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2015 Fashion Show designer spotlight: Oliver Mowat by Karen Faint

Le 9 avril 2015, 01:51 dans Humeurs 0

Karen Faint is an Island-born, final-year fashion design and technology student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. While studying at the Pacific Design Academy in Victoria, she was inspired by KPU alumna and instructor Lindsay Norris—a multitalented instructor who was teaching in Victoria at the time—to apply to this particular program.

After taking a year to develop and polish her portfolio, Faint applied to KPU’s program and began her creative journey as a fashion designer. She discovered a market whose needs were not being met, and worked to create Oliver Mowat: a line tailored toward taller men who have difficulty finding clothing that is flattering to their body type.

Oliver Mowat will be unveiled at the 2015 Fashion Show, presented by Tamoda Apparel, on April 9 at the River Rock Casino. Thirty-eight other lines by KPU fashion design and technology students will also be showcased.

Taylor Tomasi Hill

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Karen Faint: My collection is for men 6’ to 6’8”. I decided to focus my line toward taller men because there aren’t very many options available for men within this height range that are specifically designed for tall men. I wanted my line to fill this need with casual business wear that could easily tie into and complement an existing wardrobe.

LS: What was the inspiration behind Oliver Mowat?

KF: The inspiration for my collection is casual-preppy. I’m very inspired by the old Ivy League style that’s both work and leisure oriented.

LS: Can you tell me about your design process/creative process?

KF: My creative process starts with inspiration: an idea, a person, or a photograph can spark me. Then it’s all about research. It’s important to do research to fully understand what’s already available for your customer to buy, what your market’s needs are, and what they feel they want or are missing. Then you bring the inspiration and the research together into design. My favourite part of the creative process is seeing my ideas on the fit model—seeing what about your designs worked and what didn’t work and then revising your design to be perfect for your market.

LS: What have you learned at KPU?

KF: KPU has taught me to be confident in what I enjoy. It’s taught me that through hard work I can be successful at what I love to do.

LS: What are your plans after graduation?

KF: After graduation I hope to find a job in pattern drafting in Vancouver. I really enjoy drafting both on the computer and by hand, and love how you can use flat design to create movement on the body.

LS: If you have one, who would be your dream designer to collaborate with?

KF: Elie Saab, no questions asked! Along with pattern drafting, I love to work with my hands, beading, and embroidering. I love the amount of work that goes into each one of his garments, and feel that his design eye and my detail-oriented nature would be a great match.

LS: What aspect of design are you most passionate about?

KF: I’ve really found my passion in pattern drafting. Before coming to KPU I did a year at the Pacific Design Academy in Victoria and found my love for flat pattern drafting. But through KPU’s more extensive program I perfected fit and found that working with computer-based programs like Gerber can be just as rewarding.

Lizzie Scott is a final-year fashion marketing student at KPU.

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Designer Fatma Almulla merges Western fashion with Emirati culture

Le 7 avril 2015, 01:31 dans Humeurs 0

Emirati entrepreneur Fatma Almulla has developed her own unique style in the world of design and creativity and crowned it by launching her fashion line, FMM by Fatma Almulla. The line includes shirts, bags, accessories for mobile phones, and more. Her designs include illustrations and common slang phrases for young Emiratis and Khaleejis: funny sentences or phrases that reflect everyday concerns, attract lovers of Western fashion, and reflect the ideas of youths in the Gulf. Her designs are now sold throughout the GCC (the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia).

While Fatma Almulla might resist being called a fashion designer, having been primarily inspired by her study of graphics and visual arts, she has created a distinctive fashion line that combines local culture and dialect with Western fashion.

Check out our interview with the young designer.

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Fatma Almulla: I never thought of establishing my own company or launching a line that carries my name. In fact, I was always lucky when looking for a job, but I never found one that was suitable for me at the time. I began coming up with drawings and publishing them on my blog. These drawings were well received on social media, prompting me to design my own line of shirts after doing a lot of research with the help of my husband.

