By My-Linh Tran
Sandy Escalante’s thesis collection, ONE IN TWO, showcases a clean and contemplative approach to minimalism. Subtle and effortless details in the line allow the wearer to manipulate the silhouette of the garments, transforming the appearance from one look to the next.
ONE IN TWO will be unveiled at 2018 The Show presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., on April 19 and 20 at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) new purpose-built Wilson School of Design building. The beautiful and innovative $36-million building houses a range of design programs including the fashion-design-and-technology program. Thirty-one other lines by KPU fashion design and technology students will also be showcased.
My-Linh Tran: Describe your collection.
Sandy Escalante: ONE IN TWO is a contemporary collection designed with details to change in form, function, character. The garments are fit to maximize wearability and to provide space for women who have limited living and closet space.
MT: Who or what was the inspiration behind your line?
SE: In my third year at KPU, I studied abroad in Berlin and I lived in a very small single dorm room. In my time abroad, I travelled around Europe with only my carry-on bag. During this time, I noticed most of the clothes I had and the clothes I would pack for travel were all similar with slight detail differences. (95 percent of it was black.)
So, I had to be mindful of what I was consuming, more than usual, because I was limited to 50 pounds of luggage for my flight back. When I returned home, I was hyper-aware of how little space my friends had. I did market research and gathered statistics, and confirmed that many people had space issues still wanted to elevate their style and find individuality within minimalism.
MT: Walk me through your creative process.
SE: For me, it’s hard to start without fabric. I look for fabric that has a nice touch or texture, so I know what I want to create with it. That’s usually when the ideas start flowing. I’m a visual and hands-on person, so I get a better sense of design and details when I start to sew and physically work with the fabric. It’s usually during the prototype stage where I start to fold and cut the fabric to improve the design.
MT: What have you learned at KPU?
SE: There’s so much I’ve learned that I’m excited to experience in the industry with my peers. Teamwork is something I find essential, whether it’s working with a group or having the people around you support your individual work and process.
MT: What aspect of design are you most passionate about?
SE: Styling. Individuality shows through the way a person chooses to coordinate their everyday looks so as to enhance their confidence. This, to me, is very important. From a young age, I’ve been the one to help put outfits together for friends and family.
Styling requires keeping up with the latest and upcoming trends that reflect character and lifestyle. This has also helped me to gain perspective in the design process and think about the possible ways the end user can style specific garments. For example, my collection ONE IN TWO incorporates details that allow the wearer to manipulate the shape of the garments while maintaining a balanced silhouette.
MT: What made you want to become a designer?
SE: Apart from wanting to be a McDonald's manager at the age of 10 for the unlimited supply of chicken nuggets I’d receive, I think I always knew I wanted to follow a path related to fashion. I’m a hands-on type of person who likes to create.
Growing up, my mom and sister were women whose love and attention to fashion shaped and influenced mine. After sewing my first-ever garment, I fell in love with being able to display my craftsmanship and creative work through something you see everyday. Recently, I found out my dad used to sew ’80s-style MC-Hammer pants for my eldest sister when she was young, so maybe being a designer is in my blood.
My-Linh Tran is a final-year fashion design and technology student at KPU’s Wilson School of Design.