Take a dash of determination, a gorgeous venue, an assortment of unique clothing collections and a whole lot of flair, and you have the recipe for the Kwantlen Polytechnic University's annual fashion show, known simply as The Show. Held earlier this month at the River Rock Hotel, this glamorous event spotlights a group of driven and talented fashion designers-in-the-making, graduating from Kwantlen's Design in Fashion and Technology Program.
Among the 32 talented designers is Leora Elischer, whose eco-friendly line of dance wear (Ivy & Ixie) for teen girls incorporates a fun and girly feel and a fantastic versatility for dancers who are on-the-go. Youthink caught up with Elischer before the fashion show to chat about what the year-end event, her dance wear line and what advice she has for young, aspiring designers.
YT: How excited are you to be presenting your designs at the annual Kwantlen Fashion Show?
LE: Insanely excited. This is definitely like the big event that we’ve all been working towards over the last four years. It’s pretty much our debut into the fashion industry, so I’m really excited.
YT: How have you been preparing for The Show?
LE: Well, all of last semester we prepared our research and our designs. We each had to research a niche market, which is a market that’s in need. We each had to come up with one and research it, prove that it was actually needed and then all of this semester we’ve been selling up three outfits of our collection.
YT: What are you most looking forward to about The Show?
LE: I think I’m most excited to show my friends and family what I’ve been working on the past year, and yeah, just the whole thing. I’m really excited!
YT: What can you tell us about the line that you’ll be showcasing that night?
LE: My line is called Ivy & Ixie, and it’s a line of eco-friendly dance wear for teen girls. It’s all really bright and colourful and fun, and it’s for dancing as well as to and from the studio.
YT: What’s the meaning behind the name of your line?
LE: There actually isn’t any meaning behind the name of the line (laughs). It’s just one that I came up with.
YT: What inspired you to design a line of dance wear for teen girls?
LE: Well, I used to dance when I was in high school and I’ve always just loved it so much. It’s always something that I’ve been really drawn towards. And I chose teen girls just because I have the opportunity to work with more colour, more useful detailing, which is a little bit more fun for me.
YT: What’s your favourite outfit or piece that you have designed and showcased in this collection and why?
LE: I think my favourite is... I designed and made a full-body unitard and it has this ruffle detailing in the back and cinched-bow legs.
YT: Have you always known that you wanted to become a designer?
LE: Yeah, I think so. I was always interested it in and it was always just something that I found so fun.
YT: What would be your dream job to land once you graduate?
LE: I’ll say any design position – to have any full-time design position.
YT: You’re graduating with so many talented designers. How do feel about the future of local designers here in BC?
LE: I think there’s such great opportunity, especially with the group of designers that I’m graduating with. Everybody’s so talented and I think they’re going to bring so much to Vancouver and the fashion industry. I think it’s just going to bring new life.
YT: Do you have a piece of advice for others also aspiring to someday work in the fashion industry?
LE: I would say definitely don’t ever give it up if anybody ever says that you can’t do it. It’s fully possible and there are so many jobs and opportunities. It’s worth fighting for.