Category Archives: DESIGNER INTERVIEWS

DAVID JACK LONDON – Vancouver Designer

David Jack London

By: Nicolette

I met David Jack at a red carpet event a few weeks back, during the midst of Vancouver Fashion Week craziness.  I had seen pics from his recent show, which received rave reviews when his futuristic and edgy collection fiercely strutted down the runway.

I briefly interviewed David a week or so ago but paid him and his studio a little visit to see where all the magic happens.  Well, being welcomed with a glass of “watcha ma call it” white wine (yes, it really is called that) which was so so tasty, I knew it was going to be a very good visit!  I was surrounded by incredibly and beautifully constructed garments, patterns, killer heels and his intern working away at an upcoming project, which is going to blow you away when you see it!  We chatted for ages, with David explaining each piece to me, which I still can’t wrap my simple sewing brain around and before I knew it, my yummy glass of vino was finished and I had to tear myself away from his hub of beautiful fabrics and charismatic creations.

To find out more about David Jack’s work pop into his website www.david-jack.com

The man himself, David Jack!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background? 

I grew up in the South East end of London and moved to Vancouver in 2001. I attended Emily Carr for fashion illustration then completed the Fashion Design program at Blanche Macdonald in 2007. Since then I have been doing custom pieces for various artists/performers from any where to music videos, stage and evening wear.

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What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is art. It’s a way to be creative and expressive.

When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

I always knew I wanted to become a designer, not necessarily in the fashion world mind you. As far back as I can remember I was always designing. I used to draw/design roller coasters as a kid, lol, that’s what I wanted to do for years my mum would say! Then it went onto shoes as I got older, then finally fashion.

What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

HA! A really bad bustier made from 2 old football shin pads I found in the attic… you can imagine the out come, but I thought it was great!

Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing.

 Sometimes things just pop into my head, others I sit down and draw. I really like to buy the fabric first, play around with it on the mannequin then figure out the construction side of things.

Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?
I love the construction side of things! As I start sewing I usually change or add to the design.
Who are some of your favourite designers?

Oh! Thierry Mugler!  The Blonds, McQueen, Gareth Pugh.

What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
That I can continue to always design clothes that interest me and use all my creativity. It would be terrible if I got stuck designing plain sweaters for the rest of my life.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

Oh, I still have a long way to go before I give advice, but something I tell myself everyday is “keep working hard, be patient, be honest, be kind, be reliable, be proactive and be the best mind at hand” – I have this stuck to my fridge. The words of a very special friend.

How would you define your personal style?
Mix and match, I like darker looks and shades, a bit rocker with a smarter edge.
How would you define the style of your collection?

A collection from the future! Dark, glamorous, edgy, sexy, powerful.

 
Where can readers buy your clothes?

As of right now, all the garments are custom made and are sold thorough me at the studio. Customers can simply drop me an email with any questions and then come the studio for a fitting.

To find out more about David Jack’s work pop into his website www.david-jack.com

xxx

Vancouver Personal Stylist

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LAURA JACKSON – Vancouver Designer

Laura Jackson

By: Nicolette

I attended this years Art Insitute “Atelier” fashion show a few weeks ago, where graduates showcased their capsule collections.  Laura Jackson’s mind-blowing collection opened the show.  Slick, edgy and a good dose of sexy.   Her garments were constructed entirely from Latex but with intricate details and tailoring.  My favorite piece was the peplum jacket with detailed shoulders.

I managed to steal some of Laura’s time to pick her brains and find out more about her stunning collection.

Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from and when did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

I was born and raised in Toronto, ON. I had realized I wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 11, it was kind of one of those epiphany moments where I was never able to find clothing that I liked, and as soon as a started sketching I just knew that was what I wanted to be. Out of any amazing moment in my life, that is the one moment I was truly sure of anything. Since then I have never stopped sketching.

Image – Peter Jensen

What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed?I

t was a corseted trench coat, my 2 favorite things combined, tiny waists and jackets. I still have the drawing!

Who is your favorite designer?

It’s a tie between Gareth Pugh and Christophe Decarnin while he was with Balmain.

Image – http://www.beautylinestudio.com/

If you could design clothing for a celebrity, who would you choose?

Good question! That answer for me changes a lot but at the moment, Taylor Momsen.

What matters to you most as a fashion designer?

To always remain a student in my state of mind. There is always something to be learned and there is always going to be someone better then you, so might as well learn from everyone around you. With that idea in mind I believe is has made me wiser as a designer.

Image – http://www.beautylinestudio.com/

You recently showcased your stunning collection at the Art Institute show.  Tell me about that collection and the whole process.

The collection was inspired by galactic tribal. It’s funny because when I began sketching it started out being much more grunge tribal. But the more I sketched, the more contemporary it became, so therefore it still carried some tribal aspects but in a much more futuristic and geometric way. My designs are inspired more by shapes and texture, so it made sense for me to go off into that direction.

