Canada’s Breakthrough Designers Finalist Q & A: Vancouver Community College

As the 2014 TÉLIO Competition advances, we thought it would be cool and interesting to present you this year’s 25 finalists. At this point, they have all received their requested TÉLIO fabrics and many make the most of their Holiday vacation by tirelessly working on their TÉLIO garment. We’ve heard it can be a fierce time of the year for our beloved finalists… But the results are stunning and the reward; worth its love/hate moments.

We will be presenting short interviews featuring the student finalists accompanied by their design sketch every Tuesday from now until the grand finale Fashion Show. And the way we’ve decided to divide this up is by showcasing the finalists per school, starting from the west coast and working our way to the schools on the east coast.

Finalists received a combination of questions from TÉLIO’s staff members mixed in with some excerpts taken from the classic Proust Questionnaire.

We truly hope you will enjoy discovering each and every Canadian fashion talent of this 2014 cohort.

This week, we present to you the finalists from Vancouver Community College.


Design Inspiration
How she longed for winter then!—
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock,
Each sentiment within border
And heart’s frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake.
From Spinster by Sylvia Plath

Why did you choose Fashion Design?
I enrolled in Fashion Design because I wanted to learn a trade – to really challenge myself at something I hadn’t done before. I have had very little exposure to the arts, but I have always tried my hand at making clothes (often with limited success!). I wanted to learn how to translate an idea into reality, and to do so with confidence.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope working in the Fashion Industry! I am not sure what aspect that will take, but I do see myself as a more technical, behind the scenes person. I would love to learn under a master Pattern Drafter and become very good at that. Product management and production is also very interesting to me.

What is your favourite virtue?
It is a tie between gratitude and patience. Ironically, these are two virtues I often find very difficult to express in my day to day journey. Life will bring us many challenges, but with the attitudes of gratitude and patience there is the grace to make it through without breaking under the pressure.

A few words in French?
This is the most difficult question! I didn’t attend school in Canada, and shamefully don’t speak any French. My Spanish is much better. I had the privilege of working with a French artist for a while and there are two expressions I picked up from him, which pretty much say it all. Take your pick: Incroyable! or Catastrophe!


Design Inspiration
Inspired by the avant-garde woman whose mysterious, elegant beauty attracts the gaze of everyone around her, this design layers luxurious, multi-dimensional textures to reveal the story of her unique sensuality.

Why did you decide to participate in the TÉLIO Competition?
I decided to participate in TÉLIO because it’s the biggest design competition in Canada and TÉLIO is such a well-respected and well known company. Our school also really encourages us to take part and seeing past winners from our school was really inspiring. 

When did you realize fashion was your passion?
I’ve known I wanted to be in fashion since I was little. I used to design dresses and my mom would sew them up for me. She was always so encouraging and supportive so it really inspired me to pursue my dream! 

What’s your mantra?
My mantra is: “Follow your bliss” – Joseph Campbell.  I believe that if something makes you a better human being and lifts you higher you should pursue it and never let it go. That’s how I feel about design and creating something with my hands. 

What is your favourite food and drink?
My favourite foods?! Um… It is a toss up between sushi and Italian food! And also my mom’s home cooked Persian meals! So yummy!


Design Inspiration
From Nosferatu to Metropolis, the German cinema flourished between the wars. Devoid of colour, but rich with meaning and intensity, deep moments of striking beauty and fear unfold.

Who or what inspires you most? 
History, technology, and science fiction.
I’ve always had a great passion for history, and even considered making the switch to academia at one point. The extravagance of Elizebethan fashion has always intrigued me, and it proves to be an almost endless amount of inspiration for my work. I think there can be a lot to discover creatively from looking back on time. Simultaneously however, I take as much inspiration from views of the future. Our modern world is shifting and shaping in remarkable ways all the time, and I’m always excited to learn about new technological achievements. I really enjoy the dichotomy of clashing the two genres: history long past and views of the future world.

What is your favourite drawing tool to use when brainstorming ideas?
Grey wash Copic markers, an HB Pencil and sheets of bristol. I don’t really use sketchbooks as I like to spread all my work out in front of me and really surround myself in it.

What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
The things they create and the energy they put into their projects.  Their productivity really drives me to create more, and vice versa. It’s really inspiring. Also, the amazing support that they bestow upon me. Between school, work, and my own side projects time can get pretty tight, but I’m fortunate enough to have friends who not only support what I’m doing and the time I’m putting into it, but believe in me so strongly.

What is your present state of mind?
One step at a time.  With the end of the semester upon us, designing our final grad collections, holiday chaos on the horizon, and my TÉLIO project in the works… there’s a lot at play right now! I’ve always felt like I work better under pressure but sometimes you really have to remind yourself to focus on one thing at a time and just make your way down the list. There’s no sense in overwhelming yourself when things get busy. Just focus, make some tea, and keep moving forward.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s group of finalists from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 


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I was lucky enough to attend the Vancouver Community College Fashion Arts show on September 24th. What a treat! These students work so hard to put together an amazing evening for their family, friends, industry professionals, sponsors, and faculty. There was so much talent there. We were seated front and center (thanks VCC!), so we had an amazing […]

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