By Iris Chau
Handcraftsmanship and folding details are hallmarks of Wincy Chan’s garments.
Chan’s graduate collection, plier (pronounced plee-AY), is composed of luxuriously draped and pleated ready-to-wear pieces. Through a modern design perspective, she combines traditional smocking and manipulation techniques.
plier will be unveiled at 2017 The Show presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 5 and 6 at the Imperial (319 Main Street). Twenty-seven other lines by Kwantlen Polytechnic University Fashion Design and Technology students will also be showcased.
Iris Chau: Describe your collection.
Wincy Chan: The word "plier" is French for "to fold", which is the driving concept behind the collection. Targeted towards influential and empowering women in their 30s and 40s, I wanted to create unique timeless styles that would help elevate their confidence.
IC: Who or what was the inspiration behind your line?
WC: I have always been inspired by the three-dimensional shapes and textures that could be created through fabric. My studies abroad in England allowed me to explore the world of fabric manipulation and smocking techniques.
In addition, the industry is so flooded with fast fashion that no one really has the time to create luxury garment with intricate details. I care about everything from the design process to the finished garment, which is why I want to create timeless styles for women who appreciate handcraftsmanship and details during garment construction.
These efforts also encourage the appreciation of craftsmanship in our flooded industry and become conversation pieces.
IC: Walk me through your creative process.
WC: My creative process starts with an inspiration and a muse. I write or sketch down ideas, sometimes even folding paper or fabrics. I’ll circle the connections and build upon the ideas.
Then, I move on to researching my target market and filling in missing links to connect my ideas. After multiple sketches, I proceed to colour and fabric selection. Finally, after taking the design to the production stage—prototype upon prototype—the idea that started in my head comes to life.
IC: What have you learned at KPU?
SS: I went into the program with a strong interest in fashion, art, and basic sewing skills. The program has taught me there is more to the fashion industry than just designing and sewing. I discovered the business and marketing side of fashion, and acquired skills in pattern drafting, computer drafting, Adobe Illustrator, and much more.
IC: What are your plans after graduation?
WC: After graduation, my goal is to pursue a career as an apparel designer or product developer in Vancouver or Asia. I would also love to travel to expand my views and gain inspiration. Eventually, I would like to develop my brand and introduce my designs to the market.
Iris Chau is a third-year fashion design and technology student at KPU’s Wilson School of Design.