Kwantlen student wins museum’s design competition

By Marissa Mallari

Kwantlen student Elisa Medina won the Museum of Vancouver’s first-ever Art Deco Design Challenge in June.

Elisa Medina, the winner of the Art Deco Design Challenge. (Photo Courtesy Kwantlen)

The competition was created to inspire fashion and design students from all over the Lower Mainland, and coincided with the museum’s Art Deco Chic exhibition. Competitors were encouraged to grasp inspiration from the Art Deco-era garments on display and create their own unique designs.

“We felt that a lot of the period clothes were really wearable and they had ideas in them that we liked and that we wished were in the clothes that were available to us now, and this was one way of encouraging young designers to come and have a close look at the garments and get their creative juices going,” said Joan Seidl, director of collections and exhibitions for the museum.

Medina, a third-year bachelor of design, fashion and technology student, was among the top three winners. Each received a $200 bursary to be used toward the creation of their design.

“There were some easy decisions and some hard ones, and there were some really clearly outstanding ones it was very easy to say belonged in the top ten, but it was hard narrowing it down from 10 to three,” said Seidl.

“I wasn’t planning on being part of the top three, which was a really nice surprise and just kind of getting to actually make what I designed has been very fun,” said Medina.

After moving to Canada from Ecuador in 2008, Medina’s passion for fashion and design didn’t fully emerge until her graduating year of high school.

“I found that fashion and designing clothes was my media to just express myself creatively,” she said.

Medina was inspired to enter the competition by her personal attachment to the era on display. “I love the 1920s and 30s,” she said. “When I saw the exhibition, I was really inspired by it and I thought it would be something fun to do and to put into my portfolio.”

This is the first time the Museum of Vancouver has held a competition like this, but maybe not the last. “There’s always an interest in fashion exhibits and I think that we’ll do other fashion exhibits in the future so maybe we could have another competition in the future probably relating to those, looking at different time periods,” suggested Seidl.

Seidl advises any future competitors to “spend time with the historical garments, look at them closely, look at the way that
people treat fabric, and use your imagination.”

Medina’s and the other winners’ garments will be on display at the museum from Sept. 1-23, 2012.

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