I have loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. Another favourite as a child was "cutting and gluing," but any craft would keep me occupied for hours.
What were your interests in High School?
They were very similar to my interests today, I did a lot of painting and began to dabble in sewing. At this point my goals were all focused on Fine Arts, I never even considered myself to be interested in fashion. Like many teen girls, I spent a lot of time at the mall or hiding behind the pages of magazines so that was an early sign of where I was heading.
Looking back, can you remember any signs that you would end up in fashion? A personal story would be great here.
Most of my interests have always revolved around creativity, so after high school I attended the UBC (University of British Columbia) to study Visual Arts. I wanted to pursue a more specific design direction afterwards, and was drawn to fashion for both its creative and business sides. Initially it was lingerie that had me look towards fashion. Lingerie can be as simple and practical as needed but with endless room for creative possibilities. The "anything goes" aspect of lingerie had me considering colours and fabrics in ways I didn't usually think about with other clothing.
I officially decided to pursue fashion in my final year of university. My family was very supportive, to my surprise! It felt like a very natural decision; I never questioned it or felt nervous moving into a new field. My experience within the industry before starting school was limited to retail positions. It was valuable experience for me in many ways, learning about what customers liked and didn't like, how different clothes and fabrics would drape, what styles were most flattering on each body, and of course the creative stimulation at the mall as new collections arrived and trends constantly developed.
Talk about your time studying Fashion Design. What was hard for you, what was easy for you, are they any high, low or funny moments you can share?
I had an amazing experience studying fashion. There were some challenges along the way, and in such a fast paced program the possibility of falling behind was terrifiying - in a productive way! My entire class was so driven and everyone seemed to feed off of each other's motivation and encouragement. We became a very close group and that definitely helped everyone get through the tough moments.
One of my lowest points was also the most comical. The silk I used in my collection is all hand painted, and there is a lot of it! I did not entirely think the process through when I came home with 5 meters of silk and had to stretch it across the entire apartment. The living room was in total disarray for days, with furniture up against the walls. The kitchen table ended up turning blue and I had to sell it on Craigslist. I definitely still owe my room mate for her patience.
My inspiration was in west coast landscapes, specifically seascapes. I spent a lot of time on Vancouver Island as a child and there is nothing more beautiful to me than the grey on grey, crashing waves, and rough rocky shores. My collection attempts to capture that combination of hard and soft, and has a very organic aesthetic with a little bit of an edge.
The collection is a luxury lingerie and lounge wear line. It is very glamorous but wearable, with separates that can be worn individually.
What is the palette? What fabrics did you use?
My palette choice is largely based around pastel blues and seafood green with some metallics - dark steel grey and a little bit of gold to warm it up. The fabric choices are mainly silk charmeuse and silk chiffon. Because the fabrics were painted and dyed, I found that the colour palette and patterns evolved gradually. I also experimented with felting and appliqué by needle felting silk fibres with wool to create a unique texture.
I do not have one favourite look, but I do love all of the pieces done in silk charmeuse.
What do you think you can bring to the fashion world that is new?
Where do you go from here – are you going to work for others for awhile, launch your own line, take a break and travel?
I am currently working for a Vancouver based company called Sewaholic, where we design sewing patterns for home sewers. It has been a fantastic learning opportunity so far, and I am very grateful to be working in a creative position. Eventually, my goal is to move in to doing active wear and I am especially interested in technical design and fabric design.