Suki Doll Finds Double Happiness in Canada’s Drag Race as Sandra Oh
Montreal queen paid tribute to two pop culture icons in episode – with mixed results
Suki Doll rolled the dice and paid the price.
The working Montreal drag artist and designer had established herself as a funny and forward-thinking contender in the second season of the Canada Drag Race with memorable couture-inspired runway looks. Her silhouettes eschewed the curvaceous, body-centric style that has become standard in flirtation and her credentials, as a first episode tribute to late fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, nodded to fashion nerds in the world. public.
In this week’s Made In Canada catwalk category, she dove into Canadian independent film history with a tribute to Mina Shum’s 1994 drama Double Happiness, which became a defining moment for lead actress Sandra Oh. . Suki Doll’s trench coat with oversized pink buttons wowed the judges, but a tribute that went wrong earlier in the episode ultimately put her on thin ice.
Episode four saw the nine remaining queens go head to head in the franchise’s iconic Snatch Game, a celebrity game show simulation that requires a quick spirit of improvisation. This is often a watershed moment for drag racing competitors, when favorites fall and low-key queens show up on occasion. This week’s winner was Synthia Kiss from Vancouver, whose robotic impersonation of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe was squarely targeting Judge Brad Goreski, a distant colleague of Zoe from the reality show The Rachel Zoe Project.
Suki Doll, on the other hand, chose avant-garde art icon Yoko Ono, but her attempt at wise satire mostly sparked silence. She landed in the back with Toronto Queen Eve 6000, whose turn as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders failed to draft the damn bill.
The morning after her elimination, we caught up with Suki Doll to discuss why she loves the movie Double Happiness, portraying Asian fashion designers on the runway and quitting her day job to drag full-time.
How did you become a drag performer?
Eight years ago I started dragging because an ex of mine who was a drag queen – and still is a drag queen – put me in drag and I was like, “Oh my god. , I look phenomenal! I became obsessed. Drag is at the crossroads of everything I love and appreciate – I love fashion, I love makeup, I love the hair, the look, the aesthetics, I just love the performance, I love to sing. I started out as a drag shooter – the drag queen of the club that sells shooters. This is why I am so talkative because I had to sell to drunk people.
Whatis your best selling point for a shooter?
“Whose birthday ?! It’s not your birthday but now it is! Open your mouth!” It was years ago. Is this still appropriate? May be!
So it wasn’t your week on Drag Race. How did you feel watching the return of the Snatch Game and your performance as Yoko Ono?
When you go through it, you think of the worst. You expect to look really trashed. But I am a very determined person and I am very proud of the decisions that I take as a challenge. And Yoko Ono is a challenge – let’s not lie to ourselves here. It was hard to take on and the humor is very different from what Snatch Game usually is. I have tried it. I am very happy with it. I felt good and I am happy with what I have done and accomplished.
What do you like about Yoko Ono? Shehas had a long career and there are many approaches you can take to masquerade as her.
Yoko Ono is such a misunderstood artist. I wanted to play with the difficult times. What I realized later – after the Snatch Game – is that not everyone reacts by laughing to clumsiness. And Yoko Ono talks about those awkward moments, long discussions and deep philosophical things. And that’s what I was playing on.
Walking on thin ice: Suki Doll’s Yoko Ono (bottom left) failed to make the Snatch Game laugh.
In the parade of Canadian icons, I really liked your tribute to Sandra Oh in the movie Double Happiness. What was there about Sandra Oh in that movie that you wanted to capture?
Sandra Oh was originally best known for this film, which set her on the path she is following today. Double happiness is from the Asian American perspective and what double happiness means is the happiness of your family and finding your own happiness. In that movie, when she was in that scene where she had the trench coat on and was running in the rain, it was so dramatic and it was a turning point. This trench coat that I was wearing is my double moment of happiness. My double happiness is my drag and making my family understand what dragging is – that it is an art form and that it is valid. I had to prove a lot of things. This is why Sandra Oh made such a big impact and I had to represent her.
Are your family, your mother or the women in your life represented in your drag?
Absoutely. It’s funny because I didn’t realize until later why I’m so adamant about continuing my drag. I feel like I’m going through my mother’s teenage years and adulthood that she didn’t have the chance to go through because she was a young mother with six children. She hasn’t had the chance to do the crazy things Suki does. When I do Suki on any platform, I feel like I’m living for my mom. My mother is represented in all aspects [of my drag]. I have the fashion side of her – she’s more dazzled than me. She might be a better drag queen than me.
I saw you tweet that you recently saw her in person for the first time in a long time.
During the pandemic, I did not see my mother for two years. The first time I saw her was at the premiere of Canada’s Drag Race. We just saw each other as she walked through the door and I tell you I had all make up on and I was like, “You can’t cry!” I had to do the first one. I missed my mom so much and I’m glad I got to see her on such a great occasion. It was a difficult and emotional time for Suki.
Can you tell us where your fashion sense comes from? You paid tribute to designer Azzedine Alaïa in the first episode and you truly forged a reputation as a fashion queen with your entryway look.
Fashion goes hand in hand with my flirting. The look of the entryway was by a designer I got to know named Terrence Zhou. He is a Chinese designer from Wuhan who is now based in New York. It’s very important to me to represent my community, so winning the first mini-challenge in an outfit designed by someone from my community was such a big statement. I couldn’t ask for more. It was my gag-worthy moment.
As a designer, what style or silhouette are you drawn to?
You got it right: the silhouettes. I find that what we lack in the world of drag are the silhouettes. We’re so stuck on the traditional trail. We must have the strap, the pads, the breasts, the breastplate. Drag isn’t about that for me. Drag is more than dressing up or looking like a woman. It was important because it was political, but we got away from it a bit and deepened the art form. We have to change the silhouette. You have to change your look. We have to change the texture. It’s not always sequins and rhinestones. We need to evolve and that’s where I find that silhouette, silhouette, silhouette will make the difference.
You recently quit your day job to drag full time. How big of a deal was that?
I could not believe it. My career has always been the epitome of what I have accomplished in my life and drag goes even further. Fashion will always follow Suki, but leaving my corporate job to do what I want to do as a passion and bring fashion to it is a dream come true. I don’t work 9-9 in fashion – I do 9-9 drag instead.
Watch a video interview with Suki Doll below:
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Read more interviews from Canada Drag Race Season 2 here