Blending London fashion with Canada's West at Calgary's Chinook Centre
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Eliza Faulkner was in for some culture shock when she arrived in London to attend fashion school.
Then 19, the Canadian designer was accepted to the prestigious Central Saint Martins arts university and found the city just a tad different from the Vancouver Island community she’d left behind.
“It’s definitely a different way of life there,” said Faulkner, who immersed herself in London’s cultural and fashion scenes during the five years she lived there.
“I was exposed to arts in a way that I’d never been before. It was an eye-opening experience. They really respect fashion there. North America, in general, is a bit more fun and frivolous with fashion. But in London it’s considered an art form so there’s a lot more support and admiration for it.”
Faulkner moved back to Canada in 2011 and started her own business, utilizing the knowledge she gained at Central Saint Martins but taking inspiration from the west coast’s more casual vibe.
The result is a funky and feminine yet functional clothing line that has caught the eyes of such celebrities as Marisa Tomei and Kelly Clarkson.
Faulkner’s spring collection kicks off PARKSHOW 2015, which takes place Saturday at Chinook Centre.
PARKSHOW is one of Calgary’s biggest annual fashion events and features some of western Canada’s best young designers.
“I like how they show collections that are in season,” she says.
“It’s nice to be able to show it and then sell it right away. I think the way they do that is really smart because it’s how people shop.”
Faulkner says the Canadian fashion industry doesn’t get the respect it deserves and credits events like PARKSHOW for helping promote and legitimize designers.
“It’s still a new industry here in a lot of ways,” she says.
“In the past, events like these were cheesy and not done very well, but that’s changing and people know what they’re doing more so it’s getting better. There have been a lot of changes and people are really trying.”
• PARKSHOW 2015 takes place in the North Parkade P2 of Chinook Centre. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased through ourparkonline.com
• To see some of Faulkner’s creations, go to ElizaFaulkner.com