Canada’s Breakthrough Designers’ Finalist & School Q&A: University of Alberta

Every Monday for the next few months, we will be presenting a flash Q&A with a finalist(s) and their program director and or Télio Competition School Coordinator. We hope this helps you get a better feel for this year’s Canada’s Breakthrough Designers’ journey and the very talented and passionate people partaking in the 2015 finals.

For our first post, we present you Zachary Ward, Télio finalist from the University of Alberta’s Clothing, Textile and Material Culture program and Vlada Blinova, Lecturer & Faculty Service Officer.



Finalist – Zachary Ward

Why did you decide to participate in the TÉLIO Competition?

I decided to participate in the TÉLIO Competition because it is a great opportunity to gain some exposure in the fashion industry. But more so, I saw this as a chance to really challenge myself and see what I could do. I am very excited about the amount of growth that I have experienced and will continue to experience until the finals. I am proud of what I have done and I am very happy that I submitted a design that was well received. I suppose you could say that entering the TÉLIO competition was something that I did for myself since it is a fantastic opportunity for me to do something that I love.

School representative – Vlada Blinova: Lecturer & Faculty Service Officer.

What is the most motivating factor in supporting the students involved in the TÉLIO Competition?

It is always very exciting and deeply satisfying for me as the instructor to be a part of the creative process, to see my students generating ideas, looking for non-standard approaches to problem solving, experimenting and finally finding that perfect solution!

The TÉLIO competition is a great opportunity for students in the Apparel Design and Product Development courses to synthesize practical skills with theoretical facts and to see a real application of the subject knowledge. The experience that students gain during every stage of the design competition is truly essential for our program as it motivates them to learn more about textile properties, clothing design and construction. To be submerged in the dynamic fashion environment, to get a “behind the scenes” glimpse of the fashion world, to meet fellow students who are also passionate about design and, finally, to showcase their own talent is very inspiring and encouraging for students in our program.

What is the differentiating value adding element of University of Alberta’s Fashion Program?

The focus on fashion design in the Department of Human Ecology comprises part of our broader major in Clothing, Textiles and Material Culture. This multidisciplinary, holistic major examines the theoretical, creative, and applied aspects of our near environment, with a particular focus on clothing and textiles. Work in this area brings together science and art, focusing on chemical and physical properties of fibres and finishes, apparel design, and related topics of fashion and globalization. Through studying the production, design, consumption, display and conservation of fabrics and garments, students gain both advanced academic knowledge and relevant practical experience in this program.

Stay tuned for next Monday’s Q&A post!


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