Drag Race France season 2 © Jean Ranobrac / FTV Drag Race France season 2 © Jean Ranobrac / FTV
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Interview with Romain Gautier behind the scenes of DRAG RACE FRANCE season 2!

06 September 2023 Alumni News
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The show Drag Race France, an offshoot of " RuPaul's Drag Race " presented by Nicky Doll, Daphné Bürkiand Kiddy Smile , came to a close on August 25 at the Grand Rex in Paris, after a season 2 that established it as a phenomenon.


Romain Gauthier, who graduated from the Graphic Motion Designer course in 2015, created accessories for Punani, one of the contestants in this 2nd season. Half of the duo Rose et Punani and Romain's life partner, she is one of the show's 4 finalists.


A multi-disciplinary queer artist, Romain explores digital fashion by creating virtual garments and accessories to be worn in the metaverse.




Drag Race France saison 2

Drag Race France season 2 © Jean Ranobrac / FTV

How would you define digital fashion?

It's a transposition of physical fashion into a digital framework. I design clothes, accessories, shoes... for our avatars, that is, representations of ourselves in a digital space.


Digital fashion can work on social networks, as well as in video games or virtual spaces such as metaverses.



How did you discover digital fashion? What made you decide to specialize in digital accessories?

I was making a short science fiction film with a Barbarella feel. Due to a lack of budget, I decided that dressing my actors in digital clothing would be a good creative solution to my constraints. That's when I began my digital explorations.


I don't think I'm really specialized in the creation of digital accessories, but I'd say it's part of my practice and my artistic interrogations. Through my work, Iquestion the cohabitation of the digital and "physical" worlds. Designing and materializing digital accessories is one of the answers to these conceptual explorations.




Punani - "Futuristic Chic" 

Punani "Futuristic Chic

What techniques did you use to create Punani's accessories?

Mainly general 3D and sculpting software. Cinema 4D is my main tool for 3D creation, but I also use other supporting software such as Zbrush to create more organic shapes. From time to time, I use CAD-oriented tools for very precise designs.




What were your inspirations?

They were very diverse. I started by talking to Punani to determine what was at stake in each look, and to assess the answers I would be able to provide. The inspirations were always in response to his.


We drew a lot from Jeremy Scott 's Camp humor for Moschino. We also looked a lot at what Thierry Mugler was doing in the 80s and 90s.




What did you learn from the experience?

It was very short and intense (1 month to create a lot of accessories), but really exciting. It was an opportunity for me toopen up my horizons in terms of artistic collaboration.


I'm used to creating everything, mainly on my own, but here there's a dialogue with the drag queen, but also with all the other artists to create a final look that's as cohesive as possible.


Punani -"Dragnifik"

What's your favorite creation?

I think my favorite creation is somewhere between the mouth jewel for the "Dragnifique" runway and the QR Code earrings that lead to a digital headpiece for the "Futuristic Chic" show.


The jewelry was a technical challenge; I'd never produced anything so fine and delicate. The earrings were a good opportunity to bring my world and a digital fashion concept into the Drag Race franchise for the first time.



Would you like to repeat the experience with other candidates?

Why not! The project has to be exciting. I think that's an essential criterion in this kind of production. It's a very iterative process. Pieces are produced to function as stand-alone objects, but they also have to honor the basic vision.



What's your favourite episode of season 2?

Punani's Finale runway at the Grand Rex. Seeing the finished look in its entirety alongside the entire design team screaming the moment it appeared. It was quite an unreal moment.




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