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In anticipation of the 2023 Nottingham Drag Pageant I took on a commission from Nottingham drag legend Vayne to create a reveal look for the runway portion of the competition. 

Myself and makers Jodie Pengelly and Caitlin DeLaRosa collaborated on this project.

Design and embellishment: me

Costume make: Jodie Pengelly

Millinery: Caitlin DeLaRosa

Find Caitlin and Jodie on instagram:

See Vayne (crouched, middle) in the 'reveal' component of the look here.

*I am awaiting photos from the client and event photographer and will update this page when those are recieved.*

Vayne's runway comprised of a hat made with her signature star motif, a tearaway gown, mesh sleeves, leotard with garters, stoned pasties and stockings.

Jodie created the gown based off the design image, technicals and information package I sent her, which included the design for a tearaway feature hidden behind the V shaped appliqué on the front of the dress. She stitched heavy-duty press studs here to maintain the illusion of the dress and support the weight of the boned bodice and skirts.


This connection seamlessly transitioned into a slit in the skirts for the ultimate surprise when Vayne ripped off the dress during her stage number.

My design for Vayne followed her brief of an angsty, grungy ballgown with black mesh details.

Vayne wanted to show the audience a different side of her style that they had previously never seen. She is known for dressing in all black, with skin tight or minimal silhouettes and wanted to try something more colourful this time around, choosing pastel blue for her gown.

(Left) This is a quick sketch I made for the lingerie reveal portion of the costume.

Initially we were considering a pale pink but ended up selecting the blue shade for the gown, which the tulle seen decorating the hips here matched. On the final costume piece I rhinestoned star embellishments to complement the hat.


These designs were created for a concept which was later changed but was initially envisioned as a statement of self love and breaking free from constraints. Hence I experimented with motifs of Vayne's own face, flouncy, carefree silhouettes and contrasting corsets, belts and even barbed wire. The final runway gown can also be seen in it's ideation stage here (far right).

See more photos from the event:

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