Blanche Macdonald Centre http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/ News from Blanche Macdonald Centre Makeup Instructor Leah Elliston Brings Fashion Week Fabulousness to the Classroom http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/top-makeup-school-graduate-instructor-leah-elliston/ top-makeup-school-graduate-instructor-leah-elliston

Blanche Macdonald students in Leah Elliston’s Fashion Makeup classes receive more than insider tips and techniques from an Artist regularly creating magic backstage at Fashion Weeks around the world. They’re also getting daily shots of inspiration from a Makeup Artist whose passion for fashion continues to swell.

“Working at a big show is amazing,” insists Leah. “It’s hectic and there’s pressure, but it’s always exciting. When I see the models in the clothes, makeup and hair, that’s everything to me. If it’s a collection or a designer I love, I’ll still get goose bumps. I worked on a Mary Katrantzou show in London two years ago that was absolutely stunning. The intricacy of design was so beautiful. The talent you’re working with across the board at a Fashion Week in London, Paris, Milan or New York, from the designer to the Makeup team, is ridiculous. It’s so cool to be a part of that.”

Leah’s awe-inspiring résumé is a reflection of a life that regularly takes her away from her Vancouver home. Among its many highlights are her stints working at various Fashion Weeks for names and brands like Roberto Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood, Giambattista Valli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Simone Rocha, Balmain, Temperley London and Chloé. Away from the runway she’s brought her artistry to the Juno and Leo Awards, the Canadian Country Music Awards and the Toronto International Film Festival (where she groomed stars included Forest Whitaker, Kevin Spacey, Josh Groban and James Taylor). Somehow she finds the time to document her work and her views on today’s trends at her blog, Smudge Style. All of which make clear that Canada's Top Makeup School students are in the presence of Makeup royalty.

There was an artist dwelling inside Leah from an early age. She’ll cheekily remind anyone asking that the proof of that latent talent arrived when she was a six year old growing up in Nottingham, England.

“I won an award!” she laughs. “When Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married my school held a painting competition. From the entire school, I was the winner! My prize was a cup sent directly from Buckingham Palace!”

 top-makeup-school-graduate-instructor-leah-elliston

Despite this royal endorsement Leah had no plans to become an artist. After her family immigrated to Canada, Leah’s primary aim was to return to the UK and work at an art gallery. Thankfully, fate had other plans.

“I wasn’t interested in makeup at all,” she explains. “But while I was taking an art history diploma program I started working at The Bay Downtown handing out fragrance samples. There was a MAC counter there, and the girls there would always compliment me on my outfits. This was the 1990s, when there were only two MAC counters in Vancouver. Which meant that the Makeup Artists there were beyond busy. They suggested I applied for the job as cashier. I told them I didn’t know anything about Makeup but they didn’t seem to mind. It was only once I’d started working that I could see that MAC was a pro line with a direct connection to the fashion industry, along with incredible artistry involved. That made me want to stick around and learn more.

“I started going to all the training seminars that the rest of the team attended. It was like having a paid internship. Two years later I started working as a Makeup Artist for MAC at The Bay in Metrotown.”

Leah would be the first to admit that the transition from Cashier to Artist wasn’t easy, and that these days the leap would be impossible without formal training at Makeup School. But there’s no secret to how she overcame her initial nervousness.

top-makeup-school-graduate-instructor-leah-elliston

“How did I get good? I practiced, practiced and practiced. That’s what makes you learn. The experience you get in a retail position is completely different than if you go straight from Makeup School to working on actors or models. I loved the artistry and the challenge of working with all skin tones and ages. And after three years of practice I became the Resident Trainer for MAC at Metrotown in Burnaby!”

Leah had lodged her foot in the door of the Makeup business. One more opportunity was all that was needed to kick that door down.

“A Senior Artist position at MAC became available for a year as someone was going on maternity leave. I applied and got it! That changed my career. When Aerosmith came to Vancouver my job was to put on black eyeliner on Steven Tyler. He was very flirty! I was suddenly doing high profile events like the Juno’s, Canadian Country Music Awards, and the Toronto International Film Festival, where we would go from hotel to hotel before the stars would do their media appearances for shows like Extra and Entertainment Tonight. Kevin Spacey has a very dry sense of humour. It’s hard to tell if he’s actually upset or just playing.

"I started going to collections in Paris and Milan. That first year I did Salvatore Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli in Milan. It was amazing! I was working with the biggest artists in the industry, assisting and learning with people like Val Garland, Wendy Rowe, Aaron de Mey, Tom Pecheux and Charlotte Tilbury. I kept going back to these Fashion Weeks and since then I’ve had models like Jessica Stam and Freja Beha Erichsen in my chair. Freja was for a Balmain show in Paris. She appeared in that night’s newspaper wearing my Makeup. I still have a copy!”

