I've been following Verushka Darling for a few years now on Instagram so reached out to ask some questions about her glamorous life in Sydney. Read on about what it takes to look this fabulous and have a few laughs as well.
When was your first experience in drag?
My Christening Frock as a baby. Lol. I’ve been dressing up ever since.
How did you come up with your drag name Verushka Darling?
A simple question with a complicated answer. When I first started out on the scene I was young, tall, slim, had VERY long (real) hair, and was incredibly androgynous looking. I used to buy bits and pieces of clothing from local designers, that fit my body shape (a slight hourglass ⏳) rather than my sex, and embodied a look that was referred to back then as “gender-fucked”.
The designers liked what I was doing and started using me as a model, and I did quite a bit of runway. Back then, it was hard to find women’s shoes in my size, so the guy who used to make them for Vogue shoots handmade them for me.
As a consequence of my look and shoe size, people in the industry thought I was rather reminiscent of 60s supermodel Veruschka... and so the name stuck (with amended spelling, because no one ever got it right).
The Darling part came when a journalist from from a well known mag at the time, came to interview me. I introduced myself as “Verushka”, referred to her as Darling, and they must have assumed that that was my last name. When the story came out, my name was in print as “Verushka Darling”, and the rest is, as they say, history.
Where do you get your inspiration for fashion?
Old school Hollywood and and classic couture.
Do you make your own clothes?
No. I can’t sew to save myself. I’m very lucky to have a good friend who is also a marvellous dress and costume maker. I take fabric and ideas to him, we work something out together and he makes them for me. I am very lucky to have him.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I don’t know. True story. I used to have a wall of them, but I’m cutting down.
Have you always wanted to be an entertainer?
I’ve always been a performer, studied drama (amongst many other things), and became an internationally qualified teacher of speech and drama at a very young age. Drag performance was something that I just slipped into.
How long does it take you to frock up?
That depends on what I’m doing and how complicated it is. If it’s something standard, I like to take 2hrs from go to woah, but if I’m doing something complex, it can take up to 5 hours or more.
I’ve noticed your Instagram often has photos of flowers and your garden. What’s the secret of having a luscious urban garden?
Good position, and the right plant in the right light, then leave them to it. My motto for maintenance is “put your finger in it, and if it’s dry, the water it, but if it’s moist, leave it alone” (there are exceptions, of course)... I think it’s a motto for life, don’t you? Lol.
Lastly, what do you love about Sydney.
There’s too much to love and not enough time or space to write about it, I’m afraid. All I can say is that, having grown up around the world in some amazing cities and countries that I’ve loved, has really given me an appreciation of how special Sydney is, and lucky we are to live here. No city is perfect, and every city has its own problems... but this one is perfect for me.
If you don't already, follow Verushka on Instagram @veruska.darling