#014 /great scott!!
While we were photographing this years collection of outfits for the AiV Fashion Design Program graduation show it was clear that there were a significant number of outstanding garments. A very talented group of students for sure, but they must have learned some tricks along the way, maybe from the outstanding Fashion Faculty at AiV?
T/m sat down for an interview with Instructor Sandra Scott to see what her background experience in the fashion world is and if maybe that had a part in shaping this exemplary group of students.
“EXPERIENCE IS THE TEACHER OF ALL THINGS” Julius Caesar
Hi Sandra, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Yes, my name is Sandra Scott and I am a full time instructor in the Fashion Design department at the AiV. I teach all the design and construction related courses, from concept through execution, forecasting, fabrics, patterns, sewing, etc., everything that they would have to know if they were working full time in the industry.
What is your background in fashion?
I started doing this when I was six…
Wow, did your mom sew?
I actually come from a family of tailors, my grandparents were tailors in Scotland, so I do have it in my background. My mom does sew but what really spurred me on was when I was a teenager I would buy Seventeen magazine and see all sorts of things in there that I wanted, however, I lived in Winnipeg and these clothes weren’t available so I started to make them for myself.
Did you buy patterns?
I would buy some patterns but I would shift things around and sort of figure out things myself. Originally I thought I was going to go into medicine but a friend of mine told me about this course in Toronto studying fashion design and I was “omg, there is something that exists like this? FASHION!!??”
Where was this?
At Ryerson. When I finished that program there was an opportunity through Fashion Canada at that time, they were trying to get students into the industry, to intern either in Europe or in Canada. I was actually one of the students that won and I moved to Montreal, this was back in the 1970′s, and started working for Peter Nygård.
I stayed there and finished my internship and when I was finished I had heard about this new company called Parachute…
Yes, (laughing) I sort of worked my way into being the assistant to the designers.
Who were the designers?
Nicola Pelly and Harry Parnass.
That’s crazy, I can’t get over that. Parachute was such a big deal then, they were in Canada but the whole world was watching what they were doing.
Yes, it was a BIG learning curve for me.
So, that would have been ’79 or ’80, right?
Yes. It was really an exciting time, they opened a store in NYC and it was normal to have Mick Jagger and other celebrities in the shop on a regular basis. Every major designer from Europe would come and check out the store because there was nothing else like it at the time.
No, there really wasn’t. How long did you stay at Parachute?
I was there for nine years, I was in charge of the pattern makers and sewing.
Where did you go after Parachute?
Well after being there, I really wanted to design and there was a boom in Italy at the time, so, I decided that “I am going to go to Italy!”.
Wow, did you go?
Yes, I picked three companies to apply to, sent off my resume, and because Parachute was so well known at that time, it was like THAT! (snaps fingers)
Where did you end up?
At Coveri. I chose them because I wanted to work with Enrico and they were based in Florence and showed in Paris. They flew me over and set me up, it was really great.
Did you do the same thing there as when you were at Parachute?
No, I was actually designing. He (Coveri) did a lot of ghost designing, so he would come in and say “I need shoes for Nike” or, “I need tennis dresses for Fila”. He even put his name to knitting yarns!
He got sick and his sister started to take over, I had been there about 3 years and Enrico passed away.
Did you stay?
No, my friend told me about a company in Bologna that was looking for someone to design, so I went there. It was called Les Copains and it was partially owned by Versace. It was very high end, expensive clothing, $1000 dollar cashmere sweaters, classic high end clothing. They do a ton of labels under that name and at that time they were also manufacturing Versace.
At the time Moschino was doing the sportswear collection, so I would fill in what Moschino didn’t do.
How long were you there?
I was there for nine years, in Italy for 13 years altogether, by the last year I was getting pretty tired of the travel and my family is back here so I decided to move back to Vancouver. When I got here I started to work for Jax and was there through the buyout that happened and then a friend of mine told me that there was a teaching opportunity in a fashion program and I said “sure, I’ll try it”. I found that I really liked teaching, I really, really like it! I’m happy
How long have you been at AiV?
I was teaching part time at first and I have been here full time for three years. I am also working on my Masters Degree at SFU in General Liberal Studies.
Well, from our interview it doesn’t seem to be any surprise to me that your students are benefiting from all of your years of experience in the industry and it shows in the students work, so congratulations on a great job and thank you for taking the time to share your background with our readers.
You’re welcome, it was my pleasure.
photography / victor john penner for photomob
producer / marlisse penner for photomob
hair / stephanie hoy for avant garde
makeup / caitlin callahan for mac cosmetics
assistant / rob seebacher
intern / pongsakorn yananissorn for T/m
retouching / pongsakorn yananissorn for photomob
lighting / broncolor from flashpoint photographic rentals
craft services / sofia choi for cafe artisano @ aiv
volunteers – ai graduates
amy podrasky / margarita de la cruz / jared nome
special thanks to the following for their support and/or loan of products and service…
aiv / shainin hudda / sandra scott / kevin wall
guy babineau / paul winskell / brenda wong
avant garde / jon paul holt
flashpoint photographic rentals / berndt luchterhand & staff
liz bell agency
town shoes / adam macleod
wilhelmina models canada