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Getting to Know Taran Cheema – Vancouver Designer

In Interviews on October 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Taran Cheema

I recently interviewed Taran Cheema, a promising designer, who recently showcased a mind-bending collection at Vancouver Fashion Week, and I wanted to share some extra pics to show the method and layers behind each outfit to give you an idea of just how spectacular these designs are!

Read the article here at page 20 – 21:  WOVE Magazine

Follow Taran Cheema at:

Taran Cheema

A unique collection with each layer is a distinctly different shape.

Taran Cheema

The garments develop as the layers are added.

Taran Cheema

The traditional Sari and turban were used to guide Taran in the wrapping, folding and layering of the pieces of material.

Taran Cheema

A new bonding technique with fusible interfacing was created to make sure all the edges were clean.

Taran Cheema

When observed from various angles one sees a fresh perspective of each piece.

Taran Cheema

Wishing this talented young lady all the best!


Nicolette Lang-Andersen

Vancouver Designer – Getting to know Angela Huang

In Interviews on October 2, 2013 at 6:12 pm

AngelaHuang_Winter2013 (14)

Angela Huang, born in Taiwan but raised in Canada, is an emerging designer currently studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.   Huang recently made her debut as a solid designer at Vancouver Fashion Week s/s 2014 with a sophisticated but extremely bold collection.  You would swear that she had done this before with the level of design, sewing and attention to detail.  Her all-white collection was both breathtaking and refreshing in the simple lines and minamilist sleek silhouettes with interesting but uncomplicated design elements such as the reversed jacket, showing a deep v-neck lapel on the back of the garment – insane!

I met Angela about a year ago, when we were working backstage styling for Vancouver Fashion Showcase and it’s been such a pleasure watching this young lady grow in her field and adding another fashionable feather to Vancouver’s cap.

A traveller and foodie (the eating part at least) at heart, Angela gets much of her inspiration from places she visits.   With her sketch book permanently in hand, she documents the architecture, songs, movies…basically everything she stumbles upon.  Drawing has always been a strong element in her life.  “I can’t recall the time I realized that I wanted to become a designer.  I started drawing at a very young age and just never stopped.  I can only remember when I was 8 years old I decided that I should start saving all my drawings.  So, I now have all these ridiculous designs in a file under my bed.”

 Angela lives by doing what she loves with no regrets and believes that the key to success is being ambitious and to “network network network! Push yourself to do things that benefits your future before it’s too late.  I believe that the four years of post secondary education is mostly buying time for students to plan their future.  Networking is very important in any industry.   All opportunities come from networking.”

With dreams of living in Milan where “it’s like waking in a painting” and “learning high-end tailoring from an old Italian master” and designing for Anne Hathaway with her classy and feminine look but boyish personality, there’s no doubt that Angela Huang is a star in the rising and a designer to watch very very closely.

Pieces from Angela’s SS2014 collection are all one of a kind pieces and although it did not go through production, she is planning on putting her FW2014 collection (which “may or may not have some colour – wink wink”) through production and possibly distributing to Vancouver boutiques, making it available to the public.  For now, readers can contact Angela directly at or follow her at:  FacebookWebsite / Twitter / Instagram

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Nicolette Lang-Andersen



Interview with Laura Jackson

In Interviews on November 28, 2012 at 5:50 am

I attended this years Art Insitute “Atelier” fashion show a few weeks ago, where graduates showcased their capsule collections.  Laura Jackson’s mind-blowing collection opened the show.  Slick, edgy and a good dose of sexy.   Her garments were constructed entirely from Latex but with intricate details and tailoring.  My favorite piece was the peplum jacket with detailed shoulders.

I managed to steal some of Laura’s time to pick her brains and find out more about her stunning collection.

Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from and when did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
I was born and raised in Toronto, ON. I had realized I wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 11, it was kind of one of those epiphany moments where I was never able to find clothing that I liked, and as soon as a started sketching I just knew that was what I wanted to be. Out of any amazing moment in my life, that is the one moment I was truly sure of anything. Since then I have never stopped sketching.
Image – Peter Jensen

What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed?

