THE MOD­ERNIST

Fashion (Canada) - - Fashion -

Stephanie Moscall-Varey didn’t grow up want­ing to draw pat­terns and drape fab­rics; she wanted to be a genetic sci­en­tist. The 24-year-old de­signer from Port Dover, Ont., had her eureka mo­ment when she was ly­ing in a hos­pi­tal bed re­cov­er­ing from menin­gi­tis dur­ing her last year of high school. “In­stead of spend­ing time in a lab, I knew I wanted to do some­thing I was truly pas­sion­ate about,” she says. True to her word, Moscall-Varey en­rolled in Ry­er­son Uni­ver­sity’s Fash­ion De­sign pro­gram and graduated in 2015. In 2016, she was tapped by Van­cou­ver Fash­ion Week to pro­duce a col­lec­tion while hold­ing down a full-time job as a tech­ni­cal de­signer at the Aber­crom­bie & Fitch HQ in Colum­bus, Ohio. “I worked all day and then went home and worked un­til one in the morn­ing,” she re­calls. “I cal­cu­lated that I spent the same amount of time at Aber­crom­bie that I did on my col­lec­tion.” The re­sult was a del­i­cate wom­enswear col­lec­tion fea­tur­ing or­ganic lines and botan­i­cal pat­terns rooted in the ge­og­ra­phy of Canada. Winging it wasn’t an op­tion for Moscall-Varey, who brings a sci­en­tific rigour to her de­sign process. In 2015, she cre­ated a dress for the Ital­ian Con­tem­po­rary Film Fes­ti­val de­sign com­pe­ti­tion that was in­spired by the “La Colita” dance in the film The Great Beauty. Be­fore cre­at­ing the dress, whose sil­hou­ette was high­lighted by the dance steps, she learned the dance and video­taped her­self per­form­ing it so she un­der­stood how the dress needed to move. “I set goals that could be con­sid­ered un­re­al­is­tic,” she says with a laugh. “But I’m al­ways de­ter­mined to ac­com­plish them.” Her next big goal: work­ing for McQueen!

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