Tag Archives: Vancouver Emerging Designer

Evan Ducharme – Iconoclast F/W 14

Do Charm Me

By: Rachelle Lupton

 What better way to turn 22 then to have your first very own runway show?  For Evan Ducharme, that was made possible August 22 2014 when he launched his Fall/Winter 2014 line “Iconoclast”. With an elegant and rebellious feel, the models each donned in a headscarf or black bobbed wig, strutted ten unisex and women’s looks down the runway.  After returning to the runway for one last time, the girls finished off by perching themselves on beautiful vintage furniture, just like a setting from the Victorian Era.  After the show was over, we got a chance to head backstage and talk one-on-one with the talented designer.

Evan Ducharme

Evan Ducharme

Images: Ken Cheng

 What was your inspiration behind this collection?

I’ve always been obsessed with the film sunset boulevard starring Gloria Swanson, an aging silent film star trying to break her way into talk films. She’s working against something she doesn’t really know about, so she just is trying to understand it.  At the same time I was watching Metropolis and they just sort of meshed.  It’s about Norma Desmond’s contemporaries and what they thought the future was going to be like.  Norma Desmond’s prime time was the 20s and 30s.  It’s classic couture silhouettes, updated with mesh, making it a little bit more industrial and modern.

Can you tell me a little bit more about “iconoclast”?

It means rebel, basically someone who doesn’t follow the norm.  Someone who doesn’t let society dictate the way they are going to live their life, they just do whatever way they want.

Do you have a favorite piece from this collection?

*long pause * That would be like picking your favorite child.  I sewed everything myself, I patterned everything myself, I cut everything myself.  I birthed this collection, I can’t just pick. They are all my favorite.

What advise do you have for aspiring designers?

You really have to take what you can out of fashion school. The industry is ever changing, it’s so different, your journey in this industry is going to be so different, so its really good to gain the core skills of being a designer, and then add those skills to your experience.  You really have to allow your teachers to criticize you; you have to learn early on that criticism teaches you the way the business is going to be.  Take everything you can and absorb it and apply it to your life, and take the things you don’t agree with and discard them.  Fashion is always about what you think and your point of view.  It’s all about who you want to be, creating your own brand, creating a following of what you’ve done.  Make sure you have a clear goal of what you want.  At the end of the day Fashion is a business.

Evan Ducharme

Nicolette Lang-Andersen, Evan Ducharme, Rachelle Lupton

Image: Marshall Heritage

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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.



Vancouver Personal Stylist

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ANGELA HUANG – Vancouver Designer

Angela Huang

By: Nicolette

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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)

1_AngelaHuang_Winter2013 (18)


Nicolette Lang-Andersen

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Clutches of Karma with Pia Dargani

By: Nicolette

I met with the talented designer and creator, Pia Dargani, of Clutches of Karma, over some seriously delicious coffee to find out more about her stunning collection of clutches.  If you are looking for a pop of colour or interesting textures to add to your wardrobe, look no further – these super stylish and slightly vintage looking clutches are sure to do the trick!  To make every purchase even sweeter, Clutches of Karma has teamed up with Divine Mercy College Foundation, Inc. to support as many children throughout their education.

Tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you came to designing clutch bags?

I’m currently living in Vancouver, finishing up my degree in Asian Studies (yes, a whole different ballpark from fashion – but nonetheless, another passion of mine!) at UBC. I grew up in the Philippines, which to many people’s surprise is an incredibly fashion forward city. I’m a big foodie, so when I’m not designing or studying, I’m usually on the hunt for the best food in the city. I’m also a travel junkie – just last year I took the plunge and moved to London for the year! While I’ve flirted with fashion from a very young age, it was in London that the idea of Clutches of Karma truly gained momentum – and it’s been uphill since then!

 Where do you get all your materials from and where are the clutch bags made?

 All the materials are sourced from the Philippines, with the help of my mom (where would I be without her?) I’ve chosen to work with local co-ops from there as part of the Clutches of Karma vision to facilitate community development and economic growth in the Philippines.

 Where do you get your inspirations from for your clutches?

 I’m inspired by so much I encounter on a day-to-day basis – Sometimes even a beautiful sunset can inspire a new design! I’ve recently taken an interest to eco-friendly products and sustainability – so I’m currently working on a line that is very Vancouver-esque! I’m SO excited for everyone to see it!

 Who are some other bag designers out there that you admire?

 I’d have to say my all time favorite is Bottega Veneta – I just love how simple, elegant and well made their bags are. I’ve been on the artisan page of their website so many times – and every time I’m in even more awe!

 What was the single most important thing you learned about designing clutch bags?

 Haha that’s an easy one – it’s not as easy as it looks! Sometimes something drawn on paper is just not feasible or practical! It’s especially hard because I’m only able to go back to the Philippines a couple of times a year so I’m usually only able to look at samples through photos. Luckily for me, my mom is based in the Philippines and has excellent taste – so needless to say, she helps me out quite a bit.

 Which is your favorite clutch at the moment and why?

 My all time favorite leather clutch is onyx! Haha I always refer to it as “my little black clutch” – versatile, goes with almost anything! Ah, and not to mention, I just LOVE the textures on it!

 Can you give us a taster of when your next collection might hold for us?

 I’m going to be experimenting quite a bit with using unique materials – things I can guarantee you never thought you’d be sporting on your arms!

 What is your favorite fashion quote?

 “Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe, the practical with the desirable.”
—Donna Karan

This is something I always grapple with when designing clutches! Some purses I design look more like sculptures – then I realize, “Oh dear, how would one even carry that?!”

 How did the name “Clutches of Karma” came about?

 Well it was integral for me to incorporate the socially conscious aspect of my new venture, and Clutches of Karma did just that – not to mention, I love the play on words going on there! There were a few in the running (i.e. In the Clutches of Karma and Karma’s Clutch), but I just couldn’t shake Clutches of Karma once I had come up with it!



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