It was a corseted trench coat, my 2 favorite things combined, tiny waists and jackets. I still have the drawing!

Who is your favorite designer?

It’s a tie between Gareth Pugh and Christophe Decarnin while he was with Balmain.

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If you could design clothing for a celebrity, who would you choose?

Good question! That answer for me changes a lot but at the moment, Taylor Momsen.

What matters to you most as a fashion designer?

To always remain a student in my state of mind. There is always something to be learned and there is always going to be someone better then you, so might as well learn from everyone around you. With that idea in mind I believe is has made me wiser as a designer.

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You recently showcased your stunning collection at the Art Institute show.  Tell me about that collection and the whole process.

The collection was inspired by galactic tribal. It’s funny because when I began sketching it started out being much more grunge tribal. But the more I sketched, the more contemporary it became, so therefore it still carried some tribal aspects but in a much more futuristic and geometric way. My designs are inspired more by shapes and texture, so it made sense for me to go off into that direction.

The process of creating it was definitely interesting, the whole collection was made out of latex so that means a lot of toxic glueing, and a gas mask. I had never worked with latex before this collection so I had to take a lot of precautions while putting all my pieces together. I couldn’t tell you the migraines I got from being around the glue and cleaners, the gas mask didn’t make an appearance until a week after I started glueing.
How did it felt to see your collection walk down the runway.
It didn’t actually hit me until 30 seconds before the show that I got super nervous, But I was so happy to see my garments open the show and all 3 girls come out together. Needless to say, it was an amazing feeling!
How would you define the style of your collection?
Edgy & Contemporary.
What was the most difficult piece to make?
The peplum jacket with the large shoulders, hands down.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

Trust your design instincts and believe in yourself. you are not going to get anywhere in this industry by saying and thinking things like “I can do better then what I just did.” Stand by your work and always be open to learning.
What can we expect from your next collection?
Definitely more ready-to-wear but still containing latex elements and dramatic features. I want people to be able to incorporate pieces like these into their everyday wardrobe comfortably and still feel like they stand out.

How would you define your personal style?

My style has 2 different sides to it. One being more grunge and relaxed with my 5″ dirty blonde roots with lilac and blue hair. The second being more contemporary glam rock, slim fitting, black, heavy accessorizing, and dusty coloured wigs. You will never catch me wearing heels ;)

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

Currently I’m building a website, but for the time being, you can check out some of my work on style junction.

Image – Kefkism Design
Ms. Laura striking a pose.

Yours Truly on Shaw TV

In Interviews, Publicity on November 6, 2012 at 2:45 am

So the last 3 weeks have been really, really amazing!  3 newspaper coverages, 1 newspaper front page and 2 Shaw TV appearances (one which I completely missed out on as I didn’t even know it would be airing – oh well!)

Here’s a great sum up of the Eco Fashion Week Show for Value Village and a few words from moi!!



Getting To Know David Jack

In Interviews on April 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I met David Jack at a red carpet event a few weeks back, during the midst of Vancouver Fashion Week craziness.  I had seen pics from his recent show, which received rave reviews when his futuristic and edgy collection fiercely strutted down the runway.

I briefly interviewed David a week or so ago but paid him and his studio a little visit to see where all the magic happens.  Well, being welcomed with a glass of “watcha ma call it” white wine (yes, it really is called that) which was so so tasty, I knew it was going to be a very good visit!  I was surrounded by incredibly and beautifully constructed garments, patterns, killer heels and his intern working away at an upcoming project, which is going to blow you away when you see it!  We chatted for ages, with David explaining each piece to me, which I still can’t wrap my simple sewing brain around and before I knew it, my yummy glass of vino was finished and I had to tear myself away from his hub of beautiful fabrics and charismatic creations.

To find out more about David Jack’s work pop into his website

The man himself, David Jack!

