Friday, April 23, 2010

[Un]Discovers: Heidi Ackerman

Our wonderful week of featuring artists from FAT is finally coming to an end.  Today we're drawing a beautiful period to this week with our last featured artist from the event, Heidi Ackerman.  Heidi is a fashion designer whom has great interest in sustainable design and very innovative through the inspiration of Architecture.  

In the coming show in FAT, Heidi is going to show her third collection called construct(this). This collection is going to further explore her obsession with architecture, futurism, and abstraction.

Some info about her collection in FAT from the press release,
"Pulling inspiration from the Russian avant garde movements of the early 20th century construct(this) combines contradictory materials and patterns to create thin curved metal and deconstructed knits will create a provocative tension for the wearer and observer."

Before the show, let's know more about the artist, her vision and her vision in design from the interview below.

1. What is/are your all time inspiration(s)?
I am always inspired by architecture and recently have been inspired by the Russian Constructivist movement of the early 19th century - I love the colours, typography and graphics of this time period. I am usually drawn to abstract inspirations - feelings, movements. On my inspiration board right now are pictures of futuristic armour, desolate landscapes, geometric architecture and Constructivist typography. I am always trying to look to the future and so my inspirations are always evolving and changing.

2. What makes you concentrate particularly on sustainable design? What more will you do to make sustainable design influential to others?
As a fashion design student I struggled with the vastness of the fashion industry and it's affect on the environment and communities around the world. As my concerns grew I became interested in using more natural materials; I experimented with natural fabric dyes and sculptural silhouettes using branches and weaving. As time has progressed my style and approach to sustainable design has become much more refined. My goal with my line is to show people that sustainable design can be fashion forward and innovative. When people look at my clothing they do not expect the ecological aspect to it which I think is important for raising the profile and awareness of sustainable clothing.

3. As I see your interest is in knitwear, how do you put sustainable design together with knitwear? how do they relate to each other and to your design?
I often find that sustainable materials can be limited in terms of prints and graphics; knitwear is a great way to design custom prints and fabrics while remaining eco-friendly. I love the process of designing and making knitwear - the amount of texture, colour and print that can be achieved is limitless!

4. You had a lot of experience in the fashion world, such as editorials, fashion shows, magazine features, etc., how did all these experiences affect you as a designer? 
I love seeing my work interpreted by different models, stylists and photographers - everyone that uses my clothing brings new life to it. When designing I often keep in mind what the clothing will look like in print or on the runway.

5. As you have experience internationally, what do you think about Toronto in the fashion industry compare to other parts of the world?
I recently returned from a festival called [moment] in Riga, Latvia where I presented my work along side European designers - it was an amazing experience.
The North American fashion scene is much different then the European market. Designers in Europe more often push the envelope of what is considered clothing and how you intrepret the body. Two years ago I attended a summer course at La Cambre in Belgium and the experience was unforgettable. It really taught me to look at the body differently and not be afraid to experiment. I think that Toronto has a very lively and exciting fashion scene - there are so many new young designers that are pushing the boundaries and FAT is the perfect platform for us to show our work. Unfortunatley the North American market is very difficult in terms of selling your work. I believe that Europeans are more willing to invest in clothing and new upcoming designers.

6. What does mean to you when your works got into NYC? What is the next step that you will do and what is it that you wish to accomplish in your career?
I was very excitied to have my work sent to NYC to L'Armoire Du Styliste. It is always great to have my work recognized outside of Canada. My eventual goal is to sell my work in boutiques across Europe, Japan and some cities in North America.

We are glad to have this interview with Heidi and know more about her design concept.  Her show is going to be tonight in Liberty Village and we are anticipating for it! Stay with us for more coverage on the show!

Once again, we thank Heidi to do this interview with us, have a wonderful show!

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