fashion magazine
Unconventional Beauty
by HARJIT THIARA
Illustrations by JUSTINE EDRALIN
From a young age, Justine Edralin was mesmerized by minute details and exploring new ways to be creative. She decided fashion was her forte when she started deconstructing garments to make completely new garments. Taking a chance, she showed her work to an online community. When the garments received a positive response, she decided to apply for Kwantlen's four year degree program and pursue her passion. This talented designer will be showing her fourth year collection at the upcoming graduation show next month.

Edralin's craft lies in fusing technology and traditional techniques within her work. Inspiration is drawn from designers such as Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Ann Demeulemeester and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons. "I think what draws me to a designer or a piece of work is unconventional beauty, and combining fabrics, textures and technology to create something unusual." She focuses on "innovative garment creation through the use of unconventional techniques and avant-garde styling. The process is just as important as the final product."

Menagerie, Edralin's graduation collection, is a of a line of avant-garde separates for creative, mature professional women ages 60 and up. It was inspired by angry, severe weather. "Torrential downpours are echoed in monochromatic dyed silks, geometric prints and cut outs. Fabric textures reflect heavy clouds and wind system imagery." The designer has kept true to herself and her values, combining conventional handicraft with technology. Within this collection she uses a darker, more neutral palette, allowing the focus to be on the textures, fabrics and silhouettes of the garments. The neutral colors are perfect for her customers to accessorize with.

Every aspect has been well thought out leaving no detail spared, from surface design such as hand felted wool, to cut out patterns that echo her print. Innovative patternmaking techniques were incorporated in the designs such as the Subtraction Cutting pattern method which "utilizes negative spaces in fabrics and creates unexpected and unconventional shapes and silhouettes." Each piece is a work of art and is "as individual and outstanding as its wearer"; intricate details and hours upon hours of hand work are conveyed. Silhouettes just barely skim the body, "offering age-appropriate hemlines, necklines and sleeves that the customer is comfortable wearing". Every garment is carefully executed. Her "Showstopper" is a coat made from woven ribbon, "I cut it in many panels and in different grain lines to really show off the texture, then really enhanced the seam with raw edge silk piping." Crafted from over 50 pattern pieces, this coat shows her craft and attention to detail.

Justine Edralin hopes to eventually move to London to continue growing as a person, an emerging designer and a visionary. In her own words "that's fashion; always looking for something new". Her strong work ethic, determination and creative aspiration will prove this talented designer to be one to watch in the near future. For more information, please visit her website at www.justine-edralin.net

Menagerie will make its Fall 2011 debut at Kwantlen Polytechnic University's fashion show on April 5, 2011 at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C. To purchase tickets from the program website, click on upcoming events at http://www.karelo.com/enter_res.php &action=Refresh&BID=382&P=1&CR=&Rd_date=1296547200&lv=&orf=2

For more details regarding Kwantlen's fashion design programs please visit http://www.kwantlen.ca/design/fashion.html