It’s not every day that one of fave’s very own contributors gets to showcase their talents for Ottawa to see. Fave’s Sienna Vittoria Lee-Coughlin along with a few other Canterbury students presented their designs last weekend. The theme of the show’s designs was centered around a primary monochromatic palette while the second half was more lively and colorful; hence the name Static/Prismatic. The show was managed, modeled and designed solely by the high school students.
Show managers/designers: from left (Emma Dye, Bibiana Aguero, Sienna Vittoria Lee-Choughlin, Corrina Chow and Ariana Bercovitch)
Not knowing what to expect from a high school runway fashion show, I left Canterbury pleasantly surprised. While there were many promising pieces from the 44 student designers, there was a few that truly stood out. Each design on that runway clearly represented a different point of view because each piece was unique in its own way. They varied from casual/practical to lacy/romantic to wild/provoking—you never knew what was coming around the corner. If this show is any indication of the future of Ottawa’s fashion scene, you can rest assured that it is in good hands.
Highlights from the show:
Sienna’s designs were, in my opinion, one of the best in the show – her dresses were so feminine, well executed and sophisticated. Her inspiration came from the classic silhouettes of Audrey Hepburn, the flowing waves and smooth pearls of the ocean. I caught up with Sienna later after the show to ask her a few questions…
1. What were some challenges you faced during the design process?
I am a very linear thinker, and I take a very step-by-step approach to all my endeavors. Although, in regards to my design process, I take on a leap-then-figure-it-out-as-I'm-going method. In other words, I tend to base my designs off of dresses I've created in my mind, rather than having the pattern and fabrics sourced in advance. This is what happened with the cream lace and chiffon gown I designed for the show. I had only a brief preconceived notion of how to actually construct the dress I had signed up to make, and I ran into several difficulties, and was even worried I wouldn't finish on time. Sleepless nights and all, I'm happy to say that after the multitude of hours I spent staring blankly at my sewing machine, I was able to pull it off as I had hoped, and I am quite proud of the finished product.
Sienna with her models Leah Genise and Percy Miller
2. What did you learn from this design experience?
However corny or cliché it may sound, always persevere and don't be afraid to do something simply because you don't have all the answers on how to do it just yet.
3. How has your experience been working with fave magazine?
For as long as I can remember, I have been preparing for life as a fashion designer. Sewing lessons, school fashion shows, sketching, and researching. Although, when I joined Fave, my eyes were opened to other aspects of the industry, that I've come to realize I might really enjoy pursuing - such as fashion journalism, which combines my love of visuals and words. I look forward to having the opportunity to further explore and develop my writing with Fave.
4. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I have learned over the past year that while it is always beneficial to have a plan in mind, it is not good if it keeps your mind closed to other things. I can say with certainty that I will be working in the fashion industry. Although, whether I am designing, producing fashion shows, writing, or editing, I can't say for certain. Right now writing and editing magazines is what I am most drawn to, but everything changes depending on where you are, who you meet, what you learn, what you're exposed to, how you evolve, and what you experience. I look forward to seeing what happens.
5. Who would you consider to be your fashion icon?
I will always be inspired by classic beauties such as Audrey Hepburn. Anytime I need inspiration, or cheering up, I can always turn to Breakfast at Tiffanys. I am very inspired by musicians from the grunge era or the times of classic rock, in order to add a daring edge to a classic aesthetic. I also look to art, classic novels, and directly to designers for inspiration - I am not one to turn to current Hollywood celebrities for style ideas. I suppose you could say I am retro, romantic, and nostalgic when it comes to my personal style.
Fave is extremely proud to have such a promising young star on the team – Good job Sienna!
Thank you so much to Lama Zbib (who wrote this whole post) for covering this event!
Unfortunetly I was not able to attend but it looks like it was amazing.