On his star, RuView fashion photo

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for VH1 / Paramount +

Ultimately, it took the leader-level persuasion of the Raja cult to get a legendary star from RuPaul. The third season winner had been performing at a high level for weeks Drag Race All Stars 7, with little reward. A bizarre and creative double twist as puppet Madame and fashion editor Diana Vreeland in Snatch Game, a handcrafted royal golden look for the “Realness of Fortune” dance and some characters working as a grandmother in the “Fairytale Justice” improvisation challenge “It wasn’t enough to get Raja into the top two, and he started complaining about it.” That won her this week, for an opening speech as cult leader, even sweeter. (“Sometimes I consider myself a religious leader,” she said in a confessional. “A very small religion, but it’s a religion nonetheless.”)

And all the while, even Raja couldn’t take a break from the camera, having been hunted for one of her looks. RuView fashion photo, the reaction web series she has co-hosted since 2014. Not that the queen is bothered by any of that. “I don’t care what people have to say about me,” she says, though she does is thrilled to have the social media fandom on his side. Vulture caught up with Raja to talk about cult documentaries, her reputation as a fashion queen and gifting a star.

Congratulations on finally getting your star! I know it was a very important moment, and on stage it felt a little emotional. What was that feeling like?
For the previous episodes, it looked like I excelled, but no one was really giving me the damn star. So I was relieved to have it and to be able to wear it and to be part of the star-winning group of people. And it happened that it was a challenge that I felt was very, very myself, more than people realize. I think most audiences see me as, I’ve heard over and over, the queen of OG fashion. Fashion, fashion, fashion! But no one can ever see the side of me that loves to write, that loves words. I love to inspire people, I love public speaking, I love to tell stories. So it was refreshing and exciting because it was something I knew was very me.

Where do you keep your star now, is it on display?
They got them back!

Oh!
I think they filmed them because they didn’t want us to post pictures of them before the season or whatever. They got them back right away. I am sure they will send it to us soon by post. [Laughs.]

In this challenge, I laughed out loud at you more than anyone else. I was surprised that Carson and Nikki seemed a little skeptical of the idea at first. Were you guessing this at any time?
At all. I knew what I was providing, I knew what I had written, I knew what I had imagined of how I was going to deliver it on stage. I knew what I was going to wear. It is difficult to explain the visual aspect and the delivery when the whole package is not in front of them, basically they are just seeing the notes that are written. So I can imagine it might seem a bit confusing at first. But I knew what was going on, I knew what I wanted to do and I knew that I would be able to provide it with a sense of humor and, in turn, also inspire people in the process.

And you certainly did. Do you like cult documentaries and TV shows?
Absolutely! I’ve been obsessed with cults for, you know, my whole life. If there is a documentary about a religious cult, I am fascinated by it, I am glued to it. So I definitely took a lot of inspiration and concepts from those, for sure.

Snatch Game was a challenge where I thought I was in the top two. The two characters you chose were so different, but they both were. Can you guide me in understanding that counterpoint?
Well, I’m fascinated by eccentric and trendy older women. There is a documentary called Advanced style that I really love. Those kinds of women that I definitely love and that I wanted to emulate. But especially with Snatch Game, it was kind of an educational moment. I knew the easiest thing to do is to choose someone who is already familiar in popular culture, but I wanted to do something that was based on my interests and what I found funny and ironic, and most of all I wanted to make women who had stories.

The story of Wayland Flowers and Madame was important to me because it stems from nostalgia, from being a child, being back in the United States for the first time in 1984, watching episodes of Solid gold and see this puppet who had this kind of vulgar and obscene humor and all decked out with turbans and feathers. And he was ambitious for me, I loved Madame as a child. And Diana Vreeland, that documentary – by the way, since we’re talking about documentaries, I’m a documentary demon. For example, I don’t watch anything other than documentaries. But in my Amazon collection of movies that I enjoy watching over and over and over, The eye must travel, the documentary on Diana Vreeland, is in my library. I am fascinated by her, I love her great personality. I knew I was able to show some of my makeup skills in all of this. So it was a very conscious decision and it was something I knew I could have fun with.

You’ve had so many gorgeous looks, and what I want to talk about is the golden ball one, which doesn’t feel like something that’s been done in less than 48 hours. We’ve seen you doing a little bit, but can you talk about the physics or the magic behind putting it all together?
At first I was really ambitious. As with anything else I do in my life, you start with a concept, and then somehow, through the magic and poetry of life itself, it becomes something else. And that’s just what it was. So they failed to show the process from start to finish of how it got so huge and sculptural. It had evolved into something completely different than what you see now. But I went with the inspirations, once again, drawing from the past. Pepper LaBeija was a big part of that sleeve moment. I was thinking of designers like Schiaparelli. The moodboard that constantly ran through my brain as it moved and sculpted what it was, was something that would take hours to talk about. I listened to the materials, and that’s what it became. And it was difficult because I had to challenge myself, because that’s my area of ​​expertise. they were like, Raja is sure to do something great, so I was like, How to make an impact 101? Add a lot of volume.

There has been a lot of talk about your hosting RuView fashion photo and now being a subject of it for the first time, e also get a “boot”. How do you feel?
Oh, I love it! I love it. It’s a dose of my own medicine. I’ve been doing this for over eight years, and it’s my turn. I was honored to be able to be talked to, because I’ve spent so many years doing it with other people, and I was like, Oh my God, this time I’m in an episode and someone else will talk about it! And I didn’t really care if they were boots or boots, because I don’t live my life thinking if someone is punching me or beating me. As far as I’m concerned, I’m “shooting” myself every day.

I personally thanked Gottmik in a message the other day. I was like “Yo, whatever you and fucking Violet are doing” – because I hadn’t seen it – I was like, “Whatever you guys are doing right now, keep it up! The audience is completely on my side, I’m trending on Twitter – I don’t know what the hell that means – so you guys keep doing whatever you’re doing because it works entirely in my favor and people enjoy it. ” Toot and boot e RuView fashion photo it’s something that Raven and I created together to share the wealth with other queens and see what their opinions are. And it really doesn’t matter if I’m geek or banged. Who cares? This has always been my attitude as a guest of that – I’m like, Our opinions don’t really mean shit. Usually and completely, I’ve smoked a whole blunt and drank a bottle of wine, so what does it matter what I have to say?

So now you have this star to give. Monet was campaigning while you worked on the challenge. Can you guide me through your thought process to gift your star?
All I remember is that I’ve always wanted to play this game fairly. I was not as well versed in the game as other girls were. Everyone seemed to know what was going on with the game more than me. I was just trying to make sure I always look good and do the best I can. So I wasn’t really like in the game and I was strategizing the same way they were. Whatever decision I made, I can assure you that it all came from a point of always being fair.