Brilliant! A Fashion Show Fundraiser. A behind the scenes look…

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver

This past Saturday I attended a wonderful event called Brilliant! It is called to be a Fashion Spectacle as it is not your typical fashion show. From ballet to drag queens, this show had it all! It’s a night of fashion and fun to raise funds for the Mental Health Program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Such a great cause!

Let me start by telling you how this unique event is made possible…

Dean Thullner brilliant Fashion ShowDean Thullner, an ambitious, courageous and generous man started this amazing event 3 years ago. This selfless deed allowed him to give back to Saint Pauls hospital in appreciation for all they have done for him over the years as he suffers with a serious illness. His efforts have certainly paid off as he has raised over half a million dollars for the hospitals mental health program. Pretty darn impressive! See Dean’s full story HERE.

First of all, everyone who has their hand in this event has volunteered.  With over 200 volunteers including makeup artists, hair stylists, designers, models and performers, just to name a few. The theme of the show is different every year and is kept secret until the big day! This years theme was inspired by “the inclusive nature of St. Paul’s Hospital and its history of accepting all who walk through their doors.” A trip around the world that made stops in 14 regions! Each group (region) consists of a Hair Salon, Designer, and Lead Makeup Artist. Each group was given an area of the world and then it was up to them to turn that into a fashion extravaganza! This would also include, live music and dancing!

I had the great pleasure of being a part of team South America! Such an amazing group of people!

Designer: Bhana Design Co. by Trisha Rampersad
Salon: The Lounge
Makeup Lead: Deanna Gouman
Models: Jala Sellmr, Jessica Campbell, Holly Feragen, Chanelle Fraser, Irene Axness, Deborah Stellingwerff, Chantal Benz, Tanys Norcott, Caitlin Keeley, Leeta Liepins

But what I really want to talk about is what happens behind the scenes. How this one team made a Continent come to life, one idea at a time…

Months before the show is to begin, the preparations are well under way.


 Brainstorming bubbles, sketches, and a lot of laughter fills the room as the plans begin to take form.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver

The collection that designer Trisha Rampersad showed at Brilliant is a part of a larger collection that will debut in January.  She defines it as a an exploration of paint on fabric, and the different effects and textures that can arise.  The inspiration for this collection was simply, women. It is a study of feminine silhouettes, as a reflection of the different facets of a woman.  Essentially, it is a celebration of all the different aspects and roles we play as women. Strong, fragile, feminine, hard-edged.


Hair pieces begin to arrive and the hair stylists commence on what will soon be a masterpiece.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


 As the big day approaches the models meet with Dean Thullner (Producer) to learn the production.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


 The day has finally arrived! Bright and early the volunteers start to trickle into the salon where they will begin their transformations. The creative partners are exhausted as the hours grew thinner and thinner the night before as they polished up any last minute details that needed to be done. But, in true spirits, everyone had a smile on their faces even lacking those quality hours of well needed beauty sleep.

The models are quickly thrown into a leather padded swivel chair where they will sit for the next few hours. Hair cuts, and colors, extensions and a whole lot of bobby pins…the hairstylist have their work cut out for them but the end results are phenomenal.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


Martin Hillier, salon co-owner and creative voice for the South American hair styling’s went for a sexy, sultry and raw look! He captured that allure once he knew the direction of the clothes design and the music. It becomes classic with an edge, artistic yet believable.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


Deanna Gouman (Lead MUA) brings out the darker and edgier side of the “South America” theme,  she was inspired by Trisha’s designs which is why she added touches of gold into the look.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


With the models look complete, they head for a quick photo shoot before the final rehearsal.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


 Salon co-owner and Hairstylist Lance Blanchette does some last minute touch ups on model Jessica Campbell before heading to the venue, the Commodore Ballroom.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


A five minute stroll to the Commodore sure turned a lot of heads! Beautiful day in Vancouver!

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver



The final dress rehearsal takes place mere hours before the show is to begin. It went extremely well, and everyone is confident that the models will kill it tonight!

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver



With Hair, makeup, wardrobe and rehearsal complete, it’s time to sit back, take a deep breath and wait for the show to begin! Months of hard work all comes down to these final moments.

At this Grand Ballroom, every seat in the house was filled. There was an incredible amount of excitement in the air!

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 VancouverThe Lounge Hair Studio Owners, Lance Blanchette (Left) and Martin Hillier (Right)

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 VancouverDesigner, Trisha Rampersad looking absolutely stunning at Brilliant!


South America takes the stage!

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 VancouverBrilliant Fashion Show 2014 VancouverBrilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver

 WOW! Everything really came together beautifully! Trisha’s designs are impeccably spot on with the South American Flare. The hair is truly remarkable. Flawlessly blending the entire look together. The makeup compliments these bold looks with without over shadowing the rest of the designs.

And of course…A Brilliant show would not be complete without some dancing…South American Style!

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver

As the final model exits the stage the volunteers cheers with champagne! A well deserved ending to fabulous event and a job well done.

Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver


Brilliant Fashion Show 2014 Vancouver

If you would like to donate to this cause, and show your love for Mental Health please Click HERE.
Every little bit helps 🙂

Cheers, Victoria! kiss