The 10th anniversary of Canada’s Breakthrough Designer’s came to a close on Tuesday evening, commemorating 2015 as the year of light. With Télio working long and hard each year to christen the competition with a relevant and fresh theme, this year’s inspiration, Lux(e) surely did not disappoint, delivering a rich variety of garments which were proudly strutted down the runway at Ogilyvy’s in downtown Montreal.
With illumination, reflection and movement as inspiration, Lux(e) inspired students to interpret the theme of light as they understood it, resulting in garments in various color palettes, textural interests, weights, and shapes. Télio strived to make this year a special one, proudly celebrating Canada’s Breakthrough Designers’ anniversary. Aimed at strengthening the Canadian fashion scene through offering emerging young talents visibility and supplying them the resources needed to get their start, each year the competition shines a light on the most promising budding designers from across the country.
Monday marked decision day, with our 7 jury members, Michelle Addison, Izzy Camilleri, Samantha Cutler, Marie Geneviève Cyr, Judith Desjardins, Émilie Fournier, and Sonia Moffa, again spending the day at the Télio head office, but this time to judge the finished garments! 2 SPECS models were here to fashion each of the 25 garments, and the judges were faced with the daunting task of selecting only 5 winners out the bunch. As each garment was walked down our mock runway in the Télio showroom, our panel carefully inspected fit, technicality, creativity, and adherence to the theme. Our stylist, Simon, was also there to provide our judges with fitting information, as each judge got up from their seats to feel and closely inspect minute details. Much care and thought went into this process, as it was clear that each piece was crafted with passion and precision. After lunch, eliminations were made, and the strongest garments were fashioned side-by-side for comparison. A couple of hours later, the 5 winners had been selected! This information was, of course, confidential, with everyone present for the deliberations sworn to secrecy!
At the same time, our finalists were slowly flying in from across Canada and checking into their hotel. There, they had they chance to meet one another for the first time, and prepare for the welcome dinner which would take place later that evening. The City of Montreal Fashion Bureau hosted the dinner at Weinstein and Gavino’s, with a lovely table d’hôte selected for the special event, offering a wide array of delicious Italian fare. This was a truly special moment, as it was the first point of contact between the finalists, school representatives, jury members, and the Télio competition staff! The restaurant was buzzing with excitement and chatter, as everyone networked and shared their stories with one another. All in attendance were treated to generous gift bags from our sponsors, with goodies from Joseph Ribkoff, Clinique, Clin d’oeil magazine, Vitamin Water, Dans un Jardin, Vichy, Kusmi Tea, Mondor, Yeh, Simon Chang, Café Touché and Parasuco. At around 10pm, the finalists headed back to their hotel in order to get a good night’s rest and prepare for the busy day ahead!
Tuesday morning, our finalists and school representatives hopped on their tour bus and took a trip to the Joseph Ribkoff head office in Montreal for a guided tour and lunch. They then made their way back to Télio for a guided tour of our head office and warehouse. Once the tours had completed, jury member Marie Geneviève Cyr gave a conference on the importance of sustainability in the fashion industry with New York City as reference. After this poignant presentation, we had a little surprise raffle for our finalists! We chose two names at random to win a Sapporo semi-industrial steam iron valued at $250 and JUKI industrial sewing machine, valued at $995, courtesy of Équipements Delisle. After their busy day, the students were brought back to their hotel to get ready before the grand finale!
The Ogilvy entrance was packed with excited spectators, family, friends, photographers, and journalists, all eager the see what the grand finale had in store. Upon exiting the elevator on the fifth floor, the first thing noted were the large white tree trunks scattered around the room, with hundreds of chairs sprinkled around facing in different directions. We were greeted with tea cocktails courtesy of Kusmi Tea, and then took a tour of the Retrospective Exhibition set up on the opposite side of the runway, showcasing photographs and the garments from the winners of the past 10 years of the competition. At around 7:45, we were given our cue to take our seats for the commencement of the show! Jury member Émilie Fournier took the stage to welcome all in attendance and start the night off on a positive note. Following her introduction, André Télio gave a brief speech, thanking all those who helped contribute to Canada’s Breakthrough Designers.
With that, the beat dropped, the lights dimmed, and the first garment was triumphantly walked down the winding runway as the audience watched with intrigue through focused eyes and carefully positioned phones and cameras. The participating school and student’s name was displayed on screen for the entirety of their garment’s 30 seconds of fame. Audiences cheered for their favorites, sitting on the edge of the seats eager to see what the next garment had to offer. After all the looks had been showcased, it was time to announce the five winners!
Zachary Ward from the University of Alberta took home the $2,000 Technical Mention Scholarship prize with his grey-toned jacket, mixing styles from the past and the future. Jasmine Su from Kwantlen Polytechnique University in British Colombia walked away with another $2,000 scholarship prize for Creative Mention thanks to her sporty-lux inspired crop-top and bottoms. UQAM’S École Supérieure de Mode’s Pierre-Oliver Allard took home the 3rd place scholarship of $2,500 sponsored by Icecorp with his intricate cocktail inspired dress. Holden Vetro of Toronto’s George Brown College delivered a unique monotone ensemble fashioned in organza which secured him the second place scholarship prize of $3,500. And finally, Emma Litvack from Lasalle College proudly walked away with the 1st place scholarship prize of $5,000 offered by Joseph Ribkoff, along with Lectra licenses and private trainings valued at $33,100! Her colorfully structured garment adorned with mechanized organza detailing on the front unanimously won the judges hearts!
Following the excitement of the announcement of the winners, the audience had the opportunity to capture photos. The audience was then treated to a lovely cocktail with wine services provided by Barefoot Wines, sweets from Mademoiselle Gateau, and vegetarian canapés from ChuChai!
The 10th anniversary of Canada’s Breakthrough Designers was truly a success, and we would not have been able to see it through without the generous help from our sponsors, volunteers, jury members, models, devoted employees, school directors and, of course, without the dedication from our contestants and finalists. We hope to have given our finalists a memorable and fulfilling experience in which they will be able to carry with them throughout their future endeavors. If you attended our finale, we hoped that you enjoyed yourself! And if you didn’t make it? Well, there’s always next year, of course!
Lux(e), that’s a wrap!