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Canada’s Drag Race Season 4 Sashay Q&Eh: Kiki Coe

In Magazine talks to Ottawa’s Kiki Coe, the sixth queen to be eliminated from Canada’s Drag Race season 4…

Kiki Coe knows how to create grand showstopping looks that are distinctly her own. Kiki was sent home at the end of season four’s Rusical episode (You can read IN‘s recap of episode seven “From Drags to Riches: The Rusical” right here). She chats with In Magazine about having a distinct design signature, what inspired her to become Kiki Coe, and how her job as a Chef de Partie is similar to being a drag queen.

There have been a lot of great looks worn on the runway by all of the queens so far this season, but I would argue that some of the most elaborate and detailed ones were worn by you. What was your favorite look that you wore?
My favourite look that I wore is, it’s very hard to choose. I think one of my favorite looks is “Gemstone”. And also, my second one is “Sunglasses at Night”, “Me, Myself, and I”. And obviously, I have to include the promo. I think the promo really, really defined who Kiki is. 

You construct your looks and have made iconic looks for past Canada’s Drag Race queens. In your opinion, what goes into making an unforgettable runway look?
What goes in it is just, you know, I just put my own touch to it. I make sure that when I make a costume or a look for someone, they will recognize it without even telling who made it. And it’s working. It’s working because every time that I make something for someone, it’s like, “Oh, this is a Kiki creation”. So I already have that stamp that people recognize. And for me, that’s, as a designer, that, that is a very important thing to have on your designs is to have your own signature looks. 

When you get the call that you’re going to be on Canada’s Drag Race, I know they give you a list of the runways for the season. How do you take those briefs and then make a look that you don’t think any of the other queens will take the same approach with? How do you make sure yours stands out?
For me, to be honest, like I’m not trying to be cocky, when I try to design looks or trying to think about a look. I always go grand and go big and I don’t think everyone is capable of doing that. And also, as you noticed, the shapes, the colors, the textures of all my outfits are all different. And I made sure of that, that I’m not even using the same color as much. Like, you know, I have a variety of colors and shapes and And length and texture and those are, those are the most important thing. And they only give you so much runway. So you have, you have to take advantage of that time to show whatever you want to show to them.  

Last week, when I spoke to Aimee Yoncé Shennel she said that you were one of her inspirations to start drag. During last night’s episode, we saw a photo of you in drag for the first time. What inspired you to become Kiki Coe?
What’s inspired me to become Kiki Coe is to be just myself and I always incorporate my culture and my background into my craft. And I think, you know, I think it’s working very well because  my culture is something that is very important to me. I always look at that as a reference because that’s where I came from.That’s my roots. I love who I am and where I came from and I love my culture. My culture is so rich and colorful. 

And looking back at your time in the competition, was there something you would have wished you’d done differently?
I wish I just said what’s in my head because I hold back a lot. I tried not to have an argument with anybody. And for me, I think looking forward, if I had a chance to go back in any kind of show, that’s definitely something that they will see from me. You know, like for me, I don’t usually start drama. And this season, nobody came for me and I’m just waiting for someone to try me and nobody did. So it’s like, you know, that’s why people didn’t see the spicy side of me, but like, I’m fucking spicy! Definitely coming forward, I will say what’s on my head. I’ll just work on that because I hold back a lot. 

Was there a challenge in Canada’s Drag Race that was harder than you thought it would be going into the competition?
Definitely. Snatch Game, improv, those are other things that I have to work on. You know when you’re with your friends and people that you know, it’s very easy to be funny. It’s very easy to be stupid and, you know, just laugh around. But as soon as there’s a camera. It kind of switches off something on you that you don’t know what really that is. So, I need to learn how to block that.

You also work as a Chef de Partie?
Yes! yeah. 

And you’ve even competed on Chopped Canada?
Yes, I did!

Okay, so between Chopped Canada and Canada’s Drag Race, which competition was more difficult to compete in?
Definitely Drag Race. Definitely. You know, there’s more layers to it. There’s different challenges. Cooking is cooking and when I start cooking, I’m in my element. I get nervous for the first five minutes, but after that I own the kitchen. But in Drag Race, you don’t know what you’re going against. You don’t know what’s coming, so it’s always a surprise. With cooking you can adjust and control it more than drag. In Drag Race, once you do things or set things, that’s it. There’s no there’s no taking back. There’s no second chances. So yeah, drag definitely pushed me to the limit.

And in what ways is cooking and drag similar? What skills can be transferred to both?
Art. Oh my God, that’s why I love doing weddings!  At my workplace, nobody wants to do weddings because weddings are more elaborate. There’s more work into it. And what I like about my job is they give me a lot of freedom to do whatever I think is good and looks good on the plate. And obviously, whatever, I make it taste good and that’s very fulfilling for me, to feed people and to see the reaction when I’m hosting a dinner or something. Like when everybody’s quiet, that means you did a good job.  

If you could go back in time and give pre-Canada’s Drag Race Kiki advice for the competition, what would it be?
Just be prepared mentally. Sewing classes, improv, dance class, those are the things that  everybody says that you should do, and you should do it because it will help you a long way, not only the competition, but after the competition, it will definitely help you a lot. 

Finally, what is next for Kiki Coe?
Next for Kiki Coe is, you’re going to see more designs coming out. A lot of these bitches will wear Kiki Coe creations and bitch, get ready because I am coming with a bang!  

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