Inside the VERY expensive wardrobes of Stan’s RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under stars

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the VERY expensive wardrobes of Stan’s RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under stars as one queen spends $30k and fashion designer Kirsten Damned reveals which costumes are ‘off-limits’

Like all things fashion, drag comes at a cost. 

And it appears there’s no budget when it comes to the costumes featured on Stan’s RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.

One Season 2 contestant exclusively told Daily Mail Australia it cost her a whopping $30,000 for materials to make her outlandish outfits in the lead up the show.

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the VERY expensive wardrobes of Stan's RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under stars

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the VERY expensive wardrobes of Stan’s RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under stars 

The unnamed star said she kept ‘pretty good track’ of her spending.

‘It’s a lot of money and I worked really hard to get that money as well in the first place,’ she exclusively told Daily Mail Australia.

According to past contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race, the queens can spend anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000 on materials such as wigs, fabric, costumes, shoes and makeup.

And in the wonderful world of drag, it’s a rite of passage to be colourful and chaotic – but there’s more than meets the eye than just the final product.

For drag queen and fashion designer Kirsten Damned, there’s a much bigger process behind just glamourous looks and designs.

Drag queen and fashion designer Kirsten Damned has created beautiful and elegant pieces for stars on RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under. Pictured: Hannah Conda wearing Damned by Design

Drag queen and fashion designer Kirsten Damned has created beautiful and elegant pieces for stars on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under. Pictured: Hannah Conda wearing Damned by Design

‘Pop culture is always the biggest inspiration for Drag when people approach me to construct a piece,’ Kirsten told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Personally though, a lot of my inspiration for my bespoke looks just float into my head during dreams.’

But just like pop culture, drag trends are rapidly changing in today’s climate.

Queens rely heavily on social media apps like Instagram to get their content seen, which Kirsten says is ‘a big change from the drag of the early 00s’.

‘As long as you’re an adaptable human, keeping up with the latest trends from a drag fashion standpoint isn’t difficult,’ he explained.

Kirsten also designed the promo outfit for Hannah (pictured) ahead of Season 2

Minnie Cooper (pictured) wearing Kirsten's design for Season 2's promo

Kirsten also designed the promo outfits for Hannah Conda (left) and Minnie Cooper (right) ahead of Season 2

However, there are a number of designs and materials that are strictly off-limits.

‘Obviously things that are flat out offensive can’t be used, copyright designs etc,’ Kirsten added.

‘They also might say you can’t use a certain fabric due to a background that’s being used [on the show].’

Kirsten, who’s designed pieces for Season 2 stars like Hannah Conda and Minnie Cooper, noted that usually the production is ‘pretty open’ about the designs, hence why viewers can see some fabulous looks this season as well as Season 1. 

A Season 2 contestant of Drag Race Down Under told Daily Mail Australia that it cost her a whopping $30,000 for materials in the lead up to appearing on the show. Pictured: Maxi Shield from Season 1

A Season 2 contestant of Drag Race Down Under told Daily Mail Australia that it cost her a whopping $30,000 for materials in the lead up to appearing on the show. Pictured: Maxi Shield from Season 1 

Kirsten Damned says there's a much bigger process behind just glamourous looks and designs Pictured: Maxi Shield from Season 1

Kirsten Damned says there’s a much bigger process behind just glamourous looks and designs Pictured: Maxi Shield from Season 1

Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under has already kicked off with a bang following its premiere last Saturday.

Faúx Fúr, 27, was eliminated in the first episode after a shocking detail cost her a spot in the next round.

‘It was tough,’ she told Daily Mail Australia last week of her elimination. ‘I broke down.’

The show, which has new episodes every Saturday from 4pm AEST, will see 10 drag queens from Australia and New Zealand battle it out for the top prize of $50,000.

Kirsten noted that usually the production is 'pretty open' about the designs, hence why viewers can see some fabulous looks this season as well as Season 1

Kirsten noted that usually the production is ‘pretty open’ about the designs, hence why viewers can see some fabulous looks this season as well as Season 1

According to other contestants, the show will be more fierce and fiery than ever as the queens battle it out to reign supreme.

‘The claws do come out at Drag Race,’ drag queen Molly Poppinz told Daily Mail Australia at Stan’s blue carpet premiere last week.

‘You’re gonna get your drama, you’re gonna get your wild moments, good looks, talent, everything!’