The yearlong job covering maternity leave ended, but Leah continued to travel from Vancouver to London, Paris, New York and Milan, freelancing alongside her new position as MAC’s Trainer for Western Canada. Looking for a role that would give her the flexibility to continue working at the major Fashion Weeks and inspire a new generation of Artists, Leah approached BC’s top Makeup School.

 top-makeup-school-graduate-instructor-leah-elliston

“I would go to makeup schools in Vancouver with MAC, giving seminars and showing the trends for the upcoming season. Blanche Macdonald always seemed the most well rounded. The criteria to be an instructor here was at the highest level. All the instructors were working Makeup Artists in the film or fashion industry. They were all my peers. So naturally, Blanche Macdonald was the first place I called.”

Students in Leah’s Makeup for Fashion classes have been reaping the benefits ever since, getting first hand looks at the face charts she’s used for some of the world’s most prestigious runways and having a ringside seat for the backstage tales she’s always excited to share.

“I’m the storyteller! Like the time I was in London at a Giles show, passing beads to a seamstress who was finishing embellishing a dress as the show was beginning, or when I spent the day working with Ellis Faas and ended up hanging out with Giambattista Valli’s Mamma at his atelier in Paris!”

Those stories keep coming as Leah continues to journey to the pulsating heart of the Fashion World.

“I work a lot with Grace Lee now. We met at MAC and we’ve been great friends ever since. When she was hired as Lead Makeup Artist for Maybelline Canada she asked me to come join her as her First Assistant. We’ve done a lot of shows together in New York and Toronto.  

top-makeup-school-graduate-instructor-leah-elliston 

“Grace and I have both been working a lot with Public School recently. That’s a cool label. We’ve done their New York show for the past three seasons. They used to be designers for DKNY so there’s always a lot of media at their show and a ton of models – around 45 or 50. As First Assistant my job is to make sure everything gets done. It seems like an organisational job but I need to know the Makeup look as well as the Key Artist knows it. If Grace is busy, and she usually is, I’m there to make a decision about what’s right and what’s isn’t. When you’re a First Assistant you’re the Key Artist’s right hand. You must be able to predict what they might need at any given time without being asked. You need to know when to take initiative and when to step back.  

“This year we did their show and a cover shoot for Fashion Magazine with Jourdan Dunn the very next day. She’s such a pro! You get the shots so quickly with her. It looks easy, until you take 20 selfies trying to get a good one!”

It’s an honour to learn from an Artist with Leah’s global experience and expertise. But she’ll be the first to point out that she’s enjoying her time in the classroom as much as her students.

“Seeing these new Makeup Artists grow creatively is inspiring. At first they’re copying what I’ve done. Then three weeks into the module I can see them creating their own looks. I love it when I can see that they’re interested and inspired by something, understanding what fashion is actually about. My first love was and still is fashion. My students will still tell me they love my outfit as much as they comment on my Makeup!” 

]]>
Wed, 09 Aug 2017 00:00:00 PST
SASKATOON'S RESIDENT HAIR AND MAKEUP EXTRAORDINAIRE FALLON BRYNNE NYGAARD http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/top-hair-school-graduate-fallon-brynne-nygaard-shear-talent/ They're the pruners of our strands, the keepers of our secrets and the masterminds behind those picture-perfect balayages. These Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair graduates are just getting their feet wet in the whirlwind world of Hair, but already, they're making waves in their new careers. Spanning the scene from stylists and barbers to Pro-Educators and entrepreneurs, our grads run their very own hair salons, hold the hottest seats in top salons, and work behind the scenes to create stunning editorials. Armed with the knowledge of our internationally recognized training, and a pair or two of super-sharp shears, these remarkable individuals have heard the entrepreneurial call of the Hair world and they have answered back. With Contessa Awards and other prestigious national and international competitions under their collective belts, our grads are climbing the ranks of local and international scenes one snip at a time. It can be hairy, but they're ready for anything!

top-hair-school-graduate-fallon-brynne-nygaard-shear-talent

Double Blanche Macdonald graduate Fallon Brynne Nygaard has been setting Saskatoon ablaze with her beauty skills since graduating from Blanche Macdonald’s Pro Hair Program and Freelance Makeup Program. Finding her home at The Lemon Tree Salon and Studio, Fallon has amassed quite the following of dedicated clients who come for her sparkling and shimmering attitude and stay for the fierce blowouts, killer cuts and show-stopping colours. Her love of sultry hair and brows that are on fleek is challenged by only one thing - her love of dogs! (“Seriously, I want like 65!”) Meet this charming, cheeky and totally kick ass animal lover and graduate that is raising the bar of Saskatoon’s beauty game one beautifully blended balayage at a time.

