By Astha Sachdeva
Emmanuelle de Raucourt collects the past and present of European culture. She plays with different textures and mixes bold colours to tell a story through her fashion line.
Heartstop, de Raucourt’s thesis collection, showcases timeless clothing with quality in mind. Each of her garments exudes details that are inspired from European culture and embraces self-expression as well as the empowerment of women.
Heartstop 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.
Astha Sachdeva: What made you want to become a designer?
Emmanuelle de Raucourt: Fashion has been embedded in me from a very young age. My father owned women’s shoe stores in Vancouver and I was constantly surrounded by beautiful, quality footwear made in Italy. My parents were always dressed to the nines, and that was a big influence on my reputation.
I loved the idea of dressing up and creatively matching textures and colours together to style an outfit—it gave me a sense of enlightenment of what I chose to wear. I also used to play with Barbie dolls for hours. As a young girl, I was gifted with the ability to draw, especially 3-D objects, and I enjoyed the idea of picking up a pastel and playing around with colours freely.
AS: What’s the most helpful thing you learned at KPU?
EdR: Learning how to work through tough hurdles when there is little help. Throughout all four years of being in this fashion design program, I did not have a whole lot of help. Everything that was lectured in class, I retained and then I taught myself through many mistakes, or I asked other students for help. I taught myself the majority of my skills I know today.
For me, going into this program right from high school was a struggle and a shock all at once. My high school did not prepare me for this kind of university-level work and I was feeling lost and overwhelmed at 19 years old. I was always ashamed of asking questions back when I was in elementary and high school because I felt like if I didn’t understand something, I wasn’t as smart as the other students.
But as I progressed, I realized that I was surrounded by people who were supportive and that asking questions about things I didn’t understand didn’t mean I wasn’t smart. I turned that weakness into a strength, and became more confident in my work and what I can accomplish.
AS: Describe your design education journey.
EdR: I graduated from high school in 2011 and I decided to work for a year to figure out what I wanted to do next. At 18 years old, I didn’t understand where I was going with my life. There was a whole lot to figure out and mistakes to be made. It isn’t easy being 18 and carrying insecurities from years of high school, trying to figure out who you are. But coming from a fashion background, I knew I wanted to be in fashion design.
AS: What are your plans after graduation?
EdR: My plan is to work in Vancouver temporarily, and then apply for a possible design job in Toronto and live with my good friend who is studying fashion communications at Ryerson.
AS: What word(s) best encapsulates you as a designer?
EdR: Problem solving.
Astha Sachdeva is a final-year fashion design and technology student at KPU’s Wilson School of Design.