Season for Change

An Edmonton designer puts her own twist on the traditional fashion runway show.

After four seasons showcasing her designs at Western Canada Fashion Week (WCFW), Trisha Pasnak is ready for a change of pace. 

Pasnak began participating in WCFW in 2011, but she took last season off.

Now she plans on doing her own presentation of her line – one that will allow people to see the designs up close. “Thirty seconds on the runway seems inadequate,” she says. Pasnak would prefer to have guests sit at low tables and have models walk around them. That way, they can show off the outfits, close up.

Despite a minor setback Рshe broke her wrist on a snowboarding  trip in January РPasnak plans to hold a presentation for her collection this spring, possibly at the same time as WCFW.

The designer, who studied classics at the University of Alberta and received a diploma in fashion design and merchandising from the Art Institute of Vancouver, has been creating her own line of clothing for three years now. “I always wanted to make something, something I could point to and say, ‘This is what I made. This is what I do with my time,'” she says. “I never really had an interest in fashion but a friend sent me a link to a Dior couture runway show and, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was what I wanted to do. It was complicated and intricate.”

She draws inspiration for her collections from various countries and cultures. Two seasons ago, she did a collection inspired by the Romanovs and Beatlemania. “I used stripes and a bold watercolour floral print as the basis of the collection, with faux-fur accents. The silhouettes were fitted throughout the body, with full skirts; the jackets have peplums,” says Pasnak.

And this year, she’s looked to the Russian ballet, The Firebird, for ideas. “The colours and silhouettes will have a ballet feel, with a modern, wearable twist; there will be lots of tulle and velvet.” But, on a personal level, it is the prairies of Alberta, the province’s skies and flat plains that inspires her. “When I was in Vancouver, I really missed Edmonton.”

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