Blanche Macdonald Centre: Fill in the blanks! My name is _____  and I am known for always doing / having ______ and ________. When I’m not at work, I like to wear ______ while doing my favourite activity, ______. All my friends would say I am _______!

Fallon Brynne Nygaard: My name is Fallon Brynne Nygaard, and I am known for always running into things, knocking over product shelves, and tripping at work, yet somehow being able to do hair with grace! While I’m not at work, I like to wear dresses and high heels while doing my favourite activity which is usually freelance gigs! I truly just love to work.  All my friends would say I am "the real MVP; a true homie!"

BMC: What game show or reality show you would slay if you were on it?

FBN: Dr. Phil. If "cash me ousside" made Danielle Bregoli famous, I have no doubt this is where I would find my fame and be instantly moved to a glamorous mansion in Beverly Hills and Jenny from the block would hire me as her personal stylist and makeup artist immediately!

top-hair-school-graduate-fallon-brynne-nygaard-shear-talent

BMC: If you ever made the news, what would the headline be (hopefully)?

FBN: "Hair and Makeup Extraordinaire Builds World's Largest Rescue Dog Safe Haven!" 

(I'm a total pushover when it comes to animals. I want like 65 dogs.)

BMC: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?

FBN: Basically, yes. I always think of Lydia’s line from Beetlejuice: "Well, I've read through that handbook for the recently deceased. It says: 'Live people ignore the strange and unusual’. I myself am strange and unusual. " - Lydia from Beetlejuice

BMC: What would we always find in your fridge?

FBN: Take out. Take out.  And ummmm... condiments? I don't grocery shop as much as a healthy human should - that's the life of a hairdresser!

top-hair-school-graduate-fallon-brynne-nygaard-shear-talent

BMC: What was your favourite part of our Hair program?

FBN: I think Design Forum with [instructor] Lisa was my favourite module. I loved the creative freedom we had and being able to be hands on with our styles!

BMC: What is your speciality (cut, colour, ombre, etc)?

FBN: My favourite things to do in the salon are either massive transformations - which is vague, I know - but I also love simply showing people how to enhance their natural palette through balayages and ombrés blended to perfection! I was so scared of men's cuts when I was first leaving school, but now I can bang out fades quickly and with confidence as well! 

top-hair-school-graduate-fallon-brynne-nygaard-shear-talent

BMC: What do you remember most about your first day in Q + A? At your salon now?

FBN: I remember walking into Q&A for the first time and feeling like somewhat of a big shot finally moving up in the ranks! I was humbled after school, of course. My first day at the job I'm currently in was definitely a very memorable one… I remember having an overwhelming sense of security and an instant familiar feeling with my coworkers who I've grown very close to now. We are all very open and are able to learn from each other in our careers and in life. I got really lucky finding a placement here. Shout out to all my Lemon heads! 

BMC: Name your top 2 go-to products and why you love them.

FBN: My top favourite products right now have to be Caviar Omega Nourishing Oil and Schwarzkopf's Mighty Matte paste. The oil is an uncharacteristic pick for me simply because I put it in the hair wet. This oil is good for really any hair type that is needing some moisture and overall nourishment, it disappears straight into the cuticle of the hair and won't burn, which is pretty fantastic in my opinion! With the paste, I just find it to be such a great versatile product that can leave the hair texture looking natural as opposed to crispy or wet without completely knocking out the natural shine. I use it mostly for short hair cuts, men and women, to create either a sleek or piece-y outcome. It's fab, and my clients adore it.

]]>
Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 PST
SHEAR TALENT: TYLA MALCOLM BECOMES NEWEST ENTREPRENEUR IN PRINCE RUPERT WITH PARLOUR BEAUTY BOUTIQUE http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/top-hair-school-graduate-tyla-malcolm/ They're the pruners of our strands, the keepers of our secrets and the masterminds behind those picture-perfect balayages. These Blanche Macdonald Pro Hair graduates are just getting their feet wet in the whirlwind world of Hair, but already, they're making waves in their new careers. Spanning the scene from stylists and barbers to Pro-Educators and entrepreneurs, our grads run their very own hair salons, hold the hottest seats in top salons, and work behind the scenes to create stunning editorials. Armed with the knowledge of our internationally recognized training, and a pair or two of super-sharp shears, these remarkable individuals have heard the entrepreneurial call of the Hair world and they have answered back. With Contessa Awards and other prestigious national and international competitions under their collective belts, our grads are climbing the ranks of local and international scenes one snip at a time. It can be hairy, but they're ready for anything!