The process of creating it was definitely interesting, the whole collection was made out of latex so that means a lot of toxic glueing, and a gas mask. I had never worked with latex before this collection so I had to take a lot of precautions while putting all my pieces together. I couldn’t tell you the migraines I got from being around the glue and cleaners, the gas mask didn’t make an appearance until a week after I started glueing.

How did it felt to see your collection walk down the runway.

It didn’t actually hit me until 30 seconds before the show that I got super nervous, But I was so happy to see my garments open the show and all 3 girls come out together. Needless to say, it was an amazing feeling!

How would you define the style of your collection?

Edgy & Contemporary.

What was the most difficult piece to make?

The peplum jacket with the large shoulders, hands down.

 

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

Trust your design instincts and believe in yourself. you are not going to get anywhere in this industry by saying and thinking things like “I can do better then what I just did.” Stand by your work and always be open to learning.

What can we expect from your next collection?

Definitely more ready-to-wear but still containing latex elements and dramatic features. I want people to be able to incorporate pieces like these into their everyday wardrobe comfortably and still feel like they stand out.

How would you define your personal style?My style has 2 different sides to it. One being more grunge and relaxed with my 5″ dirty blonde roots with lilac and blue hair. The second being more contemporary glam rock, slim fitting, black, heavy accessorizing, and dusty coloured wigs. You will never catch me wearing heels 😉Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

Currently I’m building a website, but for the time being, you can check out some of my work on style junction.

http://laurajackson.stylejunction.ca/

xxx

Vancouver Personal Stylist

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ANGELA HUANG – Vancouver Designer

Angela Huang

By: Nicolette

AngelaHuang_Winter2013 (14)

Angela Huang, born in Taiwan but raised in Canada, is an emerging designer currently studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.   Huang recently made her debut as a solid designer at Vancouver Fashion Week s/s 2014 with a sophisticated but extremely bold collection.  You would swear that she had done this before with the level of design, sewing and attention to detail.  Her all-white collection was both breathtaking and refreshing in the simple lines and minamilist sleek silhouettes with interesting but uncomplicated design elements such as the reversed jacket, showing a deep v-neck lapel on the back of the garment – insane!

I met Angela about a year ago, when we were working backstage styling for Vancouver Fashion Showcase and it’s been such a pleasure watching this young lady grow in her field and adding another fashionable feather to Vancouver’s cap.

A traveller and foodie (the eating part at least) at heart, Angela gets much of her inspiration from places she visits.   With her sketch book permanently in hand, she documents the architecture, songs, movies…basically everything she stumbles upon.  Drawing has always been a strong element in her life.  “I can’t recall the time I realized that I wanted to become a designer.  I started drawing at a very young age and just never stopped.  I can only remember when I was 8 years old I decided that I should start saving all my drawings.  So, I now have all these ridiculous designs in a file under my bed.”

 Angela lives by doing what she loves with no regrets and believes that the key to success is being ambitious and to “network network network! Push yourself to do things that benefits your future before it’s too late.  I believe that the four years of post secondary education is mostly buying time for students to plan their future.  Networking is very important in any industry.   All opportunities come from networking.”

With dreams of living in Milan where “it’s like waking in a painting” and “learning high-end tailoring from an old Italian master” and designing for Anne Hathaway with her classy and feminine look but boyish personality, there’s no doubt that Angela Huang is a star in the rising and a designer to watch very very closely.

Pieces from Angela’s SS2014 collection are all one of a kind pieces and although it did not go through production, she is planning on putting her FW2014 collection (which “may or may not have some colour – wink wink”) through production and possibly distributing to Vancouver boutiques, making it available to the public. 

For now, readers can contact Angela directly at angelahuangdesign@gmail.com or follow her at:  FacebookWebsite / Twitter / Instagram

AngelaHuang_Winter2013 (2)

AngelaHuang_Winter2013 (8)

AngelaHuang_Winter2013 (11)

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xxx

Nicolette Lang-Andersen

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Evan Clayton – Vancouver Designer

Evan Clayton

By: Nicolette

Evan Clayton

Evan recently showcased his second collection at VFW and I, along with all the EC admirers, waited with bated breath for his collection to hit the runway.  When he revealed his first collection last season, he knocked everyone sideways because he pushed the boundaries and disregarded any politeness about showcasing a raw, edgy, artistic and partially nude fashion show.  It made you stop and think about the story and meaning behind the collection.   Well, Evan’s latest collection, named KIN, was just as delightfully shocking!  It had a completely different theme and background but with the same haunting romanticism as his last collection.  The collection drew on aspects from the sea, with the show starting off with sheer white designs, reminding me of Japanese kimono’s, which clung to the models wet bodies.  Next were stiff white leather corset style bodices with sheer green fabric, creating a great aesthetic contrast.  The last piece was exceptionally bold – a clear plastic PVC bustier trimmed with sea shells worn by a topless model.

