Fashion Student Spotlight: Jessica Ternowski's Drift Clothing Designs is camper-chic

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      By Bena Yang

      Jessica Ternowski had been playing with the idea of going back to school and changing careers for several years. It was during a month-long trip through India that inspired her to finally take that leap of faith. After three intense months of putting her portfolio together, Ternowski applied to Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s fashion design and technology program to begin her creative journey as a fashion designer.

      Inspired by her love for travel and the need she saw for more sophisticated, functional travel wear, the final-year student created Drift Clothing Designs. The line and its name are inspired by how we leave our everyday lives behind for a time to explore and to be inspired and moved by the world around us. 

      Drift Clothing Designs will be unveiled at 2016 The Show: The Final Cut, presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 6 and 7 at the Imperial Vancouver (319 Main Street). Thirty-five other lines by Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion design and technology students will also be showcased.

      For event details, visit, or follow @kpu_fashion on Twitter and @kputheshow on Instagram.

      Bena Yang: Describe your collection.

      Jessica Ternowski: The collection focuses on designing sophisticated, good quality, comfortable travel clothing. It incorporates functional fabrics with classic designs, with a focus on a traveller’s needs. Needs such as: easy to pack, not requiring much care, versatile, and have interesting and functional details.

      BY: What was the inspiration behind your line?

      JT: This collection is “glamping”-inspired. I foresaw a new kind of traveller, one I like to call the “chic camper” or “glamper girl”. She loves the outdoors, but maintaining her love for style is important. It’s about marrying city styling with functional fabrics. Even the colour scheme goes against the traditional earthy tones we relate to camping. I picture this “glamper girl” with a S’morestini in one hand and a modern chic camping collection in the other.

      BY: Can you tell me about your creative process?

      JT: My creative process starts with collecting images, taking photos, writing down ideas and experiences, and researching that idea and market. Then I take all this information and map out a brainstorming board to see all the connections and fill in missing links. My actual garment designing process begins with fabric sourcing. I need to feel the fabric and see the colour options available to me. Playing with details and bringing my designs to life is the most exciting part of the process. I love moulding and shaping my designs in pursuit of the perfect fit for my market.

      BY: What have you learned at KPU?

      JT: I can’t say enough about how incredible the KPU fashion design program is! The program is very industry-comprehensive and practical. We learn all areas of the industry and are given all the tools we will need to succeed. From a personal level, the program has helped me build my confidence in sharing my creativity and helped guide me into a new career path!

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

      JT: I am passionate about the design collaboration process. There is nothing more satisfying than brainstorming about possible design ideas or collections and seeing these ideas take shape and come to life.

      Bena Yang is a final-year fashion design and technology student at KPU’s Wilson School of Design.

      Places to go nearby

      Approx. 15 minutes away