top-hair-school-grad-tyla-malcolm-shear-talent

After graduating from Blanche Macdonald’s Pro Hair Program, Tyla’s stunning strand skills landed her behind a chair at Volume Studio, one of Vancouver’s busiest and hottest salons. From there she laid out glowing balayages, killer cuts and everything in between for Vancouver’s hair trendsetters. Setting her sights on fulfilling her long-time dream of owning her own salon, Tyla relocated to Prince Rupert and opened Parlour Hair Boutique. Tyla’s dazzling reputation preceded her, and the salon has been fully booked since Day One. Although Parlour Hair Boutique has only been open a handful of months, it’s already a celebrated addition to the entrepreneurial scene of Prince Rupert, with a loyal following of clients waiting to receive Tyla’s magic touch. Graceful, poised and always professional, we’re celebrating Tyla and her new Owner / Head Stylist status!

top-hair-school-grad-tyla-malcolm-shear-talent

Blanche Macdonald Centre: Finish this sentence! “When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is _________.”

Tyla Malcolm: The first thing in the morning I do, after having a quick snuggle with my dog of course, is without a doubt head for coffee! My day doesn't start until I’ve had my first cup. In fact, most people know not to talk to me in the morning until I’ve had a few sips haha!

BMC: What do you remember most about your first day in your own salon?

TM: My first day in my salon I remember being super surreal. I couldn't really get over that I was in my own space, being my own boss, and was fully booked with clients!

 top-hair-school-grad-tyla-malcolm-shear-talent

BMC: If you could do anyone’s hair in the world, who would it be and what would you do?

TM: The first person that comes to mind is Kate Middleton! I just love her! She is so classy and elegant plus she has virgin hair which is like the holy grail for us stylists! I would probably do a soft tonal balayage to give her a little dimension.

BMC: What was your favourite part of our Hair program?

TM: My favourite part of the Pro Hair program was colour class! I've always loved colour - it’s fun and creative and a little science-y, which my nerdy side secretly loves! I love formulating and I also really enjoyed the photoshoots.

top-hair-school-grad-tyla-malcolm-shear-talent

BMC: Tell us about the best and hardest parts of owning your own salon.

TM: The best part of owning my own salon is the freedom and flexibility it allows me. I also love the space I've created - it really reflects my style. Sometimes I just stay and hang out after my last client leaves just to enjoy it! The hardest part right now is finding time to do everything myself while maintaining a life outside of work. I'm never not working - there are always emails, texts, and other tasks to work on outside of work hours. When you start your own small business, you become a one woman show. So the hardest part for me is learning to let go and give up responsibilities such as bookkeeping, cleaning, etc and focus on my clients, growing the business and myself. I recently just brought on another stylist and am looking for an assistant/front of house person to take a little pressure off. Baby steps!

BMC: Name your top two go-to products and why you love them.

TM: There are so many products that I love from Kevin Murphy but if I had to only choose two I would definitely not be able to live without Blonde Angel Wash & Rinse. They are great for maintaining a beautiful blonde and still battle the brass! Im also obsessed with their newest product Bedroom Hair. Who doesn't want that sexy tousled look that is so on point right now? It can also double as a dry shampoo which makes it so versatile!

top-hair-school-grad-tyla-malcolm-shear-talent

BMC: If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

TM: Most likely Sushi! And no my commercial fisherman husband did not make me say that lol! We are so lucky here on the BC coast to have such amazing fresh seafood and I definitely eat my fair share! Can you tell yet that I'm a foodie?! Haha

BMC: You step outside and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

TM: My husband and I never have enough time together as we are both so busy with our businesses – he is away fishing about 7 months a year – so I would snag him off his boat and go travel for a year just the two of us! First stop would be Italy for sure! I've been dying to go there for years! I would love to go hide in the hills in some quaint little Tuscan village, find  someone’s Nonna to cook melt-in-your-mouth pasta with the freshest Italian ingredients and sip on amazing local wines! I would probably follow with an extended trip through Europe, specifically Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Greece and Turkey to name a few. Eating and sipping my way through them all, of course!

]]>
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 PST
BMC QUEEN SUPREMES - MEET OUR DRAG STARS! http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/drag-queen-pride-2017-01/ Synonymous with empowerment, infused with uniqueness, and brimming with vibrancy – it’s the magical weekend of Vancouver Pride!

