Drag Race España winner Carmen Farala wants to apologise to RuPaul

Drag Race España Carmen Ferala opens up about her iconic runways, her most famous fan and why she wants to apologise to RuPaul.

As RuPaul’s behemoth drag franchise continues to spread worldwide, international viewers are being given more chance than ever to fall in love with global drag royalty.

Late last month, Carmen Ferala added her name to an illustrious list when she was crowned the first-ever winner of Drag Race España – and all without ever lip-syncing for her life.

The Seville-born, Madrid-based star bowled over judges with her combination of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, as well as a series of truly sickening runway looks made entirely by Carmen herself in the space of just a few weeks.

Despite this stress, Ferala found time to help her fellow queens – most notably when she realised she had planned the same look as Dovima Nurmi in the Night of a Thousand Rosalías challenge. Instead of taking the risk, she decided to sew a new outfit from scratch and even lent her VMA statue to Nurmi.

Whether strutting the runway in a floor-length gown or delivering a deliciously camp, serpent-laden tribute to trans icon La Veneno, Ferala has enough tricks up her rhinestoned sleeve to keep the world wanting more.

In the wake of her recent victory, she chatted to PinkNews about her runway hits and misses, childhoods spent sewing with her grandma in Seville and, of course, the logistics of that mesmerising La Veneno tribute.

PinkNews: What does it mean to be the first-ever winner of Drag Race España?

Carmen Farala: It’s an honour for me to be crowned the first winner of the first season of Drag Race España. I feel a great sense of pride, but at the same time I feel a great responsibility on an international level to represent the face and the voice of drag artists across my country.

I worked hard throughout the contest for the crown, so now it’s time to keep working hard and take Spanish drag to the highest level.

Fans around the world have fallen in love with this season – how do you think it holds up against other Drag Race franchises around the world?

My fellow contestants and I are very surprised by the great reception this season has had, both inside Spain and across the world. Sources close to her have even told us that Lady Gaga herself has followed the show and been fascinated by it.

We’re so happy the public has connected to such a huge extent with us, with our life stories and with our style doing drag. Without a doubt, we’re very happy.

What would you say if you met RuPaul?

Oh God! The first thing I would have to do is apologise for never having seen RuPaul’s Drag Race – I never followed the show because I didn’t want anything to influence my own drag character. 

After that, if Ru forgives me and still wants to be my friend, I would invite her for a drink and ask her to tell me about her beginnings. I think the most interesting parts of a person can be seen right there at the beginning; there’s nothing like knowing someone’s past to connect with their present.

I feel like RuPaul has to have a really interesting, amazing life story that we can all learn so much from.

All of your runway looks were phenomenal. Which was the hardest to create?

I made all of my looks myself without help, and within just 17 days – 17 days of sleeping an average of three hours per night. It was absolute madness. Undoubtedly, one of the looks that gave me the most difficulty was the Iberian lynx look from the Mis Raíces (My Roots) catwalk.

 

It was a jumpsuit painted by hand and embellished with lots of sequins and small rhinestones, which took me so long to make. Unfortunately, when I saw it on-screen I thought it was one of my worst looks – it didn’t work on camera like I wanted it to, and a lot of the details were lost.

Another look that took me a long time to make was the Divas challenge look. It was a look made up of pieces of metal, which were cut up and glued together one by one. It was real torture to make, but I couldn’t be more proud of the look – it’s one of my favourites.

You revealed on the runway that you created your Night of a Thousand Rosalías look in a matter of hours after giving Dovima your original look. Where did you learn to sew that quickly and efficiently?

My grandmother was always sewing as a child, and I remember taking the pieces of material that fell to the floor and using it to dress up my dolls. I always liked the world of fashion, so when I was 18 years old I bought myself my first sewing machine, which cost me €100. At first, I didn’t even know how to thread the needle. But little by little, I was able to teach myself through practice.

For eight years, I worked with the drag trio Hermanas Farala (The Farala Sisters). We always wore the same outfits, and I was in charge of making the costumes week after week. I think that having to make all my costumes – multiplied by three – in such a short time gave me agility and dexterity at the same time. When it came to the competition, my sewing skills helped me change looks and even start from scratch in a very short period of time.

Lastly, how much did your arm hurt from holding it up on stage for your Tribute to La Veneno look?

[Laughs] It was truly so hard to hold the pose throughout the show, but I knew it was the only way for the outfit to look truly fantastic.

The snake’s head was a little heavy – that combined with the static pose definitely made my arm a little stiff the next day. They say that drag isn’t comfortable, and with this look I can attest to that, but the final result and the victory that day made it all worth it.