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The Design challenge, also know as the sewing challenge and sometimes as a fashion challenge, involves the queens creating an outfit to display on the runway using fabrics or unconventional materials, or putting together a look from clothes brought from home to fit certain themes and criteria. Typically, the design challenge is the first Maxi Challenge of the season. It also can appear more than once in a season featuring different challenges to meet (such as a different material or object to take inspiration from).

The Makeover Challenge is similar to the design challenge as it involved putting looks together for themselves and their makeovers. The Ball Challenge is another version of the design challenge that requires the queens to present two or three looks on the runway, with at least one of the looks being a design challenge.

Fashion & Design Challenge Winners

Season 1

Episode 1: Drag on a Dime

For the first challenge of RuPaul's Drag Race, the queens were challenged to create outfits out of items from the 99 cents store. After designing the outfits and presenting them on the runway, Tammie Brown, Shannel, BeBe Zahara Benet, and Jade were declared safe. After the judges' critiques, Ongina placed high, Nina Flowers won the challenge, Rebecca Glasscock placed low, and Akashia sent home Victoria "Porkchop" Parker. The challenge was used during the season premiere of Season 8, and later again in the season premiere of Season 10.

Season 2

Episode 1: Gone with the Windows

The twelve queens were tasked to create a garment out of curtains. Jessica Wild, Raven, Tatianna, Sonique, Jujubee and Nicole Paige Brooks were declared safe. Morgan McMichaels, Tyra Sanchez and Pandora Boxx all received positive critiques with Morgan McMichaels being the winner of this weeks challenge. Sahara Davenport, Mystique Summers and Shangela all received negative critiques for their curtain couture and with Mystique Summers ultimately being declared safe, Sahara Davenport and Shangela were left to lip sync. Shangela was eliminated.

Episode 5: Here Comes the Bride

The queens were tasked to alter wedding dresses given to them. Tyra Sanchez, Jessica Wild, Raven and Jujubee all received positive critiques with Tyra ultimately taking the win. Tatianna was declared safe. Pandora Boxx, Morgan McMichaels and Sahara Davenport all received negative critiques and with Pandora Boxx ultimately being declared safe, left Morgan McMichaels and Sahara Davenport to lip-sync. Morgan McMichaels was eliminated.

Season 3

Episode 2: The Queen Who Mopped Xmas

The thirteen queens were tasked to create a garment using thrift store items and fabrics, with Christmas as an inspiration. Raja, Manila Luzon and Mimi Imfurst all received positive critiques of their Christmas inspired outfits, with Raja ultimately being declared the winner. Stacy Layne Matthews, Delta Work, Alexis Mateo, Yara Sofia, Mariah, India Ferrah and Phoenix were all declared safe. Carmen Carrera, Venus D-Lite and Shangela all received negative critiques and with Carmen Carrera ultimately being declared safe, Venus D-Lite and Shangela were left to lip-sync to stay in the competition. Venus D-Lite was eliminated.

Episode 7: Face, Face, Face of Cakes

The eight remaining queens were tasked to create a fashion style inspired by a style of cake from a bakery. Carmen Carrera won the mini challenge and assigned the cakes, leaving the princess cake for herself. Alexis Mateo was assigned the cheesecake, Delta Work was assigned the angel food cake, Raja was assigned the chocolate lava cake, Manila Luzon was assigned the carrot cake, Stacy Layne Matthews was assigned the red velvet cake, Yara Sofia was assigned the strawberry shortcake and Shangela was assigned the pineapple upside down cake. Raja, Manila Luzon, Yara Sofia, Delta Work all received positive critiques with Raja being declared the winner. Carmen Carrera and Shangela both received negative feedback but were ultimately being declared safe, leaving Alexis Mateo and Stacy Layne Matthews were left to lip-sync. Stacy Layne Matthews was eliminated.