With the city streets steeped in cascades of colour and glitter, laughter and hoorahs, those from near and far are welcomed with open arms to participate and celebrate all that encompasses this brilliant and diverse community.  

Celebrating our collective uniqueness in sexual orientation, gender, and gender choice, we feel honoured to be a part of this tremendous community! Our creative classrooms are built upon this foundation of fierce independence and powerful self-expression.

We’ve seen and met some truly unique individuals who have honed their voices and nurtured their spirits within our halls. The Pride parade is strutting up fast and fabulous, and to celebrate we reached out to a FIERCE few from our Blanche family who have been taking the local drag scene by storm.

Of course, we must leave some of the introduction up to our resident Drag Queen Supreme, Canada's Top Makeup School graduate and CurliQue Beauty Q Talent Leader Jaylene Tyme! The always exhilarating and utterly talented Jaylene has made an indelible mark on the LGBTQ+ community; her words about it and the art she contributes to it never cease to inspire and ignite those lucky enough to be exposed to it. Jaylene’s realm of experience in both self discovery and transformative artistry has made her a powerful role model in our family, and a maternal icon out on the Drag Queen scene of Vancouver – we simply cannot think of anyone better to kick off this dazzling week!

drag-pride-weekend-2017

“Blanche Macdonald has always created a safe space for people to explore and reveal their magical side. Here is a showcase of artists that hone their craft with different mediums, but all with the same focus in mind: to follow their dreams, to share their passions, and to experience a world they never thought possible.  My heart has been so full being able to witness both artistry and the human spirit take flight in these halls.

Pride is an opportunity to express the celebration of freedom. It encourages people to come together and support one another. It also allows artists to express themselves through their craft with wild abandon; sharing what makes them unique and special.

I'm so proud to be a part of such an amazingly diverse artist collective. I have witnessed over the years the growth of expression, but also the confidence in people to explore beyond what they thought their limitations may have been. Pride is a celebration yes, but it also a responsibility to be aware that in order to be truly free, we need to stand tall in the face of any challenge and realize together we can continue to break down the barriers and allow the world, and our children, however they identify, to find their own personal freedom.

Check out these fabulous artists! HAPPY PRIDE!!”


drag-pride-weekend-2017

"My drag character ILONA is known for her signature Pastel Blue EVERYTHING and being a crazy extra party girl. Although when she is off the stage, she likes to wear clothing that looks like it's from the side of the road while doing her favourite activity, eating at Denny’s with her drag family the House of B*tches. All her friends think she is THE MOST!"

Blanche Macdonald Centre: What does the LGBTQ community mean to you?

ILONA: The queer community here in Vancouver means I’m never alone. I can go out without making plans with anyone and know that I’ll have a bunch of friends already at the venue. Even during the day I can walk up to Davie St and I’m guaranteed to bump into someone I know! As someone who grew up without many friends all the connections I’ve made in the queer community are so valuable to me and honestly mean the world!

BMC: How did Blanche Macdonald help bring out your artistry?

IL: Blanche Macdonald helped me really discover who I was as an artist. Being able to explore all the different realms of makeup, I found what really spoke to me. Going into the Global Makeup program I thought I’d be drawn to Special Effects and Prosthetics but by the time I graduated I found out I was actually way more into fashion makeup and editorial stuff & of course, DRAG!

BMC: How did you envision yourself giving to the community with your art?

IL: I’ve always wanted to be able to make people FEEL. So if I can paint on the most beautiful face and step on stage and really let all my emotions out performing a song I connect with be able to move people with what I’m going through and with what I present - that is so amazing to me!

BMC: What do you remember most about your first performance?

IL: That it was totally on the spot and at the ADORE DELANO concert, HELLO! Anyhow, I remember after how welcoming and kind everyone was, I’d never felt anything like that before in my life! All these people I’ve never even met coming up to me living and telling me how much they enjoyed what I did on stage!

BMC:What is one thing you always think or remember as you perform?

IL: “Being nervous means you care, if you are never not nervous then you should probably reevaluate what you're doing.” That’s one of the first pieces of advice I was ever given about performing from a local drag icon Sienna Blaze! I’ve been performing for almost 3 years now and although it has gotten so much easier and I’m so comfortable on stage, I’m always that lil bit nervous!

BMC: How is the Vancouver LBGTQ community unique?

IL: We have drag shows happening almost every night of the week, which is so amazing and really helps to build that closeness that comes with community. You get to see your friends everyday, you get to see people you know all the time! It’s wonderful!  

BMC: Give us one word that describes your relationship to creativity

IL: Rejuvenated

BMC: Tell us your guiltiest pleasure

IL: Eating Jeffree Star Lip Scrubs… LOL

BMC: What’s your happy colour?

