Wellness, Design & Style

A Conversation with RuPaul and Zaldy


Lesson time 8:25 min

RuPaul chats with Zaldy, his costume designer of 30 years. They discuss how RuPaul’s legendary gowns are constructed and designed for maximum impact on the runway.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: A Conversation with RuPaul and Zaldy


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:05.45] - (SINGING) Cover girl, put the base in your walk. Head to toe, let your whole body talk. Walk. Now, walk. Walk. Now, walk? [00:00:22.69] - OK. Now, we are in for a real treat. Zaldy is here. Zaldy has been designing my costumes for almost 30 years. 30 years! It's so hard to believe. Zaldy he knows everything there is to know about creating the monster that is RuPaul. In fact, on television, I look like a glamazon. [00:00:46.69] - Supermodel of the world. That was not just penned for no reason. [00:00:50.23] - That is right. Now, there are certain elements that create that look. And I want to talk about that with Zaldy-- [00:00:57.64] - Yeah. [00:00:57.92] - Right now. What are the elements that go into a RuPaul gown that makes it look like RuPaul? [00:01:04.66] - There is the classic Ru, which is the glamor, long gown, tiny little waist, and tight in the hips, and then sort of flares out a little. When I was actually draping this one, I was thinking about Charles James. And he had like this lobster dress. But I'm like, you know, it's the drag version of this Charles James, the lobster dress. [00:01:24.30] - Yeah. [00:01:24.58] - But it is the way that it's sort of like pleated and tucked in above like here. [00:01:28.45] - Yeah. Because it's ruched on the sides, right? [00:01:30.46] - It is. But it's like it's all held here in the middle. And it sort of fans out to sort of like soften and yet enhance your figure. [00:01:37.30] - Yes. [00:01:37.84] - And that is what I think you always love. It's not just clingy. It also enhances and gives you more sort of like curves and volume like in here. [00:01:47.16] - Yeah. Well, exactly. Yeah. The ruching and the way that it's sewn down the front there-- [00:01:53.53] - Yeah. [00:01:53.82] - Creates more of a shape. [00:01:55.60] - It's even more than what you're padding. And I mean, you are gigantic. [00:01:59.26] - Yes, I am. [00:01:59.89] - You have the longest legs I have ever known. But still, the idea is how do we lengthen it. [00:02:05.56] - Yeah. [00:02:05.77] - And it is, somehow, that little fish tail with that little tiny trail down the back still elongates your legs. [00:02:12.07] - Because, I mean, that's the thing about drag is that, you know, you want to go the extra mile, and then go another-- [00:02:19.92] - Another one. [00:02:20.39] - Mile. [00:02:21.10] - Yeah. What your thinking but more. [00:02:22.99] - But more. [00:02:23.77] - Exactly. [00:02:24.46] - Now, another thing that I love about this is that the chest is opened up. [00:02:29.59] - Yes. [00:02:29.96] - And it elongates my neck. [00:02:31.28] - Exactly. [00:02:31.45] - And that's where the proportion comes into play. [00:02:34.24] - Right. [00:02:34.54] - Because my legs are so long, I want to put some length and some space-- [00:02:39.16] - Right. [00:02:39.40] - In here. And again, the length of the hair also speaks to the balance. [00:02:45.4...

About the Instructor

RuPaul has transformed drag subculture into a mainstream phenomenon with devoted fans across the world. Now the Emmy-winning host, performer, and drag icon is sharing an intimate look at his personal journey to self-realization. From finding your inner truth to owning the room, RuPaul teaches you how to present your best self to the world. It’s your life’s work to shine—RuPaul shows you how.

Featured Masterclass Instructor


RuPaul teaches you how to find your inner truth to overcome hardship, gain confidence, and live your best life.

Explore the Class
Sign Up