Find out more about Mr. Jack in our interview below…

Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background? 
I grew up in the South East end of London and moved to Vancouver in 2001. I attended Emily Carr for fashion illustration then completed the Fashion Design program at Blanche Macdonald in 2007. Since then I have been doing custom pieces for various artists/performers from any where to music videos, stage and evening wear.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is art. It’s a way to be creative and expressive.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
I always knew I wanted to become a designer, not necessarily in the fashion world mind you. As far back as I can remember I was always designing. I used to draw/design roller coasters as a kid, lol, that’s what I wanted to do for years my mum would say! Then it went onto shoes as I got older, then finally fashion.
What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
HA! A really bad bustier made from 2 old football shin pads I found in the attic… you can imagine the out come, but I thought it was great!
Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing.
 Sometimes things just pop into my head, others I sit down and draw. I really like to buy the fabric first, play around with it on the mannequin then figure out the construction side of things.
Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?
I love the construction side of things! As I start sewing I usually change or add to the design.
Who are some of your favourite designers?
Oh! Thierry Mugler!  The Blonds, McQueen, Gareth Pugh.
What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
That I can continue to always design clothes that interest me and use all my creativity. It would be terrible if I got stuck designing plain sweaters for the rest of my life.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Oh, I still have a long way to go before I give advice, but something I tell myself everyday is “keep working hard, be patient, be honest, be kind, be reliable, be proactive and be the best mind at hand” – I have this stuck to my fridge. The words of a very special friend.
How would you define your personal style?
Mix and match, I like darker looks and shades, a bit rocker with a smarter edge.
How would you define the style of your collection?
A collection from the future! Dark, glamorous, edgy, sexy, powerful.

Where can readers buy your clothes?
As of right now, all the garments are custom made and are sold thorough me at the studio. Customers can simply drop me an email with any questions and then come the studio for a fitting.
To find out more about David Jack’s work pop into his website


Clutches of Karma

In Interviews, Uncategorized on March 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I met with the talented designer and creator, Pia Dargani, of Clutches of Karma, over some seriously delicious coffee to find out more about her stunning collection of clutches.  If you are looking for a pop of colour or interesting textures to add to your wardrobe, look no further – these super stylish and slightly vintage looking clutches are sure to do the trick!  To make every purchase even sweeter, Clutches of Karma has teamed up with Divine Mercy College Foundation, Inc. to support as many children throughout their education.

Pia Dargani


Tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you came to designing clutch bags?

I’m currently living in Vancouver, finishing up my degree in Asian Studies (yes, a whole different ballpark from fashion – but nonetheless, another passion of mine!) at UBC. I grew up in the Philippines, which to many people’s surprise is an incredibly fashion forward city. I’m a big foodie, so when I’m not designing or studying, I’m usually on the hunt for the best food in the city. I’m also a travel junkie – just last year I took the plunge and moved to London for the year! While I’ve flirted with fashion from a very young age, it was in London that the idea of Clutches of Karma truly gained momentum – and it’s been uphill since then!

 Where do you get all your materials from and where are the clutch bags made?

 All the materials are sourced from the Philippines, with the help of my mom (where would I be without her?) I’ve chosen to work with local co-ops from there as part of the Clutches of Karma vision to facilitate community development and economic growth in the Philippines.

 Where do you get your inspirations from for your clutches?

 I’m inspired by so much I encounter on a day-to-day basis – Sometimes even a beautiful sunset can inspire a new design! I’ve recently taken an interest to eco-friendly products and sustainability – so I’m currently working on a line that is very Vancouver-esque! I’m SO excited for everyone to see it!

 Who are some other bag designers out there that you admire?

 I’d have to say my all time favorite is Bottega Veneta – I just love how simple, elegant and well made their bags are. I’ve been on the artisan page of their website so many times – and every time I’m in even more awe!

 What was the single most important thing you learned about designing clutch bags?

 Haha that’s an easy one – it’s not as easy as it looks! Sometimes something drawn on paper is just not feasible or practical! It’s especially hard because I’m only able to go back to the Philippines a couple of times a year so I’m usually only able to look at samples through photos. Luckily for me, my mom is based in the Philippines and has excellent taste – so needless to say, she helps me out quite a bit.

