Fashion Student Spotlight: Kim MacFarlane's gender-neutral Clothe fit for all seasons

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      By Sara Jonsdottir

      Kim MacFarlane was working as a visual merchandiser when she realized that she wanted to go back to school to pursue a career in design. Originally from Alberta, McFarlane is now in her final year in the fashion design and technology program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

      Inspired by different lifestyles, societies and cultures, McFarlane wanted to focus on creating a collection with a deeper meaning—something that she felt very strongly about. Her line, Clothe, was created in order to cater to individuals living a genderless or non-binary lifestyle, with a focus on sustainability.

      Clothe 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.

      All five shows have now sold out. For event details, visit kpu.ca/2016fashionshow, or follow @kpu_fashion on Twitter and @kputheshow on Instagram.

      Sara Jonsdottir: Describe your collection.

      Kim MacFarlane: Clothe is a genderless, season-less collection for people between the ages of 25 to 40. This line has a strong emphasis on catering to a lifestyle in which people do not see themselves as either one of two categories: female or male. Clothe hopes to broaden the spectrum of gender in its many variations.

      This collection is for those who are open-minded and who welcome change in the future. That the garments are season-less is meant to avoid creating unnecessary waste, as well as to create convenience with pieces that can be worn throughout the year, no matter what the weather may be.

      SJ: What was the inspiration behind your line?

      KM: My line was inspired by the societal shift we are seeing throughout the world, especially in Sweden, where gender is becoming less about biological sex and more about your personal identity.

      SJ: Can you tell me about your creative process?

      KM: My creative process is driven by ideas as well as anything visual. From there, it is about researching and bringing those initial ideas into a realistic plan. Typically, there are many changes along the way, but I feel it’s important to be open to changes and evolve your designs as these changes occur. The best part of creating a collection is watching it come to together.  

      SJ: What have you learned at KPU?

      KM: I have learned that through hard work and perseverance, you can exceed your expectations.

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

      KM: I really enjoy design overall. I find it challenging but also very exciting to work through problems in order to create a cohesive and unique collection. 

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

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