Genre - Music to Wear
by Marilyn R. Wilson
Illustrations by Tara Wilson
Student designer Tara Wilson stands out from other recent graduates. At the age of 32 with three businesses already under her belt, she has a strong plan to reach her future goals. Her grad collection titled "Genre" was designed to explore construction challenges, gain skills working with difficult materials and provide a resource base for future clients.
Wilson grew up in Kelowna as a jock, but spent weekends helping out in her mother's hair salon. Thirteen years ago she moved to Vancouver and eventually decided to train as hair dresser. It appealed to her artistic side. She started at the bottom and worked her way up - assistant, commission, chair rental and finally co-owner. Several years ago she met her husband, another entrepreneur. Together they also own a music store and a recording/visual arts studio where they develop talent. The decision to go into fashion was a natural progression. "I've been doing hair professionally for 13 years and am the type of person who wants to stay educated. It was time for something and I thought fashion would be a good match." Vancouver Community College's two-year night program offered excellent training that would work with her busy client load at the hair salon, but it was still a difficult balancing act. "I think all the shifts in your life come when you commit to something and you realize the enormity of your commitment. Adjusting my work schedule to fit around school, trying to accommodate my marriage and everything else in it and trying to keep that balance was more than I thought." The geometry of hair cutting, the work ethic of athletics and her business experience were assets.
Her graduation collection evolved slowly, but final designs were chosen with a goal in mind. Part of Wilson's future work will entail designing wardrobe for artists being developed in the recording studio, so five styles of music are represented - Rock, Country, Jazz, Acoustic and Pin-up (think Amy Winehouse.) She chose fabrics and detailing that would provide a construction challenge. "It was especially difficult with fabric selection. I had to find fabrics that would work for all the looks. I needed it to be practical for the things I wanted to learn - furs, leather and lace, anything I thought would be a challenge. They also had to be glamorous." The palette includes fall colours such as taupe, grey, burgundy, brown and black. Detailing was accomplished with brushed antique fastenings and accessories. The Country look had impact with a long synthetic fox fur coat, leather boot cut pants and a sparkly cowl-neck shirt. Rock also stood out (bustier, lace blouse and leather pants) and was chosen to grace the cover of the show program. But my personal favourite was Acoustic. Long, flowing jersey, empire waist, an underskirt of lace billowing out and chain decoration - it was subtle and fluid with an edge. These are just a few of her outstanding looks featured in a portfolio that will easily become a great resource when working with future clients.
The near future looks to be very hectic for Wilson. She will continue in her salon while also building her business as a stylist/image consultant for a growing list of private clients. In addition she will be working with DCM Entertainment to provide image and custom wardrobes for artists and corporate clients. Her dream for "Genre's" future is to develop and distribute her clothing line as merchandise associated with the talent developed through DCM. An entrepreneur at heart, this talented designer has a great future ahead.
Please check out Tara Wilson's websites: www.genrecollections.com, www.dcmentertainment.com, and www.mirastudios.ca.