Drag Race designer Zaldy says RuPaul's patch dress wasn't an ode to Maddy Morphosis
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Straight Pride™ ended when Maddy Morphosis sashayed away from RuPaul's Drag Race season 14.
Though many fan-generated memes suggested otherwise, RuPaul's three-time Emmy-winning fashion mastermind Zaldy tells EW the Drag Race host's now-iconic patchwork dress from the April 8 "Catwalk" episode was not, in fact, a tribute to Maddy's affectionately derided, country-friend Glamazon Prime creation from episode 6.
"That's purely coincidence. There are two different things: Yes, it's the same kind of [aesthetic] muse, but that look for Ru, we always love a coat of many colors as a reference," Zaldy says on the new episode of EW's BINGE podcast above, adding that the final creation was actually an intricately crafted tapestry of several past looks RuPaul has worn over the years.
"We created it because, every now and again, I save so many of the scraps of things we use for Ru outfits because I think they're just so beautiful," Zaldy continues, noting that there are pieces of Ru's favorite dress — the pink and orange leopard number remixed by Shea Couleé on last week's All Stars 7 episode — spread throughout the design. "That one, if you look closely, does have these sacred pieces of the hand-painted leopard [dress] in that look. That look is very designed. It has gradating diamond patterns that get smaller toward the top. It's very involved. It's not [just] a patchwork thrown together."
Zaldy, who's worked with RuPaul for decades, also revealed that Shea's All Stars 7 recreation shook him the hardest, with her hand-crafted "gradation of the scale of the spots" giving him "goosebumps" as he watched her re-design RuPaul's favorite look of all time.
As for the rest of the all-winners cast, who were also tasked with re-interpreting famous RuPaul looks, Zaldy commended them for not simply remixing the clothes, but tailoring them to fit their personal aesthetics.
"If I'm going for who was the most glamorous vision, it was definitely Jaida [Essence Hall]," he observes. "When she came out with that little, tiny mini fur and tied it back to a Diana Ross hairstyle, it was just an incredible, visually stunning look. So was Trinity [The Tuck's], this outrageous head-to-toe look. Everybody really had a moment. I was really impressed with their thought process and their interpretation. Everybody did something I was really touched by."
Though he steers the ship when it comes to RuPaul's closet, he clarifies with a laugh that he isn't the one who put RuPaul in flip-flops and a tracksuit for the Fairytale Justice challenge several episodes ago.
"Ru likes to play, too," he says. "Ru loves fashion, and Ru plays. She loves it. That's 100 percent Ru.... I don't put anybody in flip-flops!"
Listen to Zaldy's full breakdown of the latest All Stars 7 episode in the podcast above, and tune in to EW's Quick Drag Twitter Spaces chats with the cast every Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT.
Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to RuPaul is available online or wherever magazines are sold.
Subscribe to EW's BINGE podcast for full recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including weekly All Stars 7 recaps and reactions with the cast, special guests, and more.
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