Queen Cake Ranking
Raja Chocolate Lava Cake

WINNER

Manila Luzon Carrot Cake

HIGH

Yara Sofia Strawberry Shortcake

HIGH

Delta Work Angel Food Cake

HIGH

Carmen Carrera Princess Cake

LOW

Shangela Pineapple Upside Down Cake

LOW

Alexis Mateo Cheesecake

BOTTOM 2

Stacy Layne Matthews Red Velvet Cake

BOTTOM 2
ELIMINATED

Season 4

Episode 1: RuPocalypse Now!

The queens were tasked to create a post-apocalyptic garment from items they had looted from previous contestants dressed as 'zombies'. Chad Michaels, Phi Phi O'Hara, Latrice Royale, Milan, Dida Ritz, Willam Belli and Madame LaQueer were declared safe.The Princess, Lashauwn Beyond and Sharon Needles all received positive critiques with Sharon Needles being declared the winner. Kenya Michaels, Jiggly Caliente and Alisa Summers all received negative critiques of their apocalyptic couture. Kenya Michaels was ultimately declared safe, leaving Jiggly Caliente and Alisa Summers to lip-sync. Alisa Summers was eliminated.

Episode 6: Float Your Boat

Each of the remaining queens were assigned a colour of the rainbow by the winner of the mini challenge, Willam Belli. They were tasked to create a pride boat and an outfit using their allocated colour. Latrice Royale, Phi Phi O'Hara and Willam all received positives critiques with Willam being declared the winner. Sharon Needles and Chad Michaels were declared safe, while Dida Ritz, Jiggly Caliente and Milan all received negative critiques. With Dida Ritz ultimately being declared safe, Jiggly Caliente and Milan were left to lip-sync and Milan was eliminated.

Queen Color Ranking
Willam

WINNER

Latrice Royale

HIGH

Phi Phi O'Hara

HIGH

Sharon Needles

SAFE

Chad Michaels

SAFE

Dida Ritz

LOW

Jiggly Caliente

BOTTOM 2

Milan

BOTTOM 2
ELIMINATED

All Stars 1

Episode 5: Dynamic Drag Duos

Season 5

Episode 1: RuPaullywood or Bust

The queens were tasked to create a garment the brings out Hollywood realness and glamour using items they found whilst dumpster diving. Jinkx Monsoon, Detox, Coco Montrese, Alyssa Edwards, Honey Mahogany, Vivienne Pinay, and Monica Beverly Hillz were all declared safe. Lineysha Sparx, Alaska, Ivy Winters and Roxxxy Andrews all received positive critiques with Roxxxy Andrews snatching the win. Jade Jolie, Serena ChaCha and Penny Tration all received negative feedback on their garments and with Jade Jolie ultimately being declared safe, left Serena ChaCha and Penny Tration to lip-sync. Penny Tration was eliminated.

Season 6

Episode 1: RuPaul's Big Opening Part 1

Each of the first seven queens are assigned a box, based on TV shows. Inside each box were materials needed to construct a runway look out of. Adore Delano was assigned 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo', Gia Gunn was assigned 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians', April Carrión was assigned with 'Duck Dynasty', BenDeLaCreme was assigned 'Golden Girls', Laganja Estranja was assigned 'Dancing with the Stars', Kelly Mantle was assigned 'Downton Abbey' and Vivacious was assigned 'Game of Thrones'. Gia Gunn, April Carrión and BenDeLaCreme all received positive critiques with BenDeLaCreme receiving the first win of the season. Kelly Mantle, Adore Delano and Vivacious all received negative feedback with Laganja Estranja being declared safe. Adore Delano ended up being declared safe leaving Kelly Mantle and Vivacious to lip-sync. Kelly Mantle was eliminated.

