Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s biggest fashion showcase of the year will feature designs created by a trio of Surrey students.
The school’s current design team of 32 includes Surrey-based students Nat Bajwa, Sierra McNeill and Camille Huang. Their diverse creations will be on the runway during the annual industry-grade event, which involves seven fashion shows over two days.
The clothing lines are the capstone project for the four-year fashion design and technology degree program at KPU. As part of their collection, each student designer is required to conduct extensive research on a market in need and then cater to that need.
The North Surrey-raised Bajwa, an avid concert-goer, designed clothes for women who don’t want to carry purses or other baggage, particularly when attending experience-driven events.
“I’d have the same conversation with my friends before every concert,” she said. ‘‘What are you wearing? Are you bringing a purse?’ A lot of the time none of us wanted to carry a purse, but also didn’t have proper pockets in what we wanted to wear.
“In general,” Bajwa added, “I don’t like to carry a bag because I find it more of a hassle than helpful, especially when seeing a show. At some venues, bag-check isn’t always available, or is an added cost.”
McNeill created her Sierra McNeill Bespoke line to cater to men, with the philosophy that men are at their best in a well-fitted suit.
She briefly moved to London to learn the art of hand-tailoring, from those on Savile Row. The name of her collection (Bespoke) is a phrase first coined in the district as a way to describe made-to-order suits.
“My inspiration to create artisanal bespoke suits stemmed from years of curiosity mixed with my awe for the city that it originated in,” McNeill explained. “I also grew up with a father who wore suits to work every day, and he has been a huge fashion influence in my life.”
For the wedding industry, Huang developed a zero-waste, organic material-based line of bridal wear called ECO Lia, which features lace appliques, ruffles and soft colors, but with a laid-back vibe designed to be worn again for other occasions.
“I am a romantic,” Huang noted. “A strong relationship between people means a lot to me, and this is probably why the idea of marriage and weddings inspire me. My appreciation towards nature is also reflected in my work, and of course being sustainable and eco-friendly.”
This year’s The Show, presented by Tamoda Apparel, will showcase collections for various ages and genders, “showcasing designs that push social boundaries and stereotypes, articulate diversity in identity, and emphasize intent and function in apparel,” according to event organizers.
Tickets for The Show are $20 each (plus taxes and fees) via kpu.ca/2018fashionshow, or visit eventbrite.ca. Wilson School of Design at KPU is located at 5600 Kwantlen St., Richmond, on the fourth floor.