News / Calgary

Designers skirt new trends for Calgary's Parkshow 2016

From weaves to waistlines, a creator’s process outlined

For Calgary designer Anneke Forbes, fashion isn’t just a day job – it’s in the fabric of her being.

Forbes first began sewing and working with patterns at the age of 10 – now she’s presenting her handmade outerwear collection at this year’s Parkshow 2016 showcase. The annual fashion show highlights local designers in Chinook Mall.

Among the classic shapes of her collection is a flurry of bold colours, from pink coats to baby blue motorcycle jackets.

“I think you can be classic, elegant and polished – but still have a bit of fun with your clothes,” she laughed.

But those hems and herringbones aren’t weaved from magic – Forbes process starts with selecting the right fabric.

“Some people will sketch up images of their fantasy, and then try to find the fabric,” she explained. “I always try to start with the fabric, because then I know, okay, this is what I’m working with. This is how the fabric behaves.”

She usually tries to source her fabric from within Canada.

Forbes said she actually works a bit behind the fashion show calendar – she sees what trends emerge from the big shows, chooses which ones best suit her clients and – ultimately – goes with what she likes.

At that point Forbes sketches out what she wants, beginning with basic patterns. Then she develops the shape on a test fabric.

“I’m pregnant now, but until recently I would try them on myself,” she said. “Now I have a fit model to try them on.”

Forbes then goes back to the literal drawing board, adding details like pockets, and creating the piece of clothing anew.

Then she does it again.

And again.

And again.

Until, after multiple iterations, it’s perfect.

And for those who see the fabric on at Parkshow and think, ‘I need that,’ it’s not a difficult process – many designs are sold right off the runway.

The annual Parkshow event acts as a night to for up-and-coming Canadian fashion designers to get some exposure – and for Calgarians to get in on new trends.

“We do have fashion here, and I feel like the attendees at Park are very fashion forward,” said organizer Jessie Li.

The show takes place at 7pm on May 27 and 28 at Chinook Centre, with a different lineup of designers each night.

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