IL: Powder Blue

BMC: Favourite Queen?

IL: Fun fact: Drag has exploded well beyond men portraying women. There are Drag Kings, Drag Things, Hyper Queens - the whole 9 yards! My fav local performer is a tie between my drag Aunt/Uncle Rose Butch and Gia Metric! They’re both super inspiring with their looks and are so in tune with how they move their bodies when they perform! I LIVE for them!

@ilonaverley on Instagram


drag-pride-weekend-2017

"My drag character Anna May is known for her signature looks and un-blocked brows. Although when she is off the stage, she likes to wear overalls and snapbacks while doing her favourite activity, partying! All her friends think she is a lot!"

Blanche Macdonald Centre: What does the LGBTQ community mean to you?

Anna May: The LGTBQ+ community means more than words could possibly express. They were there for me (and still are!) when no one else was. With open arms of acceptance, love and guidance, the community has definitely begun to shape me to who I am, and who I will be in the future. I aim to be an advocate of what the community has taught me in terms of a being giving and respectful individual. My goal is to be able to reciprocate the values and above all LOVE that is the LGBTQ+ community!

BMC: How did Blanche Macdonald help bring out your artistry?

AM: Blanche Macdonald has helped with my artistry by first and foremost, being so enthusiastic and supportive of my craft. The responses I was given on a few of my garments gave me gratification that any artist would love to receive! Not limiting me or putting me into a box, but truly letting me be who I am, without any judgement! It’s so wonderful to know how supportive and progressive a school can be, it’s quite heart-warming and beautiful - thank you BMC!

BMC: How did you envision yourself giving to the community with your art?

AM: In the community I see myself as someone who can utilize my skills and talents to create elevated looks and garments for queens to further push their performances and brands as artists. Being in the community for only a short period of time, I’ve already collaborated with multiple queens in turning out fierce, fabulous and original pieces, giving queens unique and signature looks!

BMC: What do you remember most about your first performance?

AM: I often think back to my first performance and the most memorable part about the experience was looking out into the audience and seeing all the smiling beautiful faces of all my friends and family. They were cheering and hollering (and tipping ;-) ) immediately making all my worries and fears melt away! The support from the drag community, and the community in general is so substantial and large that anybody should feel comfortable in the spaces created! Also huge shout out to Ms. Alma for allowing me to grace her Shequel stage for the first time at XY nightclub!

BMC: What is one thing you always think or remember as you perform?

AM: Heel-Toe, Heel-Toe, Heel-Toe!

BMC: How is the Vancouver LBGTQ community unique?

AM: I haven’t been immersed in many other LGBTQ+ communities, but one thing that I love about ours is although we have different Haus’ of queens, I’ve never felt a divide or exclusions between them. We are one big fabulous family, they’re all my sisters! I wouldn’t want to have it any other way!

BMC: Give us one word that describes your relationship to creativity

AM: Forgiving!

BMC: Tell us your guiltiest pleasure

AM: Bratpack Thursdays!

BMC: What’s your happy colour?

AM: Pink ! Pink ! Pink ! I loooooove pink !

BMC: Favourite Queen?

AM: I have too many to pick! But I definitely want to give credit to my best friend and drag mama, Gia Metric! She has been such a huge supporter of mine, as well as the person to put me into drag for the first time. Without her light and love I wouldn’t be where I am today!

@annamaymetric on Instagram


drag-pride-weekend-2017

"My drag character Misty H Meadows is known for her signature lip sync and always wearing "gowns". Although when she is off the stage, she likes to wear onesies while doing her favourite activity, making packed lunches for her children. All her friends think she is actually a serial killer; but also the best mom on the PTA!"

Blanche Macdonald Centre: What does the LGBTQ community mean to you?

Misty H Meadows: Honestly, a very dysfunctional family! Sure we all don't get along all the time, but there is an undercurrent of love in everything we do.

BMC: How did BMC help bring out your artistry?

MM: BMC helped me grow more confident. I was established as a performer in Calgary before moving to Vancouver, and considered quitting drag after moving here. However, BMC instilled a quiet confidence to push myself even in groups where you are "the weird tall one with the stupid accent". Seriously people like Sara Armstrong, Kari Appelquist, Tyler Udall (honestly I could go on and name pretty much the whole fashion faculty at Blanche) force you to become a stronger artist and I'm so grateful for that.

BMC: How did you envision yourself giving to the community with your art?

