Fashion Week extended its love for haute couture to George Brown College (GBC) this year, allowing fashion design students the opportunity to design and showcase dresses for the DHL Fashion Challenge using the company’s own packaging materials.
GBC was recently named one of Canada’s top 50 fashion schools, and clearly gives younger designers the necessary encouragement and motivation to strengthen their skills – demonstrated by the finalists chosen to continue on in the challenge.
Situated at David Pecaut Square, in the heart of Downtown Toronto, five GBC students were selected to exhibit their designs to the public for this challenge, and among the selected were some unique pieces. From renaissance and ball gowns to party attire there was plenty of inspiration behind these students’ creations.
A venue decorated in all white, brilliantly showcasing the colours of each design, gave attendees an accurate feel for future venues where their designs could possibly be exhibited.
This year’s DHL Fashion Challenge top prize winner was Nagalakshmi Deepak, 20, currently in her second year of the fashion techniques and design program. Using ‘differentiation’ as the inspiration behind her design, she amazed the crowd with her use of industrial packing products; her use of DHL receipt paper inspired the judges to proclaim her the winner, receiving a $4000 scholarship.
Second place went to Isabelle Crabtree who received $2000 as well as a mentoring session, and third place was awarded to Tristan Lucid who received $1000.
“What you learn at school is the practical aspect…you either have what it takes to be a designer or you don’t,” said one of the judges on the panel while stressing the importance of young and upcoming designers finding a mentor within the industry, and to work as an apprentice with them for as long as it takes to really grasp the requirements of the fashion industry.
For these five finalists, this was an experience to remember.
With each judge contributing some advice to young designers participating in the challenge, and to those in the crowd.
All-in-all the event provided each GBC finalist the opportunity to showcase their designs. The DHL Challenge provided the students with the necessary motivation they needed to succeed.