Posted by: Gala Milne on June 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm


Congratulations to Elisa Medina, Lisa Ngo, and Dianna Drahanchuk, winners of the Art Deco Chic Fashion Challenge! Over the summer, these three designers will be hard at work transforming these designs into garments for display at the MOV September 1-23 alongside Art Deco Chic. Read on to find how Vancouver and Art Deco inspired their designs.

Bachelor of Design, Fashion & Technology | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Art Deco Chic challenge winner Elisa MedinaWhich art deco era/ garment/ or design concept inspired the creation of your garment?

Art Deco existed between modernity and exoticism, creating fashion that was intellectually eclectic and seductively elegant. The influence of architecture, art movements like Cubism and Fauvism, as well as the Jazz Age’s rhythm and movement had a strong presence on the exhibition’s early 20’s garments, which in turn inspired my designs’ repeating geometric shapes, unexpected embroidery, and saturated colour palette.

Tell us your story about deciding to become a fashion designer.

My path to fashion design was carved by a love for painting and drawing in the picturesque Quito, Ecuador. I started to draw at an early age and was eventually introduced to fashion illustration. From then, I Elisa Medinagradually cultivated my eye for design through sketching models in the pages of Vogue. I also started to appropriate my fine arts training to develop an aesthetic rooted in painterly compositions of colours and fabrics as well as mixed cultural and historical references. Moving to Canada in 2008 allowed me to pursue a career in fashion, as there are more educational and professional opportunities in this field. I am currently developing my technical skills at Kwantlen University both in women’s and menswear, as I go into my third year of studies.  

Where else do you draw inspiration from in your work?

Art, music, and culture are a constant source of inspiration as I design.

What changed for your conception of the garment design in knowing that you were creating for a museum exhibit as opposed to a fashion runway?

Designing garments for a museum exhibit requires a special attention to detail, as the garments remain static, becoming subjects to a closer view from the audience. It was therefore important to offer a dynamic experience for the viewer through different textures and shapes.  

How does living in Vancouver shape your design process?

Vancouver offers wonderful exposure to art and nature. This has encouraged me to be curious of my surroundings and look for inspiration wherever I go. All I need is a sketchbook in hand. In addition, our city’s “green culture” has also influenced me to become a responsible designer, keeping the people and the environment in mind during the design process.


Fashion Merchandising | Blanche MacDonald

Art Deco Chic challenge winner Dianna DrahanchukWhich art deco era/ garment/ or design concept inspired the creation of your garment?

The primary inspiration for this dress was the striking evening dress made in France for Bullocks in1929 – 1930.  The transparent black-layered silk georgette with dramatic crisscross shiny black machine beading I translated into an inner dress with sequins and transparent over dress with bead crisscross pattern applied to the outer layer.  The top of the under dress mimics the diamond shaped pattern while the over dress scoop neck with wider shoulder strap is typical of dress style of the 20’s.  The bead pattern creates an argyle pattern, made popular in the 20’s and is reminiscent of the long strands of beads that were all the rage during the jazz age.

Tell us your story about deciding to become a fashion designer.

Fashion Design was something I wanted to take up in high school but Horse Hill High School wasn’t able to advise me on available fashion Dianna Drahanchukschools. However, after retiring from my interior design career and realizing that the desire to engage in fashion design was still there, I decided to attend the Blanche Macdonald Fashion Merchandising program, even just for fun.  

Where else do you draw inspiration from in your work?

There is not one place that that my inspiration comes from.  I rarely buy fashion magazines but I travel a lot observing things that are not available here and in my mind's eye try to figure out how that particular item could be made/adapted in my world. 

What changed for your conception of the garment design in knowing that you were creating for a museum exhibit as opposed to a fashion runway?

I've never created a piece for a fashion runway so my only point of reference was the museum exhibit.

How does living in Vancouver shape your design process?

Availability of resources is key.  To enter a competition such as this would have been much more difficult, say in Victoria or Edmonton where I lived most of my life.  Having resources at hand allows for greater creativity.


Fashion Arts | Vancouver Community College

Which art deco era/ Art Deco Chic challenge winner Lisa Ngogarment/ or design concept inspired the creation of your garment?

The art deco garment that most inspired or more so caught my eye was the satin dress that had its hem ingeniously twisted  across the bust and thrown over the shoulder as an interesting design detail.



Tell us your story about deciding to become a fashion designer.

