Since the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 finale noticed Sasha Velour sashaying away with the crown, the New York queen will truly move down in her story as one of the most fashion-ahead competitors to grace RuPaul’s show. Saving the pleasant for remaining, she arrived at the premiere in a cobalt gown with a corresponding Queen Elizabeth-Esque ruff. She cinched the very last lip-sync with a tear-away lace and pearl masks. Sasha Velour Snatched Her Wig and all of Ours inside the Process.
But in the back of every extraordinary drag queen—shop for folks who can honestly stitch—is an equally suitable seamstress, and Diego Montoya is the artist standing at the back of the reigning queen. Born in Peru, developing in Miami, and now calling Brooklyn his home, Montoya is a visual artist, first and most important, using recycled gadgets to create large-than-existence costumes and installations. Building works for shops, galleries, and queer performers alike, his approach to beauty is similarly progressive and subversive.
Montoya worked closely with Sasha to create her finale, basing the blue and white most reliable outfit on Lucy Westenra in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 movie Dracula. Originally designed to be in sun shades of vivid red for a regal vampire vibe, the outfit had to be speedily redesigned as the duo observed queens had been barred from wearing crimson with worries they may blend with the degree units.
“We had to rethink everything, which was disheartening, as we had been already so invested in this vivid red vampire fantasy,” Montoya says. “But in hindsight, I’m so glad this twist got here because it allowed me to do something unexpected. The cobalt blue and white palette we went with changed into stimulated through Russian porcelain, which refers to Sasha’s Russian heritage. The final appearance: bride-of-Dracula-meets-Faberge-egg-meets-drag-pope.”
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And on to the pièce de résistance: that iconic tear-away masks. “The all-white masks look turned into a faster system,” Montoya says. “We discovered that we might need to produce an additional performance appearance a few days before taping. The idea for this appearance becomes that same Faberge egg reference but in destiny. Future Egg Queen.” Montoya notes the mask changed into designed to crack open like an egg, revealing Sasha’s photograph pink lips and openly bald head. “I wanted her to appear regal but alsoistic drag monster.”
His mask is perhaps his signature for those familiar with Montoya’s paintings. They are the faces of fever dreams, jutting from each direction with adornments and gadgets. So it’s hard to say that Sasha’s mask, in particular, becomes lots of stretches. “With the mask I create, they conceal the face completely; that’s the issue we normally look to when determining what’s attractive or the tone of something,” he says. “Without seeing a facial feature—the look in someone’s eyes—we are compelled not to forget other things… I think it opens up new thoughts.”
For more of Montoya’s paintings, visit DiegoLovesYou.Com.