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Survey the Space
RuPaul surveys his dressing room. ''It's got to be personal,'' he says. ''It's got to be comfortable. It's got to be something that I want to be in because I'm spending a lot of time in here. It sort of has to inspire me, too.''
For more exclusive photos of RuPaul's dressing room, buy this week's issue of EW
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Dress to Impress
Along with wigs, gowns are extremely important to creating RuPaul's look. Since 1992, all of the queen's gowns have been the handiwork of a single designer: Zaldy, who has created stagewear for everyone from Michael Jackson to Mick Jagger and even helped Gwen Stefani launch her L.A.M.B. clothing line.
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The dozens of posters lining the walls inspire the Drag Race host as he prepares to tape episodes. Several of the photos — like Jenna Jameson and LaToya Jackson, a personal friend — have been with Ru through the years. ''There's Michael Jackson, there's Cher, there's David Bowie,'' explains RuPaul, ''then there's whatever else that's in the magazine that I've cut out that's going to make me happy to be in here.''
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Styling is all about options. ''I have to be able to see everything,'' says the host, who uses every inch of counter space to display all of his fashion and beauty essentials. Could this dressing room really hold everything that Ru has acquired over three decades of dragging? ''You answer that question,'' he says. ''Do you think this is everything?''
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RuPaul brings his own lighting and mirrors no matter where he's preparing to perform. In this particular space, he had the room's closet doors repurposed as oversize makeup and finishing mirrors — and banned the use of fluorescent lightbulbs. ''I have to rig a situation,'' RuPaul explains, ''where I can actually make some magic happen.''