RuPaul’s Drag Race isn’t always just about fashion and modeling, but it is impossible not to take those elements seriously on the show. After all, besides lip syncing, the only absolute certainty that every contestant can count on is that they will be walking on the runway during each and every episode, sometimes having to showcase several looks during the same episode.
After eleven seasons and four All Stars spin-offs, there have been more incredible runway queens on Drag Race than we can list here. However, we certainly did our best to honor the ten queens who have showcased their fashion sense and modeling skills to the highest degree, either winning their respective seasons or making an everlasting impression on the fans.
10 TRINITY THE TUCK
It came as no surprise when RuPaul complimented Trinity The Tuck during All Stars 4 for showcasing on the runway the absolute highest levels of drag in the history of the franchise.
On both Season 9 and All Stars, Trinity gave the fans and the judges nothing but her very best, making it all the way to the Top 4 on both seasons. Despite not taking the crown on her original season, Trinity The Tuck went on to take a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame after winning All Stars 4 alongside Monet X Change.
On Season 9, Trinity won the fairytale runway challenge and the makeover challenge. On All Stars 4, her standout runway looks included the angelic white outfit, the "curves & swerves" look, the kitty cat costume, and the All Star Eleganza dress.
9 MANILA LUZON
Manila Luzon had a rough time during her two times on All Stars, despite showcasing nothing but drag excellence during both seasons. What’s more, many fans believe that Manila Luzon could have won any other regular season of Drag Race that she participated on; it just so happened that Raja was unbeatable on Season 3.
So, let’s talk lewks. Some of Manila Luzon’s best runway presentations include her pineapple dress (Season 3), her Big Bird-esque look (Season 3), the "bad girls chic" outfit (All Stars 1), and the jaw-dropping gray-silver gown (All Stars 4).
8 BROOKE LYNN HYTES
Before she even stepped foot on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11, Brooke Lynn Hytes was already a legendary Canadian queen best known for having won the highly-coveted Miss Continental title in 2014. From episode one, which she won wearing a dark blue latex piece with lime green details, Brooke slayed the runway with her fierce outfits.
Some of the best Brooke Lynn Hytes looks on Drag Race include her witch look (inspired by Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress in 2016’s Suicide Squad), her outfit reveal during the “Snatch Game at Sea” episode, and the makeover look she assembled for her and Plastique Tiara for the makeover challenge that she won.
7 NAOMI SMALLS
Naomi Smalls is certainly among Drag Race royalty when it comes to fashion and modeling.
On Season 8, the leg-endary Naomi Smalls gagged the judges with her Scarecrow fantasy, her neon outfit, and all three of her looks for the “RuPaul Book Ball.” On All Stars 4, the queen’s standout runway performances include the hippie-inspired look for the "All Star Variety Show," the housewife "curves & swerves" fantasy, the Prince homage, the red outfit for the “LaLaPaRUZa” episode, and the Sonny & Cher pair of outfits for the makeover challenge. Oh, and let’s not forget about that jaw-dropping purple gown for the finale.
As it stands, Naomi Smalls is the only Drag Race contestant in history to have won the makeover challenge twice.
6 SASHA VELOUR
Many fans claim that Sasha Velour flew somewhat under the radar during Season 9, but that’s certainly not true when you look at her runway presentations.
Among the various great runway outings from Sasha on Drag Race, we have to mention her “Erotica”-era look for the Madonna challenge, the leather fantasy with a mohawk for the "big hair" category, her smart Little House on the Prairie outfit, and of course the clown-inspired costume for the "Club Kid" challenge.
5 SHEA COULEE
From the beginning, Shea Coulee said that she came to RuPaul’s Drag Race to slay. And girl, was she right!
Throughout Season 9, Shea Coulee gagged the judges on the runway time and time again. Some of Shea’s best outings include her "naughty nighty" lingerie setup, her ‘club kid couture’ outfit — with accessories literally glued to her face — and all three of her looks for the “Gayest Ball Ever.” Of course, we’d be remiss not to point out that, out of those three Ball looks, the Village People-inspired "construction worker" fantasy stands as one of the most iconic runway presentations in the history of Drag Race.
Oh, and don’t sleep on Shea Coulee’s "Best Drag" look for the Top 4 episode.
4 KIM CHI
Kim Chi is undoubtedly one of the most high-concept, creative, and out-of-the-box drag queens in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race. On Season 8, Kim proved that she is unmatched when it comes to bringing out innovative and unexpected looks to the runway.
The list of best Kim Chi runway performances on Drag Race could go on and on, but let’s stick to some of the most unforgettable ones: the Korean "hanbok" look honoring her mother, the Autobiographical Eleganza outfit made out of pages from a book, the "neon realness" costume, and the black-and-white fantasy she pulled off on episode 7.
3 VIOLET CHACHKI
Judges and fans realized that Violet Chachki was going to be a huge contender on Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race from the very first episode, when during the first mini-challenge, the queen had a jaw-dropping outfit reveal that went from a spring season look to a fall season look.
Other standout looks from Violet Chachki include her unbelievably slim corseted waist for the Death Becomes Her runway challenge, her leather fantasy for the "Leather & Lace" category, and the half-man-half-woman look. Ah, and let’s not forget that Violet dressed to win for the Season 7 finale.
As if all of her Season 7 runway stunts hadn’t been enough, Violet Chachki attended the Season 8 finale to pass the crown to whoever won the subsequent season, but went dressed in a stunning, intricately-made gown that basically screamed, “Let her keep the crown, Ru!”
The Age of Aquaria dawned on Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race after the queen displayed an undeniable eye for style throughout the entire season.
If we’re being honest, basically every single runway look from Aquaria was legendary and unforgettable. Standouts include the Klaus Nomi-inspired bunny-with-a-top-hat look for the "Hats Incredible" category, her Eleganza Extravaganza sling skirt for the Top 4 episode, her drenched-in-oil mermaid fantasy, and all three of her outfits for “The Last Ball on Earth.”
Raja is the ultimate runway queen of RuPaul’s Drag Race. On Season 3, Raja brought to the show something that had been missing for so long: a fashion-forward approach and a perspective that was often more left-of-center. She was more editorial and androgynous than Drag Race queens of the past.
While the franchise certainly appreciates other fashion senses that lean on camp, resemble pageantry or look a bit "rough around the edges," it was necessary for Drag Race to have a winner like Raja, opening the doors to contestants like Sharon Needles, Violet Chachki, Sasha Velour, and Yvie Oddly to win future seasons.
Among the various incredible looks from Raja on Season 3, the top highlights include her holiday-themed “thrift store” outfit in episode 1, the Carrie-inspired look in episode 8, and the absolutely iconic Marie Antoinette fantasy from episode 5.