INTERVIEW WITH FASHION POP WINNER, BIANCA CHARNEAU

Since its beginnings in 2002, The Montreal Pop festival has offered a wide array of events to celebrate local arts in our beautiful city. Boasting its own music festival, film festival, visual art exhibit, and activity-based event geared towards children, this successful cultural movement is now in its 13th year. 8 years ago, Pop Montreal further extended itself to reach the fashion community in Montreal with its Fashion Pop Competition.  Giving young design talents the opportunity to showcase their works of art outside the classroom, Fashion Pop continues to celebrate the fashion scene in Montreal.

While we may have lost our Fashion Week, we luckily still have such events as Fashion Pop which provide a gateway for young designers to enter the cutthroat industry. As any young designer could tell you, making it in the fashion world takes more than creativity and passion. With this in mind, it is that much more impressive when a young talent makes waves in the competitive field. That’s why we are so proud of our Merchandising Assistant, 25 year old Bianca Charneau, for winning this year’s Fashion Pop Competition! We had a chance to catch up with her to get the inside scoop on her winning collection, White on White (Blanc sur blanc), her creative inspirations, and her future plans. Make sure to keep an eye out for this young, local talent!

You can check out Bianca’s project portfolio here!

bianca-charneau-interview

PHOTO CREDIT: CHELSEA SINGER

What is your background in the fashion industry?/ Quelles sont tes expériences dans le domaine de la mode?

Before diving into my studies in fashion design, I had completed a college degree in Visual Arts. I studied a total of 5 years in the fashion industry and during these years I had the chance to do several internships. I also involved myself in different fashion events which gave me the chance to network with several industry professionals. During college, I interned in Montreal for Valérie Dumaine, who really taught me the ins and outs of the local industry. After that, during university, I had the opportunity to travel to Belgium to do an internship with Belgian designer, Jean-Paul Knott. I also had the chance to work as a research assistant for Ying Gao last year at the end of my Bachelor’s degree.

Avant d’entreprendre mes études en design de la mode, j’ai d’abord complété un Diplôme d’études collégiales en Arts Plastiques. J’ai étudié cinq années dans le domaine de la mode et au cours de ces années j’ai pu y effectuer divers stages. J’ai aussi pu m’impliquer lors de différents évènements mode où j’ai rencontré plusieurs professionnels du domaine. J’ai effectué au collège un stage à Montréal chez Valérie Dumaine ce qui m’a permis de bien comprendre l’industrie locale. Ensuite, durant ma formation universitaire, j’ai eu l’opportunité d’aller en Belgique où j’ai réalisé un stage chez le créateur belge; Jean-Paul Knott. J’ai aussi eu la chance de travailler comme assistante de recherche pour Ying Gao l’an dernier lors de la fin de mon Baccalauréat.

What made you want to become a designer?/ Qu’est-ce qui t’a poussé à devenir une designer?

Ever since I was little, I had this need to create with found materials. I was always very inventive. It was during my high-school years that I started to become interested in clothes and sewing. I started sewing little pockets, bags, and modifying my wardrobe. I decided to undertake studies in the field of fashion because I ‘ve always felt a little torn between my structured side and my free creative side. I have found that fashion design perfectly aligns structure and creativity. It has this subjective side which relies on your own creativity, but at the same time a more structured side which provides an authoritative framework. This is what I love most about fashion design.

Depuis que je suis jeune, j’ai un besoin de créer avec les choses que je trouve. J’ai toujours été très inventive. À partir du secondaire, j’ai commencé à m’intéresser davantage aux vêtements et à la couture. J’ai commencé à coudre des petites pochettes, des sacs et à modifier mes vêtements. J’ai décidé d’entreprendre des études dans le domaine de la mode car je me suis toujours senti un peu déchirée entre mon côté cartésien et mon côté créatif. Je trouve que le design de mode allie structure et créativité. Il y a un côté très subjectif qui relève de la création et un côté plus cartésien qui relève de la mise en forme soit le patron et la couture. C’est ce que j’aime le plus dans le design de mode.

How would you describe your collection?/ Comment décrirais tu ta collection?

My collection is minimalistic and feminine, all at the same time.

Ma collection est à la fois minimaliste et féminine.

What inspired you to create this collection?/ Qu’est-ce qui vous a inspiré pour la creation de cette collection?

For this collection, I was very inspired by art, especially by K. Malévitch’s work, Carré blanc sur fond blanc. It is a mixture of monochrome colours and highly defined shapes and superpositions. I wanted to showcase different shades of white

Je me suis beaucoup inspiré de l’art, particulièrement de l’oeuvre de K. Malévitch Carré blanc sur fond blanc  pour concevoir cette collection. C’est un mélange de monochrome, de formes très définies et de superposition. Je souhaitais mettre de l’avant les différentes nuances du blanc.

How did you prepare for the Fashion Pop Competition?/ Comment t’es-tu préparé pour le concours Fashion Pop?

I prepared myself in the same way that I prepared myself for the fashion show in which I participated for the completion of my Bachelor’s Degree. I tried to be as prepared as possible to ensure that the evening would go smoothly. However, with this type of event, one always has to be prepared to quickly adapt. There are always little changes and at the end we usually end up improvising a few things, but that is what makes it such a memorable experience.

Je me suis préparée comme au défilé que j’avais précédemment fait pour l’achèvement de mon Baccalauréat. J’ai essayé d’être le mieux préparé possible afin que la soirée se déroule bien. Mais dans ce genre d’évènement on doit toujours s’adapter. Il y a toujours des petits changements et au final on improvise quelques trucs mais c’est ce qui rend l’expérience mémorable.

How did you feel when you were announced as the winner?/ Qu’a- tu ressenti lorsqu’on a annoncé ton nom comme étant la gagnante?

When they announced my name, I thought I was the runner-up. I really did not think that I was the judges favourite. It took me a few seconds to realize that I was the only one on stage and that I had won the grand prize.

Quand ils ont annoncé mon nom, je croyais avoir gagné la deuxième place. Je ne pensais pas du tout que j’avais été le coup de cœur des juges. Ça m’a pris quelques secondes pour réaliser que j’étais la seule sur scène et que j’avais gagné le grand prix.

Will your collection be made available for purchase?/ Est-ce que ta collection sera mise en vente?

One of the prizes that I received from Fashion Pop is access to an online store on Shopify for one year. Therefore, yes, I will soon be adding pieces from my collection which will be available for purchase.

Un des prix de Fashion Pop est l’accès à une boutique en ligne sur Shopify pendant un an. Donc, oui, je mettrais bientôt quelques pièces de ma collection disponible pour la vente.

What are your future fashion design plans and goals?/ Quels sont tes plans et tes aspirations dans le domaine de la mode?

Ultimately, I would love to have my own fashion line. That way, I would be able to realize my dream of creating garments that people can feel great wearing. I am also giving myself time to really think about my place within the fashion industry. I would like my products to be different in order to properly reflect my taste and add something new to the scene.

Ultimement j’aimerais avoir ma ligne de vêtements. De cette manière je pourrais vivre de ma passion en créant des vêtements dans lesquels différentes personnes peuvent se sentir bien. Je me donne tout même le temps de bien réfléchir à mon apport dans cette industrie. J’aimerais que mes produits  soient différents pour intégrer ma saveur à ce milieu.

bianca-charneau-blanc-sur-blanc

PHOTO CREDIT: FREDERICK MFINANGA STYLIST: COOKIE DIDIT

Thank-you, Bianca!

Merci, Bianca!

chelsea

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