Queen TV Show Ranking
BenDeLaCreme Golden Girls

WINNER

April Carrion Duck Dynasty

HIGH

Gia Gunn Keeping Up With The Kardashians

HIGH

Laganja Estranja Dancing With The Stars

SAFE

Adore Delano Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

LOW

Vivacious Game of Thrones

BOTTOM 2

Kelly Mantle Downton Abbey

BOTTOM 2
ELIMINATED

Episode 2: RuPaul's Big Opening Part 2

The seven remaining queens were all assigned a box, based on different parts/ celebrations. Darienne Lake was assigned 'St. Patrick Day', Magnolia Crawford was assigned 'Ho Down', Bianca Del Rio was assigned 'Luau Party', Courtney Act was assigned 'Republican Party', Trinity K. Bonet was assigned 'Princess Party', Milk was assigned 'Toga Party' and Joslyn Fox was assigned 'Quinceañera'. Bianca Del Rio, Milk and Trinity K. Bonet all received positive critiques with Bianca Del Rio getting her first win. Courtney Act was declared safe. Joslyn Fox, Darienne Lake and Magnolia Crawford all received negative critiques, with Joslyn Fox declared safe leaving Darienne Lake and Magnolia Crawford to lip-sync. Magnolia Crawford was eliminated.

Queen Celebration Ranking
Bianca Del Rio Luau Party

WINNER

Milk Toga Party

HIGH

Trinity K Bonet Princess Party

HIGH

Courtney Act Republican

SAFE

Joslyn Fox Quinceañera

LOW

Darienne Lake St. Patricks Day

BOTTOM 2

Magnolia Crawford Ho Down

BOTTOM 2
ELIMINATED

Season 7

Episode 1: Born Naked

This episode, the 14 queens enter the werk room and are challenged to take part in a Spring and Fall fashion show with the runway themed on a nude illusion. Ginger Minj, Pearl, Katya, Max, Trixie Mattel, Jaidynn Diore Fierce, Mrs. Kasha Davis are all declared safe. Violet Chachki, Kennedy Davenport and Miss Fame all received positive critiques with Violet being declared the winner of the challenge. Sasha Belle and Jasmine Masters recieved negative critiques but were ultimately declared safe, leaving Kandy Ho and Tempest DuJour to lipsync. Tempest DuJour was sent home.

Season 8

Episode 1: Keeping It 100!

The season premiere of Season 8 celebrated 100 episodes of the show, so RuPaul challenged each queen to design an outfit based on a previous design challenges. Since Robbie Turner won the mini-challenge, she assigned the queens as such- Make Dat Money (from Season 3, Ep. 13,) went to Acid Betty, Gone with the Window (from Season 2, Ep. 1) went to Bob the Drag Queen, Glitter Ball (from Season 6, Ep. 11) went to Chi Chi DeVayne, Sugar Ball (from Season 5, Ep. 11) went to Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Hello, Kitty Girls! (from Season 7, Ep. 11) went to Dax ExclamationPoint, The Queen Who Mopped Xmas (from Season 3, Ep. 2) went to Derrick Barry, RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza (from Season 3, Ep. 11) went to Kim Chi, RuPocalypse Now! (from Season 4, Ep. 1) went to Laila McQueen, Float Your Boat (from Season 4 Ep. 6) went to Naomi Smalls, Drag on a Dime (from Season 1, Ep. 1) went to Naysha Lopez, The Fabulous Bitch Ball (from Season 4, Ep. 11) went to Robbie Turner, and Face, Face, Face of Cakes (from Season 3, Ep. 7) went to Thorgy Thor. Kim Chi won the challenge while Naysha Lopez was sent home.

Queen Assigned Challenge Ranking
Kim Chi RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza

WINNER

Derrick Barry The Queen Who Mopped Xmas

HIGH

Acid Betty Make Dat Money

HIGH

Bob The Drag Queen Gone With The Window

SAFE

Naomi Smalls Float Your Boat

SAFE

Chi Chi DeVayne Glitter Ball

SAFE

Thorgy Thor Face, Face, Face of Cakes

SAFE

Cynthia Lee Fontaine Sugar Ball

SAFE

Dax ExclamationPoint Hello, Kitty Girls!

SAFE

Robbie Turner The Fabulous Bitch Ball

LOW

Laila McQueen RuPocalypse Now

BOTTOM 2

Naysha Lopez Drag on a Dime

BOTTOM 2
ELIMINATED

Season 9

Episode 1: Oh. My. Gaga!

The 14 queens were tasked to take part in a fashion show/ pageant, displaying two different looks, a look that showcased their hometown and a look that was worn by the special guest, Lady Gaga. Sasha Velour, Eureka and Nina Bo'nina Brown all received positive critiques, with Nina taking the win. There was no elimination.

