UK

RuPaul makes drag debut in custom-made gown at Madame Tussauds London

Zaldy, an Emmy Award-winning designer for his work on the reality series, designed the look.

Michelle Visage unveils the RuPaul waxwork (Madame Tussauds London)
Michelle Visage unveils RuPaul. (Madama Tussauds London) Michelle Visage unveils the RuPaul waxwork (Madame Tussauds London)

A figure of reality show judge RuPaul Charles is going on display at Madame Tussauds London, the first of its major characters to wear drag.

The waxwork model of the creator and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race will wear a custom-made blue gown by the singer and actor’s long-time collaborator Zaldy Goco, known as Zaldy.

Zaldy, an Emmy Award-winning designer for his work on the reality series, designed the look which includes R-shaped earrings and a reproduction of an Anne Boleyn-initialled pearl necklace.

Zaldy also added a recreation of royal family order badges, with the faces of Drag Race judge Michelle Visage, singer Diana Ross and talk show host Oprah Winfrey, surrounded by ribbons.

Drag Race began in 2009 with more than 15 national versions to find the most talented drag queens, including RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World, airing on BBC Three and iPlayer.

Radio 2 presenter Visage, who has been a judge since the third series of the US franchise, signed off the work at the Baker Street attraction, saying: “It’s gorgeous. The teeth, the lips, the nails – it’s like I’m at home and with Ru.

Zaldy created the exclusive design for RuPaul’s new Madame Tussauds London figure
Zaldy created the exclusive design for RuPaul’s new Madame Tussauds London figure Zaldy created the exclusive design for RuPaul’s new Madame Tussauds London figure

“Fans and guests will love this figure; the artists have made this so beautifully and I see Ru.

“Everything drag stands for – authenticity, being daring and not afraid to be who you truly are – is reflected in this gorgeous figure.

“I also love that I’ve made it on the dress. Zaldy, Ru’s long-time designer, who exclusively made this beautiful dress for Madame Tussauds London, has put me in the favours as one of the most important women in Ru’s life.

“What an honour. I’m so excited for the world to see how gorgeous this is.”

RuPaul who has been shown as a drag waxwork in London
Graham Norton Show – London RuPaul who has been shown as a drag waxwork in London

The figure will form part of the waxwork museum’s fashion runway experience, opening as London Fashion Week celebrates 40 years in February.

Waxworks of businesswoman and reality TV star Kendall Jenner, actress Cara Delevingne, fashion designer Victoria Beckham and singer Harry Styles will also be part of the exhibit.

There are four RuPaul waxworks at Madame Tussauds globally, and this is the London attraction’s first drag figure in general, according to the attraction.

Zaldy said: “Straight away, my thought process was that it should be in true style to how we produce RuPaul’s outfits for Drag Race.

“I wanted it to be an authentic representation of what Ru wears, to make it this glamorous statement, and make it big.

“Each piece I do with Ru is built for a moment, it’s permanent and resonates with the person.

Michelle Visage unveils RuPaul 06.02 (9)
Michelle Visage unveils RuPaul 06.02 (9) Michelle Visage unveils RuPaul 06.02 (9)

“This bespoke creation for Madame Tussauds London, for Ru, and for the fashion zone, is full of all the emotions that you feel when working with Ru: fun, joy and happiness.”

Jo Kinsey, the studio manager for Madame Tussauds London, says the figure “truly captures RuPaul’s style with a fun play on British royal themes”.

She added: “It feels fitting that the original queen of drag should arrive at the original Madame Tussauds here in London.

“RuPaul stands for being fearlessly fabulous and their culture-defining show, Drag Race, preaches an important message of authenticity, expression and unity to millions of people from all walks of life across the globe.”

The figure will be on show from February 9.