is the delightful Varla Jean Merman from last night’s very special episode of Project Runway.
I don’t watch many – or any- reality television shows, but I do tune in when my gal pal views this Bravo program because I enjoy the rampant creativity. I don’t care much for the designers, but it’s a lot of fun watching them hear what the new challenge will be and then, in the words of unflappable host Tim Gunn, “Make it work.”
I’ve now seen several episodes. Perhaps I got a little more drawn in after nearly knocking over last season’s winner, tiny Christian Siriano, in Hell’s Kitchen one night in July. Who was this fabulous elf? I wanted to know about his kind.
So I began watching the show. Last night, by a mile, was my favorite challenge: designing for drag queens. The idea was to be outrageous, the zanier, the better. Have you seen a drag show? I’ve seen plenty of amateur queens, but attending the exclusive Miss Adams Morgan pagaent last year in DC changed my life. These bitches meant business. It wasn’t about mimicking ladies, it was about being the most outrageous, colorful, hilarious being in the room. The costumes were, for lack of a better word, spectacular. Have you ever seen a human dressed as a peacock? How about a real-life version of Judy Jetson?
Last night’s winner was straight boy Joe, who seemed, frankly, worried when learning about the challenge. In the end, however, Joe let his freak flag fly, creating a hot pink nautical get-up – “Ann-Margret on Love Boat“, he called it – in which his model, ever-grateful Varla Jean (real name: Jeffrey Roberson) strutted down the runway like an ecstatic child after opening a Malibu Barbie trailer on Christmas.
While I can’t link to the video here, I can steer you into the direction of our friends over at Jezebel who can show you this fab clip of Joe and Varla Jean discussing the outfit with the judges, cohost Heidi Klum, Elle’s Nina Garcia and special guest RuPaul.
Kudos to Joe and Varla Jean, a match made in drag heaven. If you need more of Varla Jean, she’s all over Youtube in videos from her hilarious shows where she uses some very strong language. Varla Jean, act like a lady!
Do you have a favorite drag queen? Are you a Project Runway fan? Who’s your favorite designer?