 Which is your favorite clutch at the moment and why?

 My all time favorite leather clutch is onyx! Haha I always refer to it as “my little black clutch” – versatile, goes with almost anything! Ah, and not to mention, I just LOVE the textures on it!

 Can you give us a taster of when your next collection might hold for us?

 I’m going to be experimenting quite a bit with using unique materials – things I can guarantee you never thought you’d be sporting on your arms!

 What is your favorite fashion quote?

 “Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe, the practical with the desirable.”
—Donna Karan

This is something I always grapple with when designing clutches! Some purses I design look more like sculptures – then I realize, “Oh dear, how would one even carry that?!”

 How did the name “Clutches of Karma” came about?

 Well it was integral for me to incorporate the socially conscious aspect of my new venture, and Clutches of Karma did just that – not to mention, I love the play on words going on there! There were a few in the running (i.e. In the Clutches of Karma and Karma’s Clutch), but I just couldn’t shake Clutches of Karma once I had come up with it!



To buy and see the rest of this gorgeous collection, visit and follow Clutches of Karma on

Happy Shopping!


Getting To Know Eva Chen

In Interviews on February 20, 2012 at 7:13 am

I met Eva Chen last year when I was Head Stylist for Vancouver Fashion Week. I remember this vibrant woman coming through the doors for model castings with a buzz of people around her .  Her garments weren’t with her at the time but from her persona, I knew they were going to be glamorous, sophisticated and elegant – I was right, her garments hit the runway showing clean and feminine but edgy lines in a mixture of leather, fur, studs and lace.

Over the months – we’ve kept in touch and I’ve had the honor of using a few of Eva’s pieces for shoots and I’m always taken aback by how down to earth and warm she is.  I caught up with Eva a few weeks ago to gain more insight into this creative lady.

The gorgeous Eva taking a bow.


1. Tell me a little about yourself.  What is your educational background? What are your general professional and non-professional interests?

I am from an artistic family. I studied Er Hu, Chinese instrument, dance and singing at 6 years old till 11.  After that I changed my subjects to sketching and colour painting.  I studied fashion design and got a bachelor’s degree of art at Luxun Fine Arts University. Fashion design and oil painting are my professional interests.  Dancing and singing are my non-professional interests.

2. What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is my blood and part of my life.

3. When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?

I had a dream to becoming a fashion designer when I was 18.

4. What was the first piece of clothing you ever designed?

A pair of pants.

5. What do you like best about designing clothes?

To show my imagination and inspiration using different materials.

6. Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes any where and at any minute.

7. What are your favorite colours and fabrics to work with?

Black and white and in high end material, like silk and wool.

8. Where can readers buy your clothes?

Currently I have a studio on West Broadway Street in Vancouver and a store in Shanghai and I will have online shopping coming soon.  I will be setting up stores in Beijing.

10. What matters to you most as a fashion designer?

Each part of the process is critical.

11. What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

Fashion designer is a hard working job. Never give up!


A few of Eva’s stunners…

VFW 2011 F/W collection

Photo creds – Daniel Jolly


VFW 2012 S/S collection

Photo creds – Peter Jensen

You can see more of Eva’s work at



Q&A with Lotus Eye

In Interviews on January 12, 2012 at 6:18 am

A few months ago, I attended the launch of a fashion magazine, where Lotus Eye showcased a few pieces.  I was instantly in love! The combination of Indian and Westernized fabrics, colours and pieces of clothing were insatiable.  In the next few days I sent a few emails and followed my trail to the extremely creative, forward-thinker and designer behind Lotus Eye, Mita Naidu.

A few Facebook messages and a short interview later, I was enjoying Mita’s company over a glass of wine, yummy nibbles and swapping stories.  What a wonderfully down-to-earth and positive person whose work and determination I find extremely inspiring.

A little more about the lovely lady herself…

Q. Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your educational background? What are your general interests?

