Fashion Artists Start Young

Today I decided to look back and share a few memories.  One of my favourite questions when I interview a fashion artist is if they knew from a young age where they were headed.  While many times the answer is not at the time, in looking back they can usually remember signs that pointed the way. 

Here is a few excerpts from articles I have written - a lazy writing day for me.  But I find looking through old articles takes me back to the moment.  I can still hear the story being related and usually remember where I was sitting and what the weather was like if we were outside. As these are taken from published articles, I am going to include names.


Leila Bani (Stylist at They Representation) ...developed a passion for the beautiful imagery in fashion magazines and began stockpiling Vogues by age 10. Some came by subscription, some were purchased and some were given to her by others. Over the years they began to add up. “I had stacks and stacks of magazines that I couldn't get rid of. I still have the old ones but I didn't want to be that crazy lady buried under a pile of magazines if there was an earthquake so I had to give some of them away.”

Denise Brillon being recognized at the
BC Aboriginal Business Awards

Leila Bani from article at

Denise Brillon - Debrillon and Artifaax (Producer/Designer)...Early signs of her talent were evident when she began to use the materials around her to recreate things she had seen in the Sears catalog. Bobby pins were twisted into earrings and tin cans were stomped onto shoes to make high heels.

Sarah Davis (Design Graduate)...was a painfully shy child who would rather spend her time drawing or reading. One early memory that hinted at her future career was the time she spent creating a fashion catalogue with her friend. They drew all the garments, pasted them in a binder, numbered them and priced them.

Liz Dungate (Make-up, Hair, Styling, Creative Director)...“When I look back…I played with Barbies to make clothes. I made them furniture, I made them homes, I made them clothes but I never played like Barbie’s going out on a date and meeting Ken. In my Barbie world they had no lives. They got dressed and they became mannequins. So there it was. I was art directing scenes...”

Amy Lu from interview at

Liz Dungate

Amy Lu (Stylist)...A passion for fashion has been there from the beginning... She even refused to join Brownies because of the uniform. 

Kathi Moore (Costume and Wardrobe for film/TV) .... “I had to dress everyone in my family...I played Barbies, but I wouldn't have story line. I'd just make it so they had to change outfits to go to the next event I was creating for them.”
Melanie Neufeld working behind the scenes

Kathi Moore

Melanie Neufeld (Make-up artist at Lizbell Agency)..."I was always big on make-up. When I was a kid we had a red Doberman with 3 legs named Sheba and I put purple eye shadow on him".

Dan Nguyen (Hair, Make-up, Creative Director at They Representation - Co-owner Lure Hair Salon)...has always been drawn to the arts – painting, sculpture and drawing. Hair and make-up intrigued him as well. As a child, every trip to the bathroom was an opportunity to change the look of the doll who resided there.

Dan Nguyen
Katherine Soucie

Katherine Soucie - Sans Soucie (Textile Artist/Educator)...At 8 she decided to create a wardrobe that was different and unique, clothing that would define who she was. Her closet full of hand-me downs provided the raw material and a stack of fashion magazines helped with the inspiration.