An alumna of Vancouver Community College's Fashion Arts diploma program has been nominated in a new category at 2016's Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA).
Meghan Buckley, who graduated in 2015, is one of four recent graduates of Canadian post-secondary fashion design programs nominated for CAFA's Fashion Design Student Award. This is the first year the category will be included in the awards ceremony, which is now in its third year.
"I'm in shock," said Buckley in a VCC issued press release. "Being a finalist is an honour but the opportunity to attend the awards in Toronto where I can network with designers like Jason Wu and Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan is amazing!"
It was Buckley's five-piece graduation collection, Capsule, that caught the eyes of industry professionals that make up CAFA's nominating committee. Inspired by the graphic novel Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, Buckley says in her artist statement about the collection that it "explores the idea of coping with unwanted inner anxieties".
"It’s about the concept of two connected entities: An outer struggling to contain an inner within itself, however, the outer is unable to maintain control over the inner and in its desperation, it attempts to neutralize the inner i.e. through medication." That sentiment is reflected in Buckley's one-of-a-kind prints, which are featured throughout the collection.
The looks are designed in such a way that certain elements might appear to be large and oversized, but when worn, they are constructed to feel fitted. Buckley also says that contrast plays a large part in each garment; both in the colours (a combination of neutral tones and fire engine red) and materials (organic wools and cottons, as well as neoprene) used.
Capsule was originally shown as part of Fiat Mode, the VCC Fashion Arts show, which was held in September 2015 at Vancouver Fashion Week. Her work was also seen on British Vogue's website. After graduation, Buckley interned with Gentle Fawn. She has since been hired there as an assistant designer.
VCC fashion arts program coordinator Andrea Korens said in a release that she wasn't surprised to see Buckley competing in the category. "The exposure it affords her and the opportunities it could lead to in her career are amazing. We appreciate CAFA's decision to reach out to the fashion schools," she said.
Since 2015, CAFA has worked to expand their awards categories in order to include different sectors of the industry. Other new awards presented this year will include the Sephora Fresh Face of the Year award, the Joe Fresh Fashion Innovation award, and the Fashion Impact award.
Winners will be announced at the CAFA Gala on April 15 in Toronto. To see the full list of nominees, click here.