On April 5 and 6, 28 emerging fashion designers showed off their apparel lines at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s annual fashion show.
The event, which took place at The Imperial in Vancouver, gave the graduating students an opportunity to see their looks on the runway. Each student created three different outfits for the show, each belonging to the same line. The designs ranged from whimsical and feminine, with Maggie Wong’s kawaii-inspired line, to natural and modern, with Tayler Anderson’s line of intimate apparel.
Two of the Kwantlen graduates were North Delta students Jessica Chauhan and Natasha Gruetz.
Chauhan, 22, first started thinking about a career in fashion when she attended the Kwantlen fashion show in Grade 10.
“I think at that moment I kind of knew, ‘Okay, I can do this,’” she said. “And from then it was just building up my skills and what my career path would look like.”
Her collection, called valentina.collective, is designed for “females from the creative class who are entrepreneurial, like to run their lives and call the shots,” she said. The fabrics feature rich velvets and other textures to represent different layers of the valentina customer.
Gruetz’s collection, J.G. Swai, is a more relaxed line of clothes. It’s loungewear for mature women who are worldly, experienced and love to travel, Gruetz said.
“I wanted to incorporate that essence into a western lifestyle, so I brought that in through print design and embroidery,” she said. “And that made it all come together.”
The outfits in all the graduates’ collections were shown in six different shows over two days. The designers were available before and after the show to talk about their inspiration and designs.
At the end of the 4 p.m. show on April 5, Gruetz said things felt “surreal.”
“We still have a few shows to do, but things are just all together now and it’s time to start the new chapter,” she said.
“It’s a little bittersweet, but at the same time it’s such as accomplishment — for not only me but all of us together.”