Thursday, September 28, 2023

Stephanie Jeong - Fabulous Grad Collection for JCI Institute Fashion Means Business!

I have very much enjoyed working with Fashion Design Students from  (JCI) Institute and have taken some to Vancouver Fashion Week, as Illustrators and Designers. The Grad Show, this time was a fantastic virtual show on YouTube here. There is an open invitation to Students, to guest on my blog, and here is Stephanie Jeong's total interview package! WOW. More about Stephanie via her Instagram. Special thanks to Stephanie and to Melanie McIntosh (JCI) for keeping me in the know about such wonderful Fashion Students and Programs!

Q: What brought you to Fashion, specifically and to the JCI Program?

A: I originally started sewing after seeing my friend's mom do it. Then, I began working at a bag company, where I learned about bag patterns and designs and started working in that field. Initially, I primarily worked on making bags, but my interest in clothing naturally grew. So, I started looking into fashion schools in Vancouver and was surprised to find that there were many more options than I expected. I reached out to various schools and attended orientations and school tours. The reason I chose JCI among them was because their communication process was excellent. Their fast and efficient approach left me with a positive first impression of the school, and during my personal school tour, I was also impressed by the quality of clothing students were actually creating. Moreover, its downtown location made it convenient for public transportation. However, as I attended the school, I grew to love it even more. The teachers were exceptionally skilled and passionate about supporting and teaching students. Despite its smaller size, both the school administration and the teachers provided excellent support. If someone is considering a fashion school, I highly recommend JCI.

Q: What influences your Design and for whom do you design? (I am hoping there is petite, somewhere and youthful, especially in bridal. When my daughters got married, I hated everything for moms of brides.) 

A: I am from South Korea, and I believe that I am influenced by Korean beauty culture whenever I design something. For example, I have a deep appreciation for the Korean traditional dress, Hanbok, and I believe that it has influenced my dress designs. My main focus is designing women's clothing, and I hold a genuine belief that every woman possesses inherent beauty. My journey as a mother, which began at a young age, has deepened my appreciation for the strength and beauty inherent in women. Through the dresses I create, I aim to convey this newfound awareness and celebrate the beauty and strength of women. 

Q: Who are your Fashion Muses and why? 

A: My fashion muse is the actress and model Jung Ho-yeon. I've always been deeply impressed by her abundant self-confidence and assertive demeanor. Despite her petite stature, I sense incredible strength and charisma, and I've always found her unique beauty to be captivating. That's why I think of her when I'm designing.

Q: What has been your own fav. Design in your Grad Collection and is there a story behind your collection? 

A: Among my graduation projects, two were dresses, and one was a blouse, while another was a trouser. For the blouse and dresses, I created patterns through draping. The blouse, in particular, took some time as I had to make several adjustments to the pattern. Certain areas required more ruffles, while others needed to be looser, so it took some time to figure that out and create it accordingly. However, I was ultimately delighted with the results.

In the case of the pink dress, the draping process was incredibly enjoyable. It was my first attempt at creating a dress through draping, and I was always excited thinking about the final dress taking shape as I worked on it.

As for the last red tiered dress, it was a very time-consuming endeavor. It involved a lot of intricate and time-consuming work. However, when I finally took photos of it, it looked so beautiful that it felt like all the time and effort I put into it was truly worth it.

Each of these designs has its own story, and I had fun creating them all. But among them, my favorite design has to be the red dress. It took the most time to make, and there were some trial and error moments, which makes me feel particularly attached to it.

Q: Next steps? Have you been to any Fashion Weeks? Are you going to VFW? Can you see yourself there as an illustrator or writer or photographer/videographer? 

A: I haven't yet considered participating in Vancouver Fashion Week, but I think I might in the future when I have gained more experience and have some flexibility. Currently, I'm working alongside my mother-in-law, who has over 20 years of experience as a designer. She specializes in designing and creating Hanbok (traditional Korean dress) and various other clothing items. She is incredibly creative, always eager to learn, and never shies away from trying new things. She enjoys taking on challenges and exploring new territories. Even when faced with tough and difficult tasks, she perseveres until the end and maintains a cooperative attitude when working with others. I am always grateful to be able to work closely with her.

My sister-in-law is currently majoring in art at Emily Carr University. I plan to further grow the business together with her. She is also incredibly talented and has a lot of practical experience in the business world, so there's much I can learn from her. I want us all to embark on this journey together with a humble attitude and a cooperative spirit.

Beautiful photos by Matthew Burditt. Model is Natalie from Van Model Agency. Hair and Make-Up by Rachel.

Images via Matthew Burditt

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