A. I was born in Kolkata, India. Raised in Canada- the prairies, the East and finally the Westcoast. I went to Canterbury Highschool (performing arts highschool for ballet), went to Tisch School of the Arts (New York University) for ballet. Finished up my BA at UBC in Anthropology and Asian Studies. Then completed a MA in Human Kinetics and an MHA in Health Administration both from UBC. My graduate work was conducted through a South Asian feminist lens. Afterwards I also managed research projects that dealt with women’s status in healthcare. I tell you about the subjects I studied in school because they still greatly influence my design aesthetic. Being a dancer- influenced my love of movement and a classic underpinning in my designs. And my studies affected my affinity for the rich and diverse fashion histories of various cultures. I have been drawn to fashion my entire life… stemming from my mom’s heritage collection of sari’s. to my work in high-end retail. And my heart STILL lie in the arts. I was recently recognized by the Vancouver Parks Board as one of 12 “Remarkable Women in 2012” for my work in fashion and the arts. Dance has always been and will continue to be a strong component in my life and work. And my educational background most definitely makes its way into my collection as I hope to expand fashion borders and boundaries.

Q. What does fashion mean to you?

A. Fashion = art. My family is an academic one but also an artistic one. I have great respect and admiration for traditional artisans in the villages as I do for the young avante garde designer graduating from St. Martins. So to me fashion means: style, sensibility, salience and subversiveness.

Q. How would you define Vancouver’s fashion?

A. Vancouver’s fashion scene is simple, casual and utilitarian. This style attitude also filters down to the Indian fashion scene, which is predictable, and unadventurous. I must admit this is changing slowly though. LE clients are a little more fashion forward and experimental.

Q. How would you describe your collection?

A. My collection is contemporary with an air of luxury, Indian glamour and elegance. Rather than defining it as “fusion” (which is a term I hate)- I refer to it as a globally eclectic and adventurous. Classic LE examples: a caucasian woman wearing a contemporary sari with an obi belt and Westcoast jewelry designs; and an Indian bride wearing an LE lengha skirt with a crisp white oxford shirt and adorned with Indian gold. These examples reflect the cultural ease with global trends, that I desire for all my clients.

Q. Who are some of your favorite designers?

A. Felicity Brown, Anamika Khanna, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Haider Ackerman, Dries Van Noten, Thakoon, Rodarte, Tom Ford, Gareth Pugh, Marni, Hussein Chalayan, Naeem Khan, Helmut Lang, Marchesa, vintage Dior, vintage YSL, vintage Halstan, vintage Issey Miyake, . These are just SOME…

Q. You recently hosted a very successful fashion show – how did you prepare for it and what was the cause behind it?

A. I chose to make this event a non-profit one, as I hoped to draw attention to contemporary South Asian arts though music, food and fashion. It took months of planning… I chose not to be a part of Vancouver Fashion Week and Eco-Fashion week, so producing a show from the ground up was EXTREMELY difficult. Raising the funds, dealing with sponsors, creating the short film, sourcing the right location, creating the custom desserts, creating the outfits, sourcing models, hair and MUA, the jewelry, the guest list, scheduling and planning the afterparty- were all on my plate. I gave all the tech production to Visual Noise Type, the marketing and PR was done by Manjot Bains and my husband was the show manager. PHEW… And even with all this planning- behind the scenes, things still went awry. I realize that many things were out of our control… venue issues mostly, but the stress was immense! Plus I’m a perfectionist freak, which didn’t help! All in all- I hope the audience did not see the chaos and enjoyed the end product.

Q. What are your favorite colors and why?

A. I honestly don’t have favorite colors. I am drawn to a neutral earthy palette reminiscent of my Bengali heritage, as well as bright jewel tones reflected in the Mediterranean, Mexican Hawaiian and Indian palettes. I don’t necessarily buy into colors of the moment either.

