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Grad collections target niche markets

Teen photographers hone their skills at fashion shoot
artists for kids fashion
North Shore high school students got behind the lens for an annual Artists For Kids project.

Five students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University Fashion Design and Technology class of 2015 are testing new boundaries with genderless and cutting edge collections.

Despite the busy schedule of these newly graduated designers, they lent their pieces to the North Vancouver School District's Artists for Kids fashion photography program.

Lydia Waiz had a vision of lingerie made to fit full-busted women elegantly. She commented that her idea "stemmed from observing a gap in the lingerie market. There are limited options for women with full bust sizes . . . I wanted to create a line of glamorous lingerie that would work for a wide range of bust sizes as well as look beautiful." The simple designs using luxurious fabrics are a nod to 1950s apparel.

Stylish and comfortable travel wear is the platform of Capri Phillips' collection. The office-ready pieces are ready to transition to different climates.

Cavell Clothiers, put together by Kimberley Parker, is inspired by classic menswear with a fit for a feminine body. These suits make women feel more confident in a busy workplace.Negin Izad has created a versatile, monochromatic and unisex collection, incorporating contemporary and traditional concepts to create pieces that are unique to each wearer.

Natural fibres and a conscious mind play a part in Sofia Fiorentino's collection, No Paradigm, aimed at building a sustainable society by using fashion to let go of gender binaries. Sofia leans towards multi-disciplinary work and collaborations to find inspiration. She explains, "an example is the jewelry in my line, which I co-designed with local artists Sarah and Rachel Seburn. I am inspired by the power of the collective and social changes that promote growth." She hopes that her line "influences people to remove boundaries in their daily lives through their clothing."

The students in the Artists For Kids fashion photography program gathered for two days of instruction, including advanced camera techniques and the use of strobe flash units. Student models came in for a practice before the big shoot in Yaletown. One of the students, Danielle Adams from Argyle secondary, described her experience as a "great location, great people, and all together an awesome learning experience."

Instructors Sean Clancy and Daylen Luchsinger were on hand to offer both technical support and comic relief when needed. Mountainside student Elysia Dalgarno noted that the classroom presentation "was a real highlight."

Hope Groen, from Carson Graham secondary, said her favourite part of the program was being around people that are passionate about the same things she is.

When the students arrived at the Avant Garde Hair Salon at 1075 Mainland St. on Day 3, the salon was getting all of the models ready for the shoot. There was a giant painted tarp out front and students were nervous and confused. The fashion and hairstyles were nothing they could imagine; one of the models had safety pins in her hair! Jon Paul Holt, the owner and award-winning stylist of the salon, gave the students a pep talk before they were all whisked away into the world of photography. The entire day was dedicated to fashion photography. The students were put into a world of new experiences that they will treasure for a lifetime.

"(This program) was a great experience because I was given an opportunity and resources that I wouldn't have been able to access on my own," said Dana Khan, Carson Graham student. Seycove student Alison Innes commented that she loves fashion and design. She started looking into fashion photography, however, she couldn't think of a way to try it out. "This program let me do what I wanted way earlier than I would have," she said. "I feel as though I have become a better photographer and I highly recommend this program to those who get the chance to do so in the future!"

Nicole Langlais is a Grade 11 student at Argyle secondary and a participant in the Artists For Kids fashion photography program.

Click here to view the work of all student photographers who participated in this year's project.