Episode 3: Draggily Ever After

The remaining queens were asked to create a princess look and a 'side-kick' to accompany them. Alexis Michelle, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Nina Bo'nina Brown, Shea Coulee, Sasha Velour, Charlie Hides and Eureka were declared safe. Trinity Taylor, Valentina and Peppermint received positive critiques with Trinity Taylor snatching the win. Aja, Kimora Blac and Farrah Moan all received negative critiques. Farrah Moan was declared safe leaving Kimora and Aja to lip-sync. This resulted in the elimination of Kimora Blac

Season 10

Episode 1: 10s Across the Board

As an homage to the very first episode of Season 1, the 14 queens were tasked to gather items from a box that they could create a garment out of. Asia O'Hara, Aquaria, Eureka, Kameron Michaels, Monique Heart, Monét X Change and The Vixen were declared safe. Mayhem Miller, Miz Cracker, Blair St. Clair and Yuhua Hamasaki received positive critiques for their garments and the judges chose Mayhem Miller to win the challenge. On the other hand, Dusty Ray Bottoms, Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo received negative critiques, with Dusty being declared safe leaving Kalorie and Vanessa to lip-sync. Vanessa was eliminated

Episode 11: Evil Twins

The five remaining queens were tasked to create two looks, their best self and their evil twin. Aquaria, Eureka and Asia O'Hara all received positive critiques, with Aquaria taking the win. Miz Cracker and Kameron Michaels were up for elimination and had to lip-sync. Miz Cracker was eliminated

All Stars 4

Episode 7: Queen of Clubs

As a reward for returning to the competition, Latrice Royale got the opportunity to pair up the seven remaining queens into three groups; being Naomi Smalls and Valentina, Monét X Change and Monique Heart and Trinity the Tuck and Manila Luzon, with Latrice joining Trinity and Manila. The remaining queens were tasked with designing and hosting their own VIP Club nights. Team Latrice, Trinity and Manila decided to create a Bumble-Bee themed club titled Club Hive, with a honeycomb styled interior. Naomi and Valentina went for a 1996 fashion inspired nightclub titled Club 96 and Monét and Monique chose to create an alien themed club titled The Black Hole. Trinity and Latrice were the top two all stars of the week with Manila recieving positive critiques for her contribution to the design of the club. Monet X Change and Monique Heart were safe leaving Naomi Smalls and Valentina up for elimination. Latrice won the lipsync for your legacy and chose to eliminate Valentina.

Season 11

Episode 1: Whatcha Unpackin

For the season premiere of Season 11, the 15 queens were tasked to create a look inspired by their style of drag using materials inspired by previous Drag Race contestants. Silky Nutmeg Ganache won the mini challenge and got to assigned the roles. She assigned herself with Peppermint, A'keria Chanel Davenport with Bebe Zahara Benet, Ariel Versace with Laganja Estranja, Brooke Lynn Hytes with Detox, Honey Davenport with BenDeLaCreme, Kahanna Montrese with Katya, Mercedes Iman Diamond with Bianca Del Rio, Nina West with Thorgy Thor, Plastique Tiara with Sasha Velour, Ra'Jah O'Hara with Kennedy Davenport, Scarlet Envy with Violet Chachki, Shuga Cain with Sharon Needles, Soju with Kim Chi, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo with Valentina and Yvie Oddly with Alaska. Brooke Lynn Hytes, A'keria C Davenport, Plastique Tiara and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo all received positive critiques with Brooke Lynn Hytes snatching the first win of the season. Ariel, Honey, Ra'Jah, Scarlet, Shuga, Silky, and Yvie are declared safe. Nina West, Mercedes Iman Diamond, Kahanna Montrese, and Soju all received negative critiques with Nina and Mercedes ultimately being declared safe leaving Kahanna and Soju to lip-sync. Kahanna Montrese won the lip-sync and Soju was eliminated.

