To The Moon and the Stars
By Marilyn Wilson
Creative by nature, when 24-year-old Kwantlen design student Misty Greer had to select a target market for her grad collection, she chose an unusual community of women who sport a style called Rockabilly or Psychobilly. Never heard of if? Neither had I. Take a mix of Dior, burlesque, punk and goth, add tattoos and attitude, and you get an idea of the fun, sexy line she calls "Trunk Show".
Growing up in Hawaii, Greer found she just didn't fit in. After 2 disastrous years in high school, she made the decision to move to Pasadena where she turned her life around. During this time her Norwegian pen pal came to visit and they fell madly in love. Only 17, a spontaneous trip to Vegas sealed their union--"Of course it was way romantic"--and they moved in together while she finished her last year of school. After graduation she continued on to study philosophy, political science, photography, and film. Ready to apply for film school she realized "I just wasn't passionate about it like the other people in my class…I loved it as a hobby, but I wasn't going to fight for it and you needed to fight for it." Out of the blue her husband suggested fashion design. Although it wasn't a career she had considered, it was like a light bulb going off. Schooling opportunities were limited and very expensive in Los Angeles so they headed north to British Columbia, settling in North Vancouver.
After researching different schools, Greer decided on Kwantlen's 4-year program. "I needed the structure and to learn the business…Kwantlen teaches you to be an excellent head designer...to think in terms of big business." The first year was extremely difficult. She had never sewn other than to cut dresses up, trace them, and piece them back together. Another challenge was drafting. "The first day I almost cried because we had to draft a basic skirt...I thought, we're going to do what!?...It was like going back and learning algebra for the first time." Once those skills were mastered the work became more conceptual and creative. Pushing herself to the limit, she blossomed and quickly rose to the top of her class.
"Trunk Show" stands out for its creativity and exceptional detail work. The silhouettes are hourglass, wider at the shoulders and hips with cinched waists. The most" pin-up" of the 3 garments is a fringed mini dress fashioned after the long line girdles of the 20's. Constructed from sequined netting over faux suede, the dress is paired with a cropped shawl collar jacket. Skull studs on the garters give that touch of punk. Next is a shimmery grey wrap dress with faux bolero shoulders, draped cowl side pockets and decorated with pyramid studs and Swarovski Crystals to add sparkle. A reversible kimono-inspired coat completes this ensemble. Fashioned from blue silk, her pièce de résistance is a girdle top and full circle skirt worn over a large crinoline. The fabric has been screen printed with Greer's trademark symbol, "pin-up" legs dancing on the moon, and is accompanied by a tailored coat with an oversized notched collar. "Everything is inspired by the moon and the stars. It's what (my clients) would wear if there were a burlesque show on the moon."
Apparition, the Kwantlen grad fashion show will be held on April 2nd at the River Rock Casino. For more information please contact Mary Boni at 604-599-2551 or email@example.com.