The Kaftan That Cost A “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Contestant The Crown

If you haven’t watched Monday night’s episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race yet, you might want to stop reading—there’s gonna be some spoilers below. So either crank up the DVR and watch it, or read Queerty’s recap and hop back here.

Okay, we all good?

So, anyway, Ru made Drag Race history this week by sending two queens home—neither Vivienne Pinay nor Honey Mahogany dazzled the judges in their performance or their runway look. Frankly it was the only call to make—the ladies even phoned in their last-ditch chance to lip-synch for their lives.

But according to a lot of viewers, Mahogany, part of San Francisco’s arty drag scene, has her dress to thank for being sashayed away.

In the runway challenge, she strut her stuff in a loose-fitting kaftan that might have worked on a different girl or in a different situation. But on her, and on that stage, it looked like a sequin garbage bag cinched at the waist. (All t, all shade.) Guest judge Chaz Bono said it hid her lithe frame, and sweetheart Santino Rice claimed it looked like she’d just cut a hole some fabric for her head.

As SFist reveals, Honey actually borrowed that frock from legendary Bay Area drag queen Juanita More, and it has a couture pedigree. Juanita told the site:

The design is based on something from John Paul Gaulthier’s Fall 2010 couture collection [center image above], and it’s eight yards of fabric. One continuous cut, very classic Mr. David cut. I kept thinking, ‘My dress got Honey kicked off! And then everyone continued to read my dress!’

Mahogany herself wrote in to defend herself and her alleged comment that folks in San Fransisco don’t care about “the look”:

“For the record, I said ‘In San Francisco the look doesn’t matter… as much as the performance.’ We value the heart over the facade. It was taken out of context, and edited to be controversial.

I love you, San Francisco. And I stand by what I said.”

Honestly, we knew what Honey meant the minute she said it. Drag Race is a fun show, and we’re still addicted, but it honors a certain kind of drag—pretty, pageant-y, and .

Some of the greatest performers today—Sherry Vine, Varla Jean Merman, Peaches Christ, Jackie Beat, Lily Savage—would be sashayed on Episode One.

We’re intrigued by Honey Mahogany and would love to see her act. In the meantime, let’s watch the video for her new song, “It’s Honey.” (Oddly, in the clip she seems to be channeling exactly the kind of queen Drag Race is looking for.)


Photo: Juanita More; the original inspiration from Gaulthier in 2010; Mahogany on Monday’s Drag Race.

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