Queen Assigned Queen Ranking
Brooke Lynn Hytes Detox

WINNER

Akeria C Davenport Bebe Zahara Benet

HIGH

Plastique Tiara Sasha Velour

HIGH

Vanessa Vanjie Mateo Valentina

HIGH

Ariel Versace Laganja Estranja

SAFE

Honey Davenport BenDeLaCreme

SAFE

Ra'Jah O'Hara Kennedy Davenport

SAFE

Scarlet Envy Violet Chachki

SAFE

Shuga Cain Sharon Needles

SAFE

Silky Nutmeg Ganache Peppermint

SAFE

Yvie Oddly Alaska

SAFE

Nina West Thorgy Thor

LOW

Mercedes Iman Diamond Bianca Del Rio

LOW

Kahanna Montrese Katya

BOTTOM 2

Soju Kim Chi

BOTTOM 2
ELIMINATED

Episode 7: From Farm To Runway

During this challenge, the remaining 9 queens had to create looks farm materials; whether it was food, seeds, burlap, denim, or more, the queens had to use it. Plastique Tiara, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and Yvie Oddly were praised for having unique, creative, well-presented runway looks. Ra'Jah O'Hara, A'keria Chanel Davenport, and Nina West were critiqued for lack of originality, a poor shape, and a messy outfit. After deliberations, Plastique was announced the winner and A'keria was left to lip sync against Ra'Jah. A'keria won the lip sync, sending home Ra'Jah after her fourth time in the bottom.

Queen Placement
Plastique Tiara WINNER
Brooke Lynn Hytes HIGH
Yvie Oddly HIGH
Shuga Cain SAFE
Silky Nutmeg Ganache SAFE
Vanessa Vanjie Mateo SAFE
Nina West LOW
A'keria Chanel Davenport BOTTOM 2
Ra'Jah O'Hara

BOTTOM 2

ELIMINATED

Trivia

  • Drag on a Dime, Gone with the Windows, The Queen Who Mopped Xmas, Face, Face, Face of Cakes, RuPocalypse Now! and Float Your Boat were all used as inspirations for the first Design Challenge of season 8, returning as legendary Design Challenges from the first 99 episodes.
    • For Face of Cakes the cake used was Red Velvet, Stacy Layne Matthews cake in the original.
    • For Float Your Boat the blue boat was used, which was Willam's colour in the original.
  • Drag on a Dime is the only challenge to be used three times, in Season 1, 8 (as an inspiration) and 10.
    • In all three seasons it was the first episode of the season.
  • Many outfits from these Design Challenges have become memes within the fandom due to their unusual construction, strange choice of items, and random lines from the queens wearing them. Including:
  • Raja is the first queen to win two Design Challenges as well as winning two in the same season.
    • Trinity the Tuck was the second to win two, 1 in Season 9 and 1 in All Stars 4
  • Tyra Sanchez, Sharon Needles, Violet Chachki, Kim Chi, Aquaria, and Brooke Lynn Hytes are the only queens to win both a Fashion/Design Challenge and a Ball Challenge in the same season.
    • Of those, all but Kim Chi and Brooke Lynn Hytes have gone on to win their seasons.
  • Morgan McMichaels has the biggest placement differences between her two Fashion/Design Challenges as she won "Gone with the Windows" and was eliminated in "Here Comes the Bride".
  • In All Stars 3's Rudemption runway, Aja did her Draggily Ever After look and Shangela her The Queen Who Mopped Xmas look, looks that landed them in the bottom 2 in their original seasons.
    • Morgan McMichaels chose her "Here Comes the Bride" look, that eliminated her in her original season. She was eliminated the episode before so she couldn't show the outfit on the runway.[1]
  • The Design Challenge being the first challenge of the season has had some backlash from fans, as it has eliminated queens that they felt should have stayed longer as they would have done well in the acting and performance challenges in the next few episodes.
  • In Season 10, Kameron Michaels, Miz Cracker and Aquaria all wore Bones/ Skull Pieces, with both Miz Cracker and Kameron Michaels wearing brown 'rags' typically seen on cavemen. This is due to the fact that the Season 10 queens were told to bring a look inspired by the Prehistoric Era.

References

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