CHECKING IN WITH: Canada's Breakthrough Designers 2015 Creative Mention Winner Jasmine Su

In March, Jasmine Su won a very special creative mention at Télio’s Canada’s Breakthrough Designers Competition. Her design was very fashion forward, hitting the mark on lots of trends from the season.

We love when designers can push themselves creatively and still make something totally wearable and accessible.

We caught up with her for an exclusive interview!

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Credit: Jasmine Su

What’s one thing you learned about yourself through your participation in the Télio Canada’s Breakthrough Designers competition?

One thing I learned about myself through my participation in the Télio Canada’s Breakthrough Designers competition is to continue to push myself to get out of my comfort zone because in doing so, the possibilities are endless. At the beginning of this competition, I was having a difficult time coming up with a design that I liked in regards to the theme that wasn’t too clichéd, so I had almost given up and not submitted anything. However, with my friends and instructors around me who saw the potential I had that I didn’t see in myself, they continued to encourage me and push me forward, which I am extremely grateful for, otherwise I wouldn’t have known what I was capable of doing once I get out of my comfort zone.

Tell us the story behind your favourite garment you’ve made.

I have to say that I love every garment I’ve made and having to choose which one is my favourite is like trying to pick your favourite child. Regardless, having to choose one I would say that my recreation of a Charles James evening gown that I had draped is one that I am quite proud of. We were asked to choose a vintage designer for our 3rd year draping course and pick a garment and try to recreate them using draping and couture techniques for our final project. It took a lot of prototyping for the skirt to sort of figure out how it was draped, and researching this dress I found that Charles James had many different versions of this gown, and each created with slightly different techniques. However, the entire process was really fun because you get to touch the fabric and really learn to work with it and learn to manipulate it accordingly.

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Credits: Jasmine Su

If you could only work with one fabric for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

This is quite a difficult question because I believe that each fabric has its own distinct qualities to achieve the looks that you are looking for. However, if I really had to choose, I would go for neoprene-like fabrics. I’m currently obsessed with them! They are quite versatile in that you can drape them even though they are quite a structured fabric, and there are a lot of interesting ways to play with the fabric, like Toni Maticevski does. Another plus side to the fabric is the texture—it is super squishy and fun to touch, and you can create casual everyday pieces to chic, high end, luxurious pieces with them.

What are your plans for the coming year? Anything we should look out for?

In the coming year, I will be working on my fourth year graduation line from the Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design, so be sure to keep an eye out for The Show 2016! We have an amazing group of graduates.

Another project that I’m working on is a transformation outfit for a charity fashion show called « Brilliant! » Our theme is based on Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, so I’m excited about having the chance to go all out and create a piece that’s otherworldly and whimsical!

What piece of advice would you give any future participant in the Télio Canada’s Breakthrough Designers competition?

My advice for future participants in the Télio Canada’s Breakthrough Designers competition is to just enjoy the process! This is a great opportunity to meet other designers across the country and make new friends so enjoy this experience to the uttermost.

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Credits: Jasmine Su

If you could collaborate with one major commercial brand/fashion house, which would you choose and why?

If I could collaborate with one major commercial brand/fashion house, I would choose Alexander McQueen. He is my absolute favourite designer of all time, and his pieces really speak to me. There is so much depth in each garment that he created and he used fashion as his medium to express many social, economic, and political issues that transcend time. As a designer, I think that many people don’t realize how deeply fashion is ingrained into each culture and the history and stories that it comes with, and many people mistake it for being a very glamorous and shallow thing, and though it is that way at times, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Being able to collaborate and involved with a brand that holds such a legacy would be amazing.

Which celebrity would you consider your fashion/style muse/inspiration and why? What kind of garments would you like to see her/him in?

I personally find that my muse depends on what mood I’m in, and what kinds of garments I’m looking to designing so it varies quite a bit. I don’t really have a celebrity that is my muse, but there are designers and a couple of bloggers that I find myself repeatedly drawn to. I’m inspired by designers such as Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, and bloggers such as Eugénie Grey (feralcreature), Vanessa Hong (thehautepursuit) and Kastor&Pollux. These bloggers all have this dark, boyish, sporty look to them, so it would be really fun to see them wear some more traditionally feminine pieces in pastel tones.

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