Q. Where can readers buy your clothes? And where can readers find out more about you and your work?

A. I have a small showroom in my home, where I make private client appointments. Its my intention to make each client feel like they are having a wonderful exclusive luxury experience. So a glass of wine and some personal styling (whether a purchase is made or not) always makes for a fun experience. The website is within weeks of completion, but so far, Facebook has been the main vehicle for LE:

Q. What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing?

A. Fabrics, finishing, and thought.

Q. What are your fashion pet hates?

A. A closed mind!!! The attitude that quality can come cheap. Fashion niches. Oh… and uggs. UGH.

Q. How would you define your personal style?

A. Timeless, yet experimental. Trendier pieces in my wardrobe are never worn like the mannequin.

Just a few stunning Lotus Eye creations.


Interview with Ashley Hodge on the Debut of Emmerson Hodge Magazine: The Mertz Issue

In Interviews on January 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I caught up with art director Ashly Hodge, and interviewed him on his collaboration with photogapher Nicky Emmerson and model Ryan Mertz to create the Emmerson Hodge Magazine: The Mertz Issue, which recently graced the London newsstands.

What is your career background and how did you get into art directing?
I come from a graphic design-based background, and fell into art direction whilst designing underwear packaging. I’d previously done a bit of art direction on still life food shoots, I then found myself directing men in just underwear – it was a big difference.  I was lucky enough to work alongside a really good creative director who gave me some great advice and tips, which has helped a lot.

How did you meet Nicky Emmerson and Ryan Mertz and how did the Emmerson Hodge magazine come about?
I worked with Nicky for the first time in March, and we got on really well.  I loved her attention to detail, enthusiasm and she’s a great photographer. I had her on my list of people I really wanted to work with, so was really pleased when it worked out.  Ryan was actually the model on that shoot, and we loved the idea of doing a book on one model, with lots of different stories…more of a self-promotion thing, to begin with. It was Nicky’s idea to actually make the book into a magazine that we could send out to people.

Why was Ryan the perfect model for your first issue?
Well Ryan was the inspiration for the magazine, and we knew we wanted a “real” man for the shoot, a model with a decent body to pull off the ’80s feel to some of the stories we had in mind. From some of the stories we’d seen in his book, we saw that he could pull off different looks, and take on personalities. He’s a great muse!

What are the three stories in the magazine about and where were they shot?
The first story is based on my favourite film American Gigolo.  It’s so stylish and cinematic and I thought that it would translate well as stills.  We found a great penthouse apartment in London that had a Miami/LA vibe to it. Ryan really took on the persona of Richard Gere on the shoot, flirting with everyone, which I think gave the shoot a great narrative.  Retrospective is a homage to Elvis; something that Nicky had been wanting to shoot for a while, and it happened to be bang on trend with what’s going on in menswear for s/s 11.  It was shot in sunny Watford in the south east of England of all places!  Finally, The Breakfast Club is based on some old early 1980’s tear sheets from a magazine Nicky had. The tear sheets were a location shoot, so we interpreted it into a studio to give our own twist on the story.

Speaking of stories, a little bird told me you like to make them up – care to indulge?
Haha, yes that’s the kid’s stories I make up for my Niece and Nephew!  Who told you that!?!?!  I’m embarrassed!

What are your plans for Issue Two and when can we expect it?
Issue Two is coming out this summer; I don’t want to give too much away, but it will be a womenswear focused issue, and we will retain the one model concept throughout the magazine…everything else is top secret!

You obviously have an eye for fashion, what were your favourite trends of 2010 and where do you shop most?
My favourite place to shop is most definitely J Crew when I go to the states. I like simple classic items that I can put with something that’s may be on trend to mix things up. My favourite trend in menswear is the whole denim story. I LOVE denim.

Do you have any fashion No-No’s?
Personally I hate seeing turn ups on men when they are too high! Any more than three turns and you are paddling in a pool!

Mr. Hodge


A sneak peak of the images from the mag…




What are you waiting for…go grab yourself a copy, they are being sold in a selection of London book/magazine stores  – Artwords Bookshop, 65a Rivigton Street, London, EC2A 3QQ; Compton News, 48 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UA; Good News, 23 Berwick Street, London, W1F 8RB and Charlotte Street News, 66 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QE.  Or email Ashley Hodge for a copy at:


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