Evan’s designs have been worn by local actress Zara Durani, Lady Gaga, Sharon Needles, Alaska Thunderfvck and Manila Luzon who all own pieces of his collection so it’s not surprising that he would love to design for Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness.

Currently all pieces are either samples or custom orders through Evan at his studio but you can get in touch and follow him on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

Evan Clayton

Evan Clayton

Evan Clayton

Evan Clayton

Evan Clayton

Our interview: 

Tell me about your brand?

 I like to think of EVAN CLAYTON as an autobiography.  I like to take different inspirations and use them as a lens to explore my past, present and tentative future incarnations of myself.

Where are you from? What is your educational background?

I grew up all over B.C. but most of my life has been spent on the Kootenay areas, specifically Trail. A big part of my life was spent on Vancouver Island living with my grandparent during the summer.  I went to school at the Blanche MacDonald Center and graduated in 2011.

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is the most authentic form of personal expression.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m in a constant state of inspiration, and am heavily inspired by history and the natural world.

When did you realize you wanted to become a designer?

On some level I knew that I wanted to work in fashion from a very young age, but I wanted to design after watching my first McQueen show when I was 13.

What was the first piece you ever designed/created and how old were you?

Hmmmm… I remember the first piece I ever designed was a rainbow fur coat that I colored with gel pens when I was 7 or 8. But the first piece I ever designed and made was a portfolio piece for Blanche MacDonald. It was a red silk strapless cocktail dress weigh grey and black tulle messily wrapped around it.

Who inspired you to become a fashion designer?

Alexander McQueen

What has been the inspiration for your collections?

My first collection was inspired heavily by the Lady Gaga song “Princess Die”, the death of Joan of Arc, and drag performer Sharon Needles. It was meant to be seen as a metaphor for the decay of the modern superstar, a concept Lady Gaga frequently explores.   For my most recent collection I looked toward Japanese historical costume and watched a lot of David Attenborough documentaries on the Pacific Northwest.

 What are your favorite fabrics/materials to work with?

I love working with leather!

What is the general process you go through to create a piece?

 Every piece is different, but generally when I design a collection I mass design the whole thing and tweak elements of it as I design.  I personally pattern draft and make every single piece on my collection right now. Depending on the piece I usually utilize a mixture of draping and pattern drafting.  Often I find myself dyeing fabrics as well to get the right color.  Once piece can take anywhere between a day and 2 weeks.

What is the hardest piece you have ever created?

Probably anything I’ve done in a molded leather haha.

What matters to you most as a designer?

Authenticity. Even if your design is a lie, at least be real about it.

What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing?

 Attention to detail, even if it means actually lining garments properly.

How would you define your city’s fashion? And/or what would you like your city’s fashion/style to look like?

People dress here rather simply. I like to see people breaking molds. I think some of the most fashionable people in Vancouver are the punk kids that hang out on Granville.

What is your favourite current trend and how would you define your personal style?

Romantic gothic!  And Black, black and more black!

What are your fashion goals over the next few years?

 I’d like to be showing internationally within a year.

Are you working on another collection – what can we expect, can you give us a clue?

I have a follow up to KIN in the works, but I’m going to keep it under wraps for now ;o)

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?

I would be in the forest saving the whales.

What is one fun thing that people probably don’t know about you?

The choir that I was in when I was 12 opened for the Barenaked Ladies ;o)

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Design is intelligence made visible” – My mother

Evan Clayton

Wishing Evan all the best!

xxx

Nicolette Lang-Andersen

 

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TARANJIT K. CHEEMA

Taranjit K. Cheema

By: Nicolette

Taran Cheema

I recently interviewed Taran Cheema, a promising designer, who recently showcased a mind-bending collection at Vancouver Fashion Week, and I wanted to share some extra pics to show the method and layers behind each outfit to give you an idea of just how spectacular these designs are!

Read the article here at page 20 – 21:  WOVE Magazine

Follow Taran Cheema at: www.taranjitcheema.com

Taran Cheema

A unique collection with each layer is a distinctly different shape.

Taran Cheema

The garments develop as the layers are added.

Taran Cheema

The traditional Sari and turban were used to guide Taran in the wrapping, folding and layering of the pieces of material.

Taran Cheema

A new bonding technique with fusible interfacing was created to make sure all the edges were clean.

Taran Cheema

When observed from various angles one sees a fresh perspective of each piece.

Taran Cheema

Wishing this talented young lady all the best!

xxx

Nicolette Lang-Andersen

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