Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trisha Petrovich - "Keep an Ear to the Street and an Eye on the Runway"

When Trisha Petrovich graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley in April 2011, it was with high hopes. Fashion is a tough business though, especially here in Vancouver, and the difficulty of the journey proved a surprise. But passion cannot be denied.  It has a way of leading us to where we need to be and for Petrovich, that was designing her own label - Tastemakers. Her philosophy is oh so simple, "...show yourself. If your style shows who you are then it has served its purpose. Fashion might be exclusive, but style is inclusive, everyone can have it."

Two and half years ago, degree in hand, the struggle to find work and internships in the industry began. Freelance contracts initially paid the bills, but when they dried up her longtime partner urged her to "get a real job." That "real job" turned out to be working for a sporting good manufacturer setting up sublimation print files all day. Boring. Torture for the creative spirit. All that could be said initially was that it was a paycheck. The idea of having a real career in fashion seemed a pipe dream.

As with all things life throws at us, in looking back there are often gems to be found. "I didn't realize at the time that I was gaining such valuable knowledge. The company was very good about letting me experiment with fashion fabric on my own time." This exploration of fabric and print design would eventually become the foundation for turning her out-of-the-box ideas into bold, larger-than-life garments.

The next curve ball was unexpected.  A plan was in the works to move back to Winnipeg with her partner so that they could have the "fairy tale" life, but out of the blue the relationship suddenly ended. The shock was tremendous and she found herself alone in the city with little support. As difficult as this period was, it provided the push needed to draw Petrovich back to the world of fashion. "I redirected my focus to the one thing I knew would always be a constant in my life, my passion for design."  She quit her job and with no money or idea how she was going to make it happen, managed to produce her first line of womenswear in only 6 weeks.


It was a triumphant moment when this collection hit the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W '13 and the positive response was validating. Now it was time to get serious. To build on this momentum, she quickly immersed herself in adding menswear to the brand. A small, inexpensive studio was found through a fabric supplier, moving the business out of her apartment into a proper workspace. Then one of her freelance clients came on board as a partner to fund the menswear collection. The excitement is now building as she prepares to launch the new line this week at Men's Fashion Week.

Backstage with models at Vancouver Fashion Week launch.
For both collections, the inspiration is space. When her partner left, it was with the comment he "needed space" so she decided to give that to him literally - Give Me Space for the womenswear line and Give Him Space for the menswear line.  Countless hours were spent viewing space podcasts and reading books on all aspects of of the universe. Her passion was reignited as she started designing the unique digital prints that would define these collections. Petrovich found immersing herself in the creative process was not only satisfying, but helped her heal.  "Sometimes you need an escape from reality and entropy. Sometimes you need to explore life and try new things. I feel clothing is a part of that experience."


With her passion for creating original digital prints as a foundation, Petrovich's collections are truly unique. Who doesn't want to "dance to the beat of their own drum" or "stand out in the crowd"? The Tastemakers' mission statement also speaks volumes about the direction this company will take - "serve and inspire."  This designer brings a new, young voice to the fashion table, one I am sure will be making it's own unique mark on the industry.

For more information, to read Petrovich's blog or shop in the on-line boutique, you can visit Tastemakers website at www.tastemakersclothing.com. If you want to be front and centre at the launch of her new menswear line, it will be showing at Mens Fashion Week on August 10, 2013. Tix are available at Eventbrite. For information on the VIP Tastemakers Designs "Give Him Space" invite-only launch party by LuvNGrace Entertainment check out the Facebook Event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/626622870689683/?ref=2 or email luvngraceaffair@gmail.com.

(Student Designer article from April 2011 - Fame'd Magazine can be read at http://www.oliobymarilyn.com/2013/08/trisha-petrovich-look-back-to-beginning.html)

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