There are a number of celebrity guest stars – Australia’s beloved wildlife warriors Bindi and Robert Irwin have already made their appearance in the first episode, while Lucy Lawless is set to feature.

RuPaul is also joined by returning judges Michelle Visage and Rhys Nicholson.

There is a diverse range of talent this season, including a fire-breather, an Australia’s Got Talent semi-finalist, and queens with First Nations and Māori heritage.

Stream RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under only on Stan, with new episodes available on Saturdays at 4pm 

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under season two cast

Aubrey Haive (Timaru, NZ), 25 

Aubrey is no stranger to being in front of the camera, as she is already a budding actor and musical artiste.

This fashion-forward queen originally hails from Timaru, New Zealand, but is now based in Melbourne.

Aubrey Haive (Timaru, NZ), 25

Aubrey Haive (Timaru, NZ), 25

Beverly Kills (Brisbane, QLD), 21

Beverly Kills started doing drag within just a few months of turning 18.

Not just a pretty face, she offers something extra with her burlesque, including a good whipping and some fire breathing.

Beverly Kills (Brisbane, QLD), 21

Beverly Kills (Brisbane, QLD), 21

Faúx Fúr (Sydney, NSW), 27

Faúx Fúr has been a regular face, and the loudest voice, on the Sydney drag scene for the last seven years. 

She is proud to represent her Asian heritage, and comes with the biggest of hearts to uplift others through all her performances.

Faúx Fúr (Sydney, NSW), 27

Faúx Fúr (Sydney, NSW), 27

Hannah Conda (Sydney, NSW), 30

After conquering the Perth drag scene, Hannah Conda took a leap of faith and made her way to Sydney in 2015.

She co-founded ‘Drag Storytime’ in 2016 where she reads to children while dressed in drag to teach them about inclusion, acceptance and love.

Hannah Conda (Sydney, NSW), 30

Hannah Conda (Sydney, NSW), 30

Kween Kong (Adelaide, SA), 29 

Kween Kong is originally from New Zealand, and of Tongan and Samoan heritage, currently residing in Adelaide.

She is the matriarch of Haus of Kong, a drag collective that aims to change the lives of its young recruits both on and off the stage. 

Kween Kong (Adelaide, SA), 29

Kween Kong (Adelaide, SA), 29

Minnie Cooper (Sydney, NSW), 49

Minnie Cooper is considered drag royalty among the Sydney circuit, with a glittering career that spans more than 20 years.

In 2016, she was a semi-finalist on Australia’s Got Talent, combining her drag and musical theatre talents. 

Minnie Cooper (Sydney, NSW), 49

Minnie Cooper (Sydney, NSW), 49

Molly Poppinz (Newcastle, NSW), 30

Molly Poppinz originally made a name for herself in Vancouver after struggling to find the confidence to do drag in her hometown of Newcastle, NSW. 

In 2018, she was crowned Vancouver’s most ‘Fierce Queen’, before returning to Newcastle to build a thriving drag community.

Molly Poppinz (Newcastle, NSW), 30

Molly Poppinz (Newcastle, NSW), 30

Pomara Fifth (Sydney, NSW), 28 

Growing up in the suburbs of Western Sydney, Pomara Fifth always stayed true to herself and never let the bullies and naysayers keep her down for long.

She represents both First Nation Australian and Māori queens and has a reputation for being a versatile, multi-talented performer and host.

Pomara Fifth (Sydney, NSW), 28

Pomara Fifth (Sydney, NSW), 28

Spankie Jackzon (Palmerston North, NZ), 37

Spankie Jackzon is a New Zealand drag performer best known for winning the $10,000 cash prize on the Kiwi series House of Drag.

She is the official host and roving reporter of The Wellington International Pride Parade, bringing drag to small towns across Aotearoa. 

Spankie Jackzon (Palmerston North, NZ), 37

Spankie Jackzon (Palmerston North, NZ), 37

Yuri Guaii (Auckland, NZ), 25

Starting out at the age of 18, Yuri Guaii has been doing drag for going on eight years, making her start in the Auckland drag scene.

Having studied fashion design, her secret weapon is her sewing skills and she is known for creating all her own show-stopping drag looks. 

Yuri Guaii (Auckland, NZ), 25

Yuri Guaii (Auckland, NZ), 25

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