Then, we found a manufacturer. We had never dreamed we could find one of its caliber. We sold every item in the first batch, and went back to the factory again to manufacture a second batch and sell it for twice the price, as suggested by the factory staff. However, during the manufacturing of the third batch, the manufacturer suddenly disappeared, while I was still supposed to meet my customers’ expectations. Despite this setback, I was determined not to disappoint people, and even more than that, I did not want to disappoint myself. This incident was the worst and best thing that has happened in my life. I thank God this occurred at the beginning of my career, because it pushed me forward and made me learn a lot, especially about the different types of fabrics and, of course, about the need for a Plan B when it comes to dealing with manufacturers.

Wamda: What is the best thing that has happened in your career so far?

Elmulla: When people value my work and appreciate it; this is the best gift I can possibly receive, because you not only feel that people love what you do, but also sense that they support you and value the strenuous work you do.

Wamda: How did you manage to manage a team, specifically when dealing with male employees?

Elmulla: Work was not difficult because I am a woman. I do not think that the United Arab Emirates is a country that still needs to empower women, because they already enjoy power and our religion has also contributed to this. Emirati culture requires that women be sheltered and cared for. Despite this, I succeeded in standing up for myself, managing a team, and dealing with male employees, which made me stronger and encouraged me to learn how to deal with different people. At the end of the day, everyone needs to be smart, determined, and have the proper mindset for everything – not just women.

Wamda: What does the Arab region need to achieve in order to better empower women in business?

Elmulla: In my opinion, individuals are already empowered, but as I said, the culture tends to shelter women. This is not a bad thing; women who live under an ‘umbrella’ of safety may also wish to venture into the business world. Moreover, the Emirati government greatly supports women and their achievements.

Wamda: What is your advice to Emirati women who want to enter the world of entrepreneurship?

Elmulla: They should set goals of what they want and work hard to overcome any obstacle they face.

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France Criminalizes 'Thinspiration' Websites Promoting Anorexia, Thigh Gaps

Le 3 avril 2015, 19:06 dans Humeurs 0

French citizens who operate websites promoting anorexia or excessive weight loss could soon be punished by lengthy jail terms and massive fines under a new law. The measure is one component of a larger effort to criminalize the so-called thinspiration movement of advertisements, blog posts and tweets that idealize women who are alarmingly thin.

A number of so-called pro-ana and thinspirational websites recommend girls as young as 12 years old deprive themselves of calories to create stick legs and a thigh gap, which is created when a woman is so skinny that her knees touch when she’s standing upright. The website prohibition is an amendment to a larger French bill that would penalize modeling agencies encouraging their models to lose an unhealthy amount of weight. An individual’s body mass index (BMI), a metric based on height and weight, will be the determining factor in enforcing the law.

Fashion show model

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“The social impact of the image promoted by fashion, in which women must be skinny to a pathological degree to be beautiful and go on the catwalk is very strong,” said Dr. Olivier Veran, a neurologist and Socialist member of the French parliament, according to the Telegraph in the U.K. Veran previously told a Paris newspaper he was frustrated by an inability to stop sites that “promote malnutrition and commercially exploit people who are endangering their own health.”

About 40,000 French citizens suffer from anorexia, 90 percent of them women, according to health-ministry figures cited by the Guardian in the U.K. Modeling-agency executives found to be pressuring young women to have a BMI of less than 18 could face six months in jail and a 75,000 euro ($82,477) fine under the new law.

Simply browsing through images captured at recent fashion events shows models with caved-in cheeks and other signs of caloric deprivation. However, mental-health authorities have said that solving the problem of widespread eating disorders will take more than creating new laws.

“Parents, the public authorities, deputies in the National Assembly want to find a cause, something to blame,” Dr. Marcel Rufo, a psychiatrist at a French clinic that helps teenagers work through the issue,told the New York Times. “So, one designates fashion as to blame, but I believe that it is much more complicated than that.”

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