Vancouver Community College - Nikki Niknam, It Comes From Within

All images courtesy of Lindsay Elliott

Have you ever heard Tim Gunn share on Project Runway. Edit, edit edit.  Then there is the well known axiom that less is more. There is nowhere this is more true than in fashion design. Truth be told, sometimes I really enjoy unusual, busy designs.  I love to step out of the normal and into the complicated. But it's with the full knowledge that I disappear.

When it comes to being seen, your clothing needs to be well-cut, complimentary to your colouring/figure and draw people to you without becoming the focus. They should enhance what you have already - creating an ambiance to compliment who you are.

Enter Nikki Niknam!

For her collection this evening, Vancouver Community College (VCC) grad Nikki Niknam brought all the elements: great construction, strong silhouettes and a simple palette (all white) so we could focus on her design work.  My favourite is probably the layered outfit above with short jacket, soft longer top and to finish it off, skinny pants with an inside split. I would absolutely wear this - just not in white. My track record in white is very poor.

Niknam's collection also offered a great selection of separates to mix and match - top, pant, skirt, short and jacket - as well as a softly draped flowing dress with spaghetti straps. I think her line is on-trend with the needs of the growing 25 - 35 professional market. Versatile, well-cut and understated. You could walk in anywhere and present well.

Want to know more?  Here is a brief Q and A with the designer as well as contact information. Enjoy!

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Where were you born, where did you grow up?

I was born in Iran but raised in Japan, and Canada.

What you like when you were young? 

I think I was shy. At lease that's what my mother told me.

What were your interests in High School?

Mostly art. I honestly don't think I was was interested in much else. I was part of a lot of clubs and social committees but my favorite class was art class.

Looking back, can you remember any signs that you would end up in fashion? 

Hmmm.... My mother sewed quite well so she would always made me little outfits. As soon as I was old enough to draw and to contribute my ideas she was able to make my designs for me. So I guess that's how it all started.

Talk about when and how you decided to study fashion design. Was you family supportive?

A part of me always knew I would end up in fashion, I just wasn't sure which part. I thought I would be more into the business side but I actually love designing clothing and figuring how to make my designs. It's a very thrilling and satisfying experience.

Why did you choose to study at Vancouver Community College (VCC)?

I chose to study at VCC because it was a two year program and it was quite affordable. I'm really glad I went there. It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot. The instructors are so supportive and knowledgeable.

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?

Lots of stress, fashion school isn't for everyone, it takes dedication and superb time management skills. Many of the students would break down in tears. If you don't love it it can be really difficult.

What was the inspiration for your grad collection? Share anything you'd like readers to know?

My inspiration was my muse, the women I always envision when I design my collections.

Describe your collection.

My collection is items you can wear during the day to full of evening wear. I wanted to show versatility in portfolio because I think that's important. It's contemporary women's wear with a sense of sophistication and modernity to it.

What is the palette? What fabrics did you use?

I stuck to a subdued and refined color palette. Lots of greyish blue with dusty pinks. And lots and lots of white. White is my favorite color so I used it a lot in this collection. I used silks, cottons, crepes and even some upholstery fabrics!

Do you have a favourite look?

Hmmmm - no, I worked so hard on each look that it's hard for me to choose a favorite.

What do you think you can bring to the fashion world that is new?
I'm not sure yet, ask me in a few years. I think I need to be the industry for a few years and see what is lacking and to see if I can fill a void but with my aesthetic and sense of style.

Where do you go from here – are you going to work for others for awhile, launch your own line, take a break and travel?

Definitely work for someone else first. Learn as much as I can then start my own line, but not till I have a solid foundation built under me.

Please share a quote on what fashion design means to you if possible?

"Fashion is about something that comes from within you." - Ralph Lauren

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To contact the designer, email

For more information on the fashion design program at VCC go to