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Blanche Macdonald

Fashion


LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! A BEHIND THE SCENES PEEK INTO LIFE WITH BLANCHE MACDONALD'S BEST & BRIGHTEST FASHION SCHOOL GRADUATES

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Vancouver, A.K.A. Hollywood North, is home to towering mountains, lush rainforests and stunning ocean views. It’s a small slice of filming heaven which has helped make the past year one of the busiest and most exciting in Canada’s Film and TV history. In and around Vancouver you can find alien invasions and fairy tale endings, Super Hero battles and monster truck adventures. It was a blockbuster year that saw studio space become limited due to an ever-expanding line up of productions from X-Files and Prison Break reboots to comic book juggernauts Arrow, Supergirl and The Flash fighting crime across the Lower Mainland. In a historic move Hollywood studio giant Skydance opened up one of the world’s longest and tallest stages right here on the West Coast, breathing Altered Carbon to life in Netflix’s biggest creative endeavor yet! With impressive scenery, diverse shooting locales and an incredibly talented pool of TV and film crew, the decision to utilize everything British Columbia has to offer was an easy one.

Vancouver boasts some of the world’s best TV and Film Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists, a previously exclusive club that’s now parting the ropes as high demand for their skills continues to skyrocket. With our city playing host to gruesome hits like Supernatural, iZombie and Deadpool our Blanche Macdonald Hair and Makeup family is beyond busy creating epic looks and winning major awards. In the past year they have been recognized with multiple Emmy, Canadian Screen Awards and Leo Awards for their outstanding work and dedication to their craft. The diversity of the abilities throughout our Fashion scene is becoming more involved and the Film & TV industry is taking note! They are scouting local talent and our contribution is only growing. From Vancouver to Prince George, film productions dotted the landscape in this momentous year and Blanche Macdonald graduates and instructors were lucky enough to take on leading roles.

At the forefront of many of the main costuming jobs that roll through Vancouver is Blanche Macdonald Costuming for TV & Film instructor Derek Baskerville. As an industry veteran with titles like I, Robot, Untold Stories of the ER and Wedding Bells behind him, Derek has an innate understanding of all the demands and responsibilities that come with a role in the costume department of any production. He also has an excellent eye for those students of his who possess such gritty sparkle. Students such as Fashion Marketing graduate Madison Douglas, who is excelling as an assistant to Derek on a number of his upcoming projects! Luckily for our Fashion Marketing and Design students, Derek is also an extraordinary mentor and has placed many Blanche Macdonald Fashion students and graduates behind the scenes of multiple productions.

“One of my greatest pleasures when hiring Blanche Macdonald graduates is that within a very short time they make themselves indispensable with their willingness to take it all on, ‘own it’ and have fun at the same time. In the industry we are always looking for people with fresh ideas and ways to make challenges work while working on tight timelines.  We are looking for people who bring enthusiasm, courage and a positive attitude when they join a new costuming team!”

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Whether you are scouring the shops for that perfect piece as a Buyer, dressing background actors for key scenes, giving new clothes “old” life as a breakdown artist like Fashion Design graduate Julian Leclerc is on Netflix’s vampire hunter series Van Helsing, or challenging your skills in sewing and breakdown as a Truck Costumer; being prepared for anything and everything is crucial. It was this ability to acclimate quickly that saw Fashion Design graduate Andromeda Nelson ignite her passion working alongside Derek Baskerville as a Background Costumer on myriad projects and then promptly work her way up to Assistant Costumer. Similarly, Blanche Macdonald Fashion Marketing graduate Angela Ivanochko’s capability to be adaptable in all situations allowed her the opportunity to work as a Buyer on the CW’s breakout hit drama Riverdale.

Be over prepared and always expect the unexpected to happen. No day in film is ever the same, one day you might be shopping glitzy cocktail gowns at Nordstrom and the next your sourcing men's jockstraps for the high school football team. It can be challenging at times, like anything else in life worth having it requires a lot of effort. But there is nothing more rewarding than hitting up the theatre and seeing you and all your team's hard work showcased on the big screen - that is a moment I live for!”  

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Building an encyclopedia of knowledge on style, fit and silhouette is pivotal in being able to translate fundamental looks for TV & Film projects. Just ask Iranian born Fashion Design graduate Maryam Asgari whose role as a Truck Costumer has her responsible for everything from assisting cast at their trailers to properly hot-stocking costumes with a complex series of breakdown phases. Maryam’s hard work has propelled her steady rise through the ranks on hit CW shows such as The Flash and Arrow, ABC’s Once Upon a Time as well as Disney’s Descendants 2 – where she was fortunate to work alongside LA-based Fashion and Costume Designer Kara Saun. As an International student, Maryam faced many adjustments while living abroad and in addition to those was now discovering a whole new terminology – all outside of her native tongue.  

“When I learned the term silhouette it was a huge deal for me. I was asked to day call on The X-Files reboot shortly afterwards and the designer needed me to find him a ‘beautiful silhouette’. I felt amazing because I had the confidence in knowing what that meant! The Fashion Awareness course gave me the knowledge to completely envision a look – beyond even the clothes. I’m able to make sure that everything is there to pull it together from top to toe and place it in the correct era.  Every day on set is completely different, I might be responsible for breakdown, design, background or even sewing. Moving across the world and enrolling in Fashion Design at Blanche Macdonald was intimidating, but has paid off – I work in an industry I love and feel creatively fulfilled.”  

TV and Film is an industry where being at the top of your game 100% of the time is the expectation – space at the top is limited and to play alongside of the best you need to have your game face on. Long hours, changing weather conditions and working accurately under pressure are just a few challenges working on set will throw at you and preparation is key! Fashion Marketing Graduate Renata Mihalickova (Assistant Prep Costumer/Buyer – Love Finds Its Way) quickly found this out maneuvering the world of Hollywood North.

“You have to be on time, whether it’s an early morning crew call or an overnight shoot, so organization is key. You need to work quickly and, most importantly, be accurate and communicate. In this industry it’s important to stay cool under pressure and be able to roll with a changing schedule. There is a very fast moving work flow and you have an ever changing job description. It’s so important to be able to be adaptive and ready for anything – all skills I learned at Blanche Macdonald!”



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