Behind the Scenes of Electric City Couture With Ruth Dollery

Coming up this Friday is the third annual Electric City Couture Fashion Show at Proctor’s Theatre. I’ve attended in the past and have been consistently blown away by the amount of talent this area is hiding, especially in the design and fashion industries where it might require a bit more digging to discover. Thankfully, the good folks involved help make local fashion and design easily accessible by organizing and putting together this show, hopefully for many years to come.

This year, the event is created and produced in conjunction with the 5th anniversary of Schenectady Arty Night (which is a monthly free organized art event for those of you unfamiliar – think First Friday, but in Schenectady).

The Electric City Couture show is designed to celebrate art in the form of fashion, inspired by the runways of New York City, but happening in Schenectady and featuring the work of local designers Katie Pray and Joleen Button.

To get better acquainted with what it is like behind the scenes, I took a moment to sit down with Ruth Dollery, who will be doing make-up for Katie Pray for this year’s show. I’ve known Ruth for several years now and have been impressed with both her talent, her taste and her eye for style, whether it was doing our friend’s make-up for a Halloween party in her living room or with her clientele in the salon setting.

Hit the jump for the Q+A and for more information on the upcoming Electric City Couture.

Introduce yourself! Hi! I’m Ruth Dollery, I’ve been in the hair and makeup world for 5 years now. 

When did you first decide to make a career out of working with makeup and hair? Was there any specific experience you had that got you interested? Pretty much, I have always wanted to do makeup, even as an awkward 7th grader wearing white and ice blue eyeliner to school (yeah that was me with the grown-out highlights too!) I always like to think I was trying something no one else was with crimping my hair and wearing “weaves,” (although it would be better if I hadn’t lol). I really learned everything I know from YouTube and from Glamour Magazine.

What sparked my interest more than anything was my love and infatuation for Horror films. Mostly older films. I couldn’t believe that all that blood and gore was made with makeup and I became fascinated with the idea that anyone could look like anyone and anything. 

What have some of your favorite shoots or projects you’ve worked on in the past? Let’s see..some of my favorite photoshoots I would have to say were some that ended up just being me and the photographer (my good friend Katt DiCocco). Especially the ones where I made myself look like James Dean, Charlie Chaplin and of course, Marilyn.

How did you get involved with Electric City Couture? I got involved in the Electric City shows about 2 shows back (from the beginning). KC is actually the one that got me involved! She said Proctor’s was doing a fashion show and some of the designers needed someone to do makeup on the models. This is my dream after all to work on fashion shows with models on the runway. 

How did you link up with Katie Pray? What’s it like conceptually as a makeup artist to work with a designer? Maybe talk briefly about the creative process. I ended up helping Katie out on one of the earlier fashion shows, since then I just told her “give me a call if you ever want to do another show” and thank god she did! Working with Katie is awesome, both of us are always on the same page with what we want the finished product to look like. Together, Katie and I do a lot of brainstorming! Sometimes I tend to go overboard because I get so pumped on whatever project we are doing. Our creative process is like organized chaos.

Describe Katie Pray’s designs in one word. Energetic. You can always tell she spent so much time on her work, I respect her so much for that.

What can people look forward to on Friday? Coming to the show on Friday, you can expect bright colors, high intensity and clothes I want to buy.

Share a quick beauty tip? Most importantly, make sure your foundation or moisturizer always has SPF in it. Your skin is exposed to the rays in rain or shine!

Where can people book an appointment with you? Make an appointment with me at Classical Concepts in Crossgates Mall in Albany! Hair and makeup!

You can also check out the latest from Ruth Dollery Hair and Makeup here.

More info on Friday’s fashion show:

This fashion-focused evening will also feature a “Best of Broadway” Competition, which will include five categories: inspiration; (piece should have a direct inspiration from Broadway); creativity; quality and construction; use of color and fabric; and presentation. Local judges will be Laura LaFrate of America’s Next Top Model, Richard Lovrich, the Marketing Director at Proctor’s, Kim Vanyo, the owner and lead designer of Khymanyo Studio, Tommy Watkins, a NYC-based artist and Laura Showmaker, a partner at Albany Talent.

Other extended Capital Region designers participating in the show include: Jenn Dugan of Jen’s Creative Outlet, Christina Collins Clothing, Lakeshia Motley of KaNarri Designs, Jessyka Neitzel and Danielle Breitenbach, Kim Vanyo of Khymanyo Studios, Sarah Roberts and Christine Marshall,  Van Demps,Jenny McShan. Live DJ music provided by Schenectady based, Dee Jay Ofi. The master of ceremony for the event will be Marisa Jacques, a sportscaster at YNN. This year’s show was co-produced by Joleen Button and Corey Aldrich.

ECC is free and first-come, first-attend, beginning at 7pm.

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