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Favs And Flops Of Runway Looks On Season 16 Rupaul’s Drag Race

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

Rupaul’s Drag Race has been running for 16 regular seasons, 8 all-stars seasons, and that is not even counting the drag race seasons in other countries, making it a worldwide phenomenon. A big part I love about Drag Race is the fashion. I have been watching since the release of All Stars 2 in 2016  (and binged watched all of the previous seasons), so I have seen many looks shantay and sashay down the runway. Not to say I am a drag expert of course, but I think I can gauge what outfits are a boot, a toot, and so good they need a shoot. While watching the current season, there have definitely been some standout runways and ones that were not as strong. These are my favorite and least favorite runways of this season. Disclaimer: Please don’t come for me if your fave is not on there. All of the queens this season were so talented (despite what Plane Jane may say).


Let’s deliver the bad news first, my least favorite looks of this season. This was honestly pretty hard to decide because none of them were outwardly terrible. None of them were just gift bags glued onto a corset (sorry Lala Ri). They were all fairly cohesive looks, but were just not up to par with the rest. From a minute boot to a massive boot:

5. Plasma: See You Next Wednesday

I put this look at number five because it was bad, but not horrible. I thought it was pretty impressive Plasma made pants out of that material in such a short time, but the look as a whole didnt make sense. It felt like she was pullign different pieces from different outfits and it didn’t mesh well. Compared to Plasma’s other looks this was a let down, and I was sad to see a her sashay away.

4. Mhi’ya Iman Le’Paige: Welcome to The DollHouse

I didn’t put this one too far down on the list because I want to give Sapphira some credit for essentially making the outfit for Mhi’ya. The outfit was very plain to me, the hair was messy and the blue shoes I felt did not match. I love Mhi’ya, AKA Queen of Flips, but this look fell flat for me.

3. Amanda Tori Meating: Faster Pussycat, Wig! Wig!

Listen, I understood the vision. I got the concept that Amanda was trying to convey, but I feel the execution was what put this on my list. The dress itself wasn’t constructed well compared to other garments that looked like wood, for example Sapphira’s Mother Goose Look. The blue on the face also didn’t really work for me, maybe it was too high on her face because when Amanda redid the look on Instagram with it lower, I think it looked better.

2. Amanda Tori Meating: Ruveal Yourself

I’m so sorry, but this was a big no for me. I thought both looks were poorly made and not up to the standard of many on that runway. I didn’t like the dress and I also did not like the makeup on the skin suit. I feel it could have been done better, possibly taking a note from the facekini runway from season 11. The ru-veal was also not very overwhelming. The outfit was just a bodysuit and the hair I thought could have been bigger. I liked the purple makeup, but I think it would be better if Amanda was wearing a purple bodysuit to make it look more cohesive.

1. Hershii LiqCour-Jeté: Call Me Mother/Father Eleganza Look

I think we can all agree that this was the worst look on season 16. This runway was very off the rack. It reminded me of something a mother would wear from Marshall’s on a cruise. In fact, Hershii actually used pants she had bought from home instead of making them. I will give her some credit because she tried to sell the garment and had a concept which is important. I loved Hershii and I wish we could have seen more of her on the show.


Now it’s time for my personal favorites! Season 16 has brought many iconic looks to the table and showcased many powerhouses on the runway who devour the themes every time. From TOOT to SHOOT!!!:

5. Q: Flashback: Welcome to the Dollhouse

Q this season has proved time and time again that she is an extremely talented seamstress. I believe that she made every single look she wore on the runway, so in this design challenge it was obvious that she would excel. I think my favorite part of this look is the intricate head piece and the color combination.

4. Dawn: True Colors

I know that Plane Jane said that Dawn looked a “doo doo clown mess” in this look, but I love this look. Every detail down to the white eyes adds to Dawn’s storyline of a creature in a child’s dream. I have recently been a sucker for hip cut outs and the long closed sleeves add to the nightmarishness of the look.

3. Xunami Muse: Mother Goose Look

This look is pure camp. When Xunami came out in that egg costume in a dress, I knew she was doing Humpty Dumpty, but what I didn’t expect was the egg-cellent reveal. The whites of the egg dripping off of her and the wig with the yolk on top was giving the camp I look for when watching Drag Race. Needless to say, I was devastated to see Xunami go so early in the season.

2. Sapphira Cristál: Mother Goose Look/ Everything Every-Cher All at Once

I literally am so confused on how Sapphira packed for this competition. I honestly could not choose between these looks. Everyday since I saw it, I can’t stop thinking about the pumpkin dress. How the stem goes up into a meticulously made corset and then matches the wig with the one eye makes it such a cohesive look. On the other hand, Sapphira’s Cher look was to DIE for. Not only does she look so good in blue (hence the name), but this is a classic Cher/Bob Mackie look down beautifully. The feathers, the head piece, the hair, everything was so on point.

1. Nymphia Wind: Call Me Mother/ Father Eleganza Look

I am going to dub Nymphia, right here right now, the runway assassin of this season. Everytime she steps on that runway, I am always in awe of her beauty and fashion sense. Out of all her looks, this one has to be my favorite because of how she made this on the show. Nymphia is also a very talented seamstress, as one can see from the construction of the ties (still don’t understand how she did that). The color palette is also another one of my favorite parts because these beiges and browns can typically be boring to look at, but Nymphia makes them look so high fashion together. Truly, I believe this look is going to be credited as one of the best looks in Drag Race Herstory.

Honorable Mentions;

Plane Jane: Significant Mother Look

Plane Jane you are insane

Xunami Muse Faster Pussycat, Wig! Wig!

This looked tied together with the WALK was die for

Nymphia Wind: Dancing Queens Look

One word. Breathtaking.

This season has been so good in both a fashion sense and an entertainment sense. I think that is what makes the show special, it showcases different talents and has something we can all enjoy. All of the queens are so talented and deserve to be fairly critiqued and not attacked. I think Drag Race fans need to realize that besides being on a reality show, the queens are just people and deserve to be treated with respect. Season 16 has been a great season, and I can’t wait for the finale. #TeamNymphiaWind all the way!!!!!!!

Lucienne Byrne

West Chester '25

Hi! My name is Lucienne Byrne! I'm a Junior at WCU and I'm a Communication Major. I love Art, Writing, Music, and Fashion. Three fun facts about me, I still avidly play Pokémon GO, my dog's name is Juniper (shes the cutest), and I know every Rhett and Link song.