Local Creator Slays the Drag Race Runway

Adelaide costume designer Sheri McCoy has teamed up with local drag legend Kween Kong to sashay their way across the globe every Saturday on Stan.

Powerhouse duo Sheri (The Costume Creator) and Kween (Thomas Fonua) are creating looks that kill on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, with Kween in a good position to take out the title.

The pair met by chance at the Adelaide Costume Shop in 2019 and a mutual admiration has now fostered many creative collaborations.

“I first met Kween Kong when they were trying on jackets for the ‘Blues Bros’ show with Maggie Beer,” Sheri says. “I am a huge, huge fan of all types of drag and completely addicted to all the Drag Race franchises, so I introduced myself, shared my Instagram handle and let them know that if they ever needed any costumes made I was their girl!”

Since then Sheri has made costumes for Kween to wear in many of their award-winning shows including Mama, Black Pudding, Briefs, Dirty Laundry and Sweat Shop, as well as Windmill Theatre Co’s  production of Rella.

When the first season of Drag Race Down Under was announced, Kween let Sheri know they hoped to compete on the show at some point in the future. 

“The first season was invitation only, so Kween’s first opportunity to audition came when the casting opened for season two,” Sheri says. “Once they were offered a spot on the show, the waiting game began to find out what themes the runways would be so that the costume creation could begin.”

Due to concerns that themes might be leaked to the public the queens are not told what they need to bring until four weeks before all their costumes are packed up to be shipped to New Zealand for filming.

“This meant costume design and construction happened in a mad rush and, to make it just a little more challenging, for Down Under queens and their costume makers, it was over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, so there is no time for second guessing or redos,” Sheri says.

From her lounge room and with no fittings, Sheri designed and made five of the new costumes that will potentially appear on the show if Kween makes it to the finale.

“I am so proud of what I created and I am grateful to be part of Kween Kong’s creative team. Tom is such an amazing human, insanely talented, wise, kind and beautiful inside and out and I’m so lucky to call them friend,” she says.

With four episodes left before Rupaul crowns the next Drag Race Down Under winner, keep your fingers crossed that Adelaide’s Kween can make it to the finale and bring home the crown.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under can be streamed on Stan, with new episodes coming out at 3.30pm ACST Saturdays.