MM: Charity has always been very important to me. My parents instilled in me a desire and a drive to help those around me. So I guess the answer comes in two parts:

In Calgary I was entertainer of the year, and helped raise money through hosting shows for the ISCCA. Secondly, in a less tangible way, if only for a second I can make someone laugh, or smile, or just forget how awful the world can be, then I've done my job.

BMC: What do you remember most about your first performance?

MM: It lives on somewhere on YouTube sadly. It was at a local bar in Calgary. I wanted to be "sexy" so I slapped on an American apparel mesh dress and danced to a song by Marina and The Diamonds. Honestly it was 10 lbs of meat in a 5 lb casing and luckily I discovered that being occasionally funny is better for me.

BMC: What is one thing you always think or remember as you perform?

MM: The words. Honestly, performing is an in the moment thing for me. I'm very analytical and very anxious so if I "think" to much it's not a good thing.

BMC: How is the Vancouver LBGTQ community unique?

MM: It's very visible, and not just one facet of it but the whole "rainbow" is visible.

BMC: Give us one word that describes your relationship to creativity

MM: Addictive.

BMC:Tell us your guiltiest pleasure

MM: I'm someone who when they discover an awful song, it instantly becomes an ear worm and I have to continually listen to it. The more awful the more guilty I am of loving it.

BMC: What’s your happy colour?

MM: Black!

BMC: Favourite Queen?

MM: This is such a hard question. Locally people like my drag family are my favourites, Sienna Blaze (mom), Gluttony (daughter), or local icons like (Carlotta, Isolde, Peach). But if it was whose show could I have tickets for I would say either Bianca Del Rio, Coco Peru, Lady Bunny or Lily Savage.

@themistiestofmeadows on Instagram 

drag-pride-weekend-2017

]]>
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 00:00:00 PST
BMC QUEEN SUPREMES - MEET OUR DRAG STARS! http://www.blanchemacdonald.com/news/current/2017/drag-queen-pride-2017-02/ Synonymous with empowerment, infused with uniqueness, and brimming with vibrancy – it’s the magical weekend of Vancouver Pride!

With the city streets steeped in cascades of colour and glitter, laughter and hoorahs, those from near and far are welcomed with open arms to participate and celebrate all that encompasses this brilliant and diverse community.  

Celebrating our collective uniqueness in sexual orientation, gender, and gender choice, we feel honoured to be a part of this tremendous community! Our creative classrooms at Canada's #1 Makeup School are built upon this foundation of fierce independence and powerful self-expression.

We’ve seen and met some truly unique individuals who have honed their voices and nurtured their spirits within our halls. The Pride parade is strutting up fast and fabulous, and to celebrate we reached out to a FIERCE few from our Blanche family who have been taking the local drag scene by storm.

drag-pride-weekend-2017


drag-pride-weekend-2017

"My drag character Raye Sunshine is known for her signature makeup skills and creative looks. Although when she is off the stage, she likes to wear gym clothes or all black (hunny, I'm a makeup artist it's all we own) while doing her favourite activity, which is the gym or being in her home studio creating art. All her friends think she is TOO BUUUUSSSAAAYYYY!” 

Blanche Macdonald Centre: What does the LGBTQ community mean to you?

Raye Sunshine: The community to me, is something that is about embracing things that others may find interesting. Say for someone who wants to feel like they belong in a group but doesn't know how to approach it, the LGBTQ+ community is the kind that would walk up to a person and invite them.

BMC: How did Blanche Macdonald help bring out your artistry?

RS: For me Blanche Macdonald brought out an artistry I was doing in the privacy of my home but it never had a name. It helped me grow my skills that I used to express myself and in an environment that was extremely nurturing - in particular, was Jill Wyness who took me under her wing and went above and beyond in even the smallest things.

BMC: How did you envision yourself giving to the community with your art?

RS: Now this is something I learned over time and it wasn't something I even knew I was doing until a friend pointed it out. But my art has given new, aspiring queens the push to do more and express themselves through makeup that they weren't doing before. So I always blush when someone comes up to me after a show and tells me how my art connected with them and made them want to do more.

BMC: What do you remember most about your first performance?

RS: Oh god, my first performance was a mess, I couldn't dance, I had the world’s thinnest brows and barely any makeup. But I thought I was the cat's meow and boy did I have an awakening after that.

BMC: What is one thing you always think or remember as you perform?

RS: IS MY WEAVE ON SECURE?!

BMC: How is the Vancouver LBGTQ community unique?

RS: We are unique because the drag community as a whole supports each other, even through the catty moments and divas we will have each others back with in a moment.

BMC: Give us one word that describes your relationship to creativity

RS: WTF

BMC: A line of advice you’d give your younger drag self is:

RS: "Thicker brows dear, and your body is beautiful so don't listen to anyone."

