We spoke with Michelle Pargee, who took home the Canadian Colourist award at the 30th annual Contessa Awards.
Tell me about your collection. What was the concept behind it? How did you decide on which colours and techniques to use?
Kale [Friesen] had sent me an image of someone’s wardrobe that looked like this rubber piece wrapped around. This was flooring that two people had to hold up while shooting. I’m trying to do different things that push myself a bit more.
Texture is so big with hair colour but too much doesn’t reflect the colour and you need to have the smooth shiny reflection. I wanted to show the colour with shine and having the really shadowed look came from my photographer. Overall, I usually have a vision but, the longer I have been doing this the more I take ideas from the people I work with. When you collaborate you tend to try something you wouldn’t have done on your own, they may see it with a different eye or angle than you do.
I work towards more beautiful photos, I don’t stress out about the hair. I plan the angle of model’s face for the placement (the shine line) the feature point where you are looking at it. Planning a colour collection, you can play with the same colour story in all variations, or put it in the cooler categories, red and darker blond hair. What ties it all together is makeup, backdrop and wardrobe.
What does winning this award mean to you?
Winning is different for me now, it’s more internal than it is external. I was shocked I won this year, I did not see it coming. The shoots I’m proudest of I’m only trying to please myself.
Who has been your mentor?
One of my biggest is Mark Leeson. I communicate with him a lot and he gives me a lot of advice, and helps in choosing photos. His work is just wow. He has such a great eye.
How would you describe your style when it comes to photoshoots? Any special rituals/how do you stay on track/what’s in your kit?
On set, I’m very relaxed and very collaborative. Working with others is a necessity, I’m grateful for the people who come and assist me. I give back to help them when they are doing their shoots by mentoring them. We are all learning from each other when we are shooting., I don’t get uptight about being creative because it just flows better. Don’t have an expectation of what it should look like. Also, the hair can tell you what it needs to do, just open you heart.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be doing?
I would probably be a writer. It’s so personal. One day I would love to write a column.
What’s next for you after your win? Anything you’re working on or any goals you have that you are hoping to achieve?
I’ve got John Paul Holt’s charity show in April which Goldwell is sponsoring both Edwin and me to volunteer at. It’s a great cause, the hairstyling community in Vancouver is so awesome.
Hair: Michelle Pargee, Sechult, B.C.
Makeup: Timothy Hung
Styling: Michelle Pargee
Photos: Kale Friesen