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Art Deco Chic Fashion Challenge WINNERS

ART DECO CHIC FASHION CHALLENGE WINNERS

Congratulations to Elisa Medina, Lisa Ngo, and Dianna Drahanchuk, winners of the Art Deco Chic Fashion Challenge! Over the summer, these three designers will be hard at work transforming these designs into garments for display at the MOV September 1-23 alongside Art Deco Chic. Read on to find how Vancouver and Art Deco inspired their designs.

ELISA MEDINA | GEOMETRIC REVERIE
Bachelor of Design, Fashion & Technology | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Art Deco Chic challenge winner Elisa MedinaWhich art deco era/ garment/ or design concept inspired the creation of your garment?

Art Deco existed between modernity and exoticism, creating fashion that was intellectually eclectic and seductively elegant. The influence of architecture, art movements like Cubism and Fauvism, as well as the Jazz Age’s rhythm and movement had a strong presence on the exhibition’s early 20’s garments, which in turn inspired my designs’ repeating geometric shapes, unexpected embroidery, and saturated colour palette.

Tell us your story about deciding to become a fashion designer.

My path to fashion design was carved by a love for painting and drawing in the picturesque Quito, Ecuador. I started to draw at an early age and was eventually introduced to fashion illustration. From then, I Elisa Medinagradually cultivated my eye for design through sketching models in the pages of Vogue. I also started to appropriate my fine arts training to develop an aesthetic rooted in painterly compositions of colours and fabrics as well as mixed cultural and historical references. Moving to Canada in 2008 allowed me to pursue a career in fashion, as there are more educational and professional opportunities in this field. I am currently developing my technical skills at Kwantlen University both in women’s and menswear, as I go into my third year of studies.  

Where else do you draw inspiration from in your work?

Art, music, and culture are a constant source of inspiration as I design.

What changed for your conception of the garment design in knowing that you were creating for a museum exhibit as opposed to a fashion runway?

Designing garments for a museum exhibit requires a special attention to detail, as the garments remain static, becoming subjects to a closer view from the audience. It was therefore important to offer a dynamic experience for the viewer through different textures and shapes.  

How does living in Vancouver shape your design process?

Vancouver offers wonderful exposure to art and nature. This has encouraged me to be curious of my surroundings and look for inspiration wherever I go. All I need is a sketchbook in hand. In addition, our city’s “green culture” has also influenced me to become a responsible designer, keeping the people and the environment in mind during the design process.

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DIANNA DRAHANCHUK | ARGYLE REVIVAL
Fashion Merchandising | Blanche MacDonald

Art Deco Chic challenge winner Dianna DrahanchukWhich art deco era/ garment/ or design concept inspired the creation of your garment?

The primary inspiration for this dress was the striking evening dress made in France for Bullocks in1929 – 1930.  The transparent black-layered silk georgette with dramatic crisscross shiny black machine beading I translated into an inner dress with sequins and transparent over dress with bead crisscross pattern applied to the outer layer.  The top of the under dress mimics the diamond shaped pattern while the over dress scoop neck with wider shoulder strap is typical of dress style of the 20’s.  The bead pattern creates an argyle pattern, made popular in the 20’s and is reminiscent of the long strands of beads that were all the rage during the jazz age.

Tell us your story about deciding to become a fashion designer.

Fashion Design was something I wanted to take up in high school but Horse Hill High School wasn’t able to advise me on available fashion Dianna Drahanchukschools. However, after retiring from my interior design career and realizing that the desire to engage in fashion design was still there, I decided to attend the Blanche Macdonald Fashion Merchandising program, even just for fun.  

Where else do you draw inspiration from in your work?

There is not one place that that my inspiration comes from.  I rarely buy fashion magazines but I travel a lot observing things that are not available here and in my mind's eye try to figure out how that particular item could be made/adapted in my world. 

What changed for your conception of the garment design in knowing that you were creating for a museum exhibit as opposed to a fashion runway?

I've never created a piece for a fashion runway so my only point of reference was the museum exhibit.

How does living in Vancouver shape your design process?

Availability of resources is key.  To enter a competition such as this would have been much more difficult, say in Victoria or Edmonton where I lived most of my life.  Having resources at hand allows for greater creativity.

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LISA NGO | CRYSTALS OF THE SKY
Fashion Arts | Vancouver Community College

Which art deco era/ Art Deco Chic challenge winner Lisa Ngogarment/ or design concept inspired the creation of your garment?

The art deco garment that most inspired or more so caught my eye was the satin dress that had its hem ingeniously twisted  across the bust and thrown over the shoulder as an interesting design detail.

 

 

Tell us your story about deciding to become a fashion designer.

Well first of all, I never had a clear decision, when I was young, that I wanted to truly be a fashion designer. At a young age I was exposed to watching a lot of cartoon television shows like Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Card Captors and more. I really loved the illustrations drawn of the cartoon characters so I decided drawing them and wanted to create a character of my own. After creating my cartoon character's appearance, I said to myself,Lisa Ngo “I need to put some clothes on this girl” so I did. Still I was oblivious that drawing clothes on this girl was “designing” and dressed her like a doll, but on paper. Years after that, I trailed off from the design, I still immersed myself in art, but I was far from the path of a fashion designer. I still thought of having a career in designing clothes, but I forced myself to different areas of interests. It was until one day I realized during my last year of secondary education that I had to choose a career path to prepare for. I looked back and thought “What the heck did you even prepare yourself for?” I thought about my education, my passion and interests and throughout my life the only thing I've really enjoyed was styling my barbie in her clothes, caring about how I looked and dressed during school, overall just admiring cute dresses, and drawing clothes on my characters. So where does that lead me? Boom. Here I am at VCC and in this competition. Holy cow.

Where else do you draw inspiration from in your work?

Definitely Madeleine Vionnet as an haute couture designer. There is a picture of here sitting down and creating her draft on a doll. Looking at the picture, to me, I feel that she had a great passion and love for what she was doing. It seems as though she is in her own world and so immersed in what she is doing and that inspired me to try to re-create that mood in the dress in the picture. I also researched some art deco artists and the one that stood out was no other than Erte. I love his illustrations and designs. Very elaborate, dramatic, creative and just good.

What changed for your conception of the garment design in knowing that you were creating for a museum exhibit as opposed to a fashion runway?

As soon as I found that it would just be in an exhibit, it could be fragile. Very fragile. I figured that if the dress I designed was for the runway, It would totally get caught and torn in a painful, heart-wrenching way. The care and handling that I saw in the exhibition from Ivan Sayers, Claus Jahnke and his team insured that I could sacrifice some functionality, so I had the nylon thread be the support between the two pieces of fabric while holding some crystals at the same time. Sorry thread. Hopefully, I would love to see a real model at least walking slowly in the dress.

How does living in Vancouver shape your design process?

Other than the mountainous backdrop view, cultural diversity, and ecstatic rainy days, overall Vancouver just feels like a breath of fresh air. Whenever I think of Vancouver overall, I just feel very natural and free of any limitations and that is what I want to try to do when I design. I was born here and I still don't know Vancouver as much as I thought I did. I currently work for Erin Templeton (one of my role models!) and after meeting her I just found about this world of local designers and workers that either have this close net or some type of connection and support to one another and that just warms my heart.

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