaganza that was unquestionably joyous. Sometimes that’s all you need from a Drag Race superstar like Aquaria and without a doubt, she delivered with her Mugler inspiration.