The Cast of 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' 7 Recreates Iconic Vogue Covers

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday June 17, 2022
Originally published on June 16, 2022

Photos: Drag Files/Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba/Wayne Bund
Photos: Drag Files/Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba/Wayne Bund  (Source:Vogue)

There's never a shortage of creativity when it comes to "RuPaul's Drag Race," particularly when the all-stars are involved. This season, The Vivienne, Jaida Esssence Hall, Jinks Monsoon, Raja, Monét X Change, Trinity The Tuck, Yvie Oddly, and Shea Couleé are battling it out for $200,000 and the title of "the queen of all queens."

In honor of Pride month, Vogue tasked the cast with recreating iconic covers spanning all styles and decades. And in an article written by Christian Allaire, the cast shares their thoughts on their singular creations:

The Vivienne: November 1924

"As soon as I saw the original cover, I knew that this was one I wanted to recreate. There's an eeriness to it — a face in a bell jar? It's quite dark, yet stunning at the same time. I wanted to recreate this iconic cover as close to the original as I possibly could. I love the spookiness of it being just a face, but also wanted to lean in even more so by removing the eyeballs and placing the eyes on the table in front my of my face. The gal-babe styling was easy, because there isn't any clothing, just a focus on beauty in the face with a focus on the stunning white gloves on the table. It's almost sci-fi, but fashion at the same time."

Shea Couleé: February 1928

"When doing my research, I was so enamored by the old hand-drawn covers of Vogue. There is something so deeply romantic about that era, and that's what I wanted to reflect with this recreation. Not only that, but this issue was on stands the month that my grandfather was born. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to tie in personal and sentimental stories into my Drag looks. I wanted to capture the demure and pure spirit of the figure in the original drawing, yet modernize it by placing a Black feminine figure in the role of the 'Spring Bride' circa 1928. When pulling the look together, I wanted something opulent and romantic, so I turned to my friend and collaborator Joshuan Aponte to help me creates this stunning custom gown and pearled headpiece."

Trinity the Tuck: January 1945

"For me, I love vintage and Old Hollywood glam. I loved the hat and thought it looked beautiful! For my final image, I tried to stay as close to the original for integrity purposes. I did change up the pose slightly, but it was fun to recreate. I found a top that was as similar as I could get, and then I ended up making the hat so that I could have it look close to the original as well!"

Jaida Essence Hall: January 1950

"I was immediately drawn to the expression in the face on this cover. Even with the negative space of the face, you react. That expression, coupled with the beauty of the eye and lip makeup, pulled me in. I wanted to capture that energy in the eye, and recreate a beautiful eye and lip look — but with a drag twist. It was a really long process, but ultimately, we went with the photo that made me feel the most sickening, but also pulled me in the same way that the original cover did."

Monét X Change: October 1998

"When choosing an iconic Vogue cover to recreate, the image that immediately came to me was Oprah's. My grandmother is a huge Oprah Winfrey fan who procured everything Oprah all the time. I remember when the 2008 cover came out, she bought it and put both issues on our dining room table for the month in celebration of Oprah's poise, grace, and beauty. A grace that I have come to love and respect as the queen of daytime media — a title I one day hope to possess. There is absolutely no outdoing Oprah, so I chose an exact depiction with tasteful ornamentations. Diamond earrings for class and a hand on the hip for sass."

Yvie Oddly: February 1964

"I chose to recreate this cover because it's so iconic that it's already been referenced everywhere. I tried to take something classic and subvert it. I fell in love with the silhouette and composition in the original cover, so I wanted to push those elements to borderline surrealism, while adding a tinge of darkness. Instead of the white collared garment, I wore a black puffer hoodie and embellished the headpiece with pops of black flowers, to pay homage to my love of the macabre and gritty streetwear. For the glam, I wanted to play on the vampy makeup in the original cover, but brighten it up for spring — so I used light blues around my eyes and orange on my lips to accent those colors in the flowers. Finally, I darkened the mood with a black lip liner and thin brow."

Raja Gemini: February 1935

"I was attracted to the two-dimensional, minimal, graphic nature of this cover. Illustration was a huge part of fashion magazines in its earliest form, and as an artist, it was most attractive to replicate. I envisioned a sort of trompe-l'oeil moment with this image — could I execute this linear concept painted on myself? The challenge was fun to bring to life."

Jinkx Monsoon: September 1926

"I love all things vintage, so I was definitely drawn to this classic looking Vogue cover, with this captivating illustration. The rainbows were what sealed it for me, though — I was excited to do a modern, contemporary take on this image. I see a strong and powerful woman holding an artifact of sorts... a Pandora's box. When we think of Pandora, we first think of the terrors that were unleashed on the world, but I like to focus on the fact that she retained hope; that's a part of the story we often forget about. I want to represent this image as a powerful, feminine human holding onto hope and showing pride."