BMC: Tell us your guiltiest pleasure

RS: Superglue. That's all.

BMC: What’s your happy colour?

RS: Corals

BMC: Favourite Queen?

RS: Anyone who can cross the lines between beauty and out of this world.

@busydragqueen on Instagram


drag-pride-weekend-2017

"My drag character Cleopatra Compton is known for her signature revel and body. Although when she is off stage, she likes to wear her own merch while doing her favourite activity, hanging out with Ilona Verley. All her friends think she's a cheesecake!”

Blanche Macdonald Centre: What does the LGBTQ community mean to you?

Cleopatra Compton: The LGBTQ community to me is a safe place where my Chosen (drag) family can create together.

BMC: How did Blanche Macdonald help bring out your artistry?

CC: Blanche Macdonald helped bring out my artistry by connecting me to a world that I had dreamed about before going to the school.

BMC: How did you envision yourself giving to the community with your art?

CC: I envisioned educating others with the style of drag that I take on. I am inspired by 1920s to the 1960s in terms of make up, so I utilize a lot of hair and fashion from those eras.

BMC: What do you remember most about your first performance?

CC: What I remember from my first performance is feeling terrified but ready. I wanted to do good and slay! When I was on stage, I felt at home.

BMC: What is one thing you always think or remember as you perform?

CC: The one thing I always think about while I perform is that someone is in love with me. I’m giving a divine experience and opening up to complete strangers.

BMC: How is the Vancouver LBGTQ community unique?

CC: Our community is unique because of the people that make it that way! The people who come out and support events and the community - we are always changing and creating.

BMC: Give us one word that describes your relationship to creativity.

CC: The one word that describes my relationship with creativity is allure. You can stand still on stage and still capitate everyone in the room with allure.

BMC: Tell us your guiltiest pleasure

CC: My guilty pleasure is the vintage fetish scene from the 1940s to late 50s - bondage is expensive!

BMC: What’s your happy colour?

CC: My happy colour is red, the colour of power and passion.

BMC: Favourite Queen?

CC: I am always being inspired my sisters in the community and it is hard to have one queen who would be my favorite!

@pharaohpatra on Instagram


drag-pride-weekend-2017

"My drag character Isabella is known for her signature smoky eyes and long legs. Although when she is off the stage, she likes to wear all black while doing her favourite activity, dancing! All her friends think she is strange!” 

Blanche Macdonald Centre: What does the LGBTQ community mean to you?

Isabella: In the tiniest of nutshells, the LGBTQ+ community means a sense of family and connection for those who hadn't necessarily had the opportunity or lived in a location where it was possible.

BMC: How did Blanche Macdonald help bring out your artistry?

IS: Blanche Macdonald brought my drag artistry to another level through the fashion modules. My love for makeup of the past was re-ignited with influence from the 20's and 30's, which have become key elements for my looks!

BMC: How did you envision yourself giving to the community with your art?

IS: I hadn't envisioned my drag giving much to the community at first, to be honest; it was just something I did as a release for my own emotion and energies. However, as my aesthetic developed, I realized that the niché for androgynous drag I loved wasn't as popular as it could be; I hope to change that!

BMC: What do you remember most about your first performance?

IS: For my first performance in Vancouver, I remember being so worried that my taste in music wouldn't be as popular with the crowd - I also remember that feeling melting away once the stage lit up.

BMC: What is one thing you always think or remember as you perform?

IS: I always remember for every performance, that even if I get stuck editing and over thinking behind the scenes, someone in the crowd is (hopefully!) living for the performance.

BMC: How is the Vancouver LBGTQ community unique?

IS: The scene here seemed so intimidating at first because so many people grew up in the city together and were close-knit.

Regardless of that, they warmed up quickly and made me (among others) feel welcome and encouraged performance that was different and off-beat. It's a vast network of a community, but now it feels intimate, safe, and small.

BMC: Give us one word that describes your relationship to creativity

IS: Soul.

BMC: Tell us your guiltiest pleasure

IS: One of my guiltiest pleasures in drag is creating scandalous outfits and seeing how I can push the envelope in terms of choreography and themes. Other than that, I have a serious sweet tooth.

BMC: What’s your happy colour?

IS: My happy colour is definitely mint green or coral.

BMC: Favourite Queen?

IS: There's so many! If I had to choose an international queen, I'd go with "Hungry" from Berlin. (@isshehungry on Instagram)

@harold.cooke on Instagram


Catch up with the rest of our fabulous BMC Queens here! 

]]>
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:00:00 PST