Filipino designer Mark Bumgarner dresses up RuPaul Drag Race Season 9 finalist Valentina

IMAGE @rupaulsdragracebrasil on Instagram

Valentina wore Mark Bumgarner's red ball gown during the show's viewing party held at Stage 48 last Friday night, June 23, in New York City.


From one queen to another! 

Filipino designer Mark Bumgarner dressed up another queen—this time, it's RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9 finalist Valentina.

Valentina is the stage name of drag performer James Leyva, who placed 7th at the latest season of the hit reality TV show.

The 26-year-old drag queen wore Mark Bumgarner's red ball gown to the show's viewing party at Stage 48 last Friday night, June 23, in New York City.

The gown features his signature huge bow, layers of tulle and silk, and Swarovski crystals. 

In an exclusive interview with Mark via e-mail, he shared, "Valentina wanted a ballgown. I thought of the color red because her name connotes love, heart."

According to Mark, Valentina took notice of his work through his Instagram account even before the show started airing.

He told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "She started liking and commenting on my photos on Instagram and I had no idea who she was because the season hasn't started at that time.

"I looked at her photos and instantly fell in love with her. She looked so lovely and so gorgeous. We started messaging each other and exchanged numbers."


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Mark also revealed that he's a big fan of the American reality competition TV series hosted by Emmy awardee RuPaul.

He exclaimed, "Yes! I love the show. I'm hooked. I've seen all the seasons! I started watching season 4 and decided to watch everything after that.

"I love Bianca del Rio 'cause she's really funny. I love Fame for her style. Kim Chi for her make up talent, and of course, Valentina for her beauty and sense of fashion.

"Oh, I also love Manila Luzon, I think shes one of the best lip sync-ers in Drag Race."

Last month, Mark made headlines after dressing up Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai for the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival.

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Read: Miss World 1994 Aishwarya Rai wore show-stopping gowns designed by two Pinoy designers

Aside from Aishwarya, Bollywood actresses Parineeti Chopra and Tamannaah Bhatia are also his clients.

In the Philippines, some of his muses include Heart Evangelista, Jodi Sta. Maria, and Gabbi Garcia.

With his list of celebrity clients continuously growing, Mark is definitely one of the country's emerging talents in the global fashion industry.

When asked how he feels about it, he graciously replied, "Thank you for that.

"I am happy, of course, and I'm proud to be Filipino. I'm happy that Philippine made creations is being recognized abroad.

"I hope more doors will open for our local designers."


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