Well first of all, I never had a clear decision, when I was young, that I wanted to truly be a fashion designer. At a young age I was exposed to watching a lot of cartoon television shows like Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Card Captors and more. I really loved the illustrations drawn of the cartoon characters so I decided drawing them and wanted to create a character of my own. After creating my cartoon character's appearance, I said to myself,Lisa Ngo “I need to put some clothes on this girl” so I did. Still I was oblivious that drawing clothes on this girl was “designing” and dressed her like a doll, but on paper. Years after that, I trailed off from the design, I still immersed myself in art, but I was far from the path of a fashion designer. I still thought of having a career in designing clothes, but I forced myself to different areas of interests. It was until one day I realized during my last year of secondary education that I had to choose a career path to prepare for. I looked back and thought “What the heck did you even prepare yourself for?” I thought about my education, my passion and interests and throughout my life the only thing I've really enjoyed was styling my barbie in her clothes, caring about how I looked and dressed during school, overall just admiring cute dresses, and drawing clothes on my characters. So where does that lead me? Boom. Here I am at VCC and in this competition. Holy cow.

Where else do you draw inspiration from in your work?

Definitely Madeleine Vionnet as an haute couture designer. There is a picture of here sitting down and creating her draft on a doll. Looking at the picture, to me, I feel that she had a great passion and love for what she was doing. It seems as though she is in her own world and so immersed in what she is doing and that inspired me to try to re-create that mood in the dress in the picture. I also researched some art deco artists and the one that stood out was no other than Erte. I love his illustrations and designs. Very elaborate, dramatic, creative and just good.

What changed for your conception of the garment design in knowing that you were creating for a museum exhibit as opposed to a fashion runway?

As soon as I found that it would just be in an exhibit, it could be fragile. Very fragile. I figured that if the dress I designed was for the runway, It would totally get caught and torn in a painful, heart-wrenching way. The care and handling that I saw in the exhibition from Ivan Sayers, Claus Jahnke and his team insured that I could sacrifice some functionality, so I had the nylon thread be the support between the two pieces of fabric while holding some crystals at the same time. Sorry thread. Hopefully, I would love to see a real model at least walking slowly in the dress.

How does living in Vancouver shape your design process?

Other than the mountainous backdrop view, cultural diversity, and ecstatic rainy days, overall Vancouver just feels like a breath of fresh air. Whenever I think of Vancouver overall, I just feel very natural and free of any limitations and that is what I want to try to do when I design. I was born here and I still don't know Vancouver as much as I thought I did. I currently work for Erin Templeton (one of my role models!) and after meeting her I just found about this world of local designers and workers that either have this close net or some type of connection and support to one another and that just warms my heart.

Posted by: Gala Milne on May 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Gather round park imageVancouver got hot this week, and the people have flooded back to the streets! Before we get sunstroked, this week’s MOVments attempt to hydrate you, dear reader, on thoughtful events from around Vancouver and Canada.

The City of Vancouver wants you to combat glass-tower syndrome with a touch of green. They’ve announced two-million dollars in grants for the Greenest City Fund. Need inspiration? Check out the latest Nerd Jam event on turning streets into parks. Who knows, maybe our next exhibit will be a comparison of New York- styled high lines, rather than Dubai-esque sea walls.

On the industrial fence, Vancouver prepares to demolish a 100-year old school house, designated as having significant historical and cultural value. It appears seismic upgrades are too expensive for the large brick building. In its wake, perhaps a mini-school could replace this large antiquated schoolhouse? Some Gastown residents are making due with only 226 square feet of breathing room - in what is known as a, ‘micro-loft’. If that’s not enough leg-room for you, maybe you’d like to get out of town on a spacious “Bolt Bus”. This extremely cheap bus service transits between Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland for as little as $1 each way. Personally, I find this very confusing.

Provincially, BC marks a significant move this month with an official apology for internment of Japanese Canadians.

At the MOVeum:
May 24 - Vintage Voltage! MOV Youth Council - Free - rsvp to
May 31 -  MOV AGM - come vote, meet the board and MOV staff. Exclusive talk and tour from Ivan Sayers
June 2 - Swaporama
June 8 -  Dapper/Flapper Formal

Posted by: Gala Milne on April 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Illustrated map of VancouverLost your compass and looking for the path creatively travelled? This hand-illustrated map of Vancouver has delighted the audience engagement office at the MOV. We love coming across artistic gems like “they draw and travel” which celebrate unique perspectives on the world. Here’s another, which takes a “higher” perspective on mapping the city’s history.

There are some maps, however, that make us queasy – particularly the map that draws a thick oily squiggle into Burrard Inlet care of daily Kinder Morgan oil tankers cruising along our captivating coastline. Vancouver’s Mayor Robertson seems to feel the same and has sent a warning cry to citizens in his Vancouver Sun op-ed article. Read it.

Then there are some trails that carve themselves. Like the bamboo bicycle trail. A new venture in Vancouver is seeing the procurement of bamboo bike frames as a way to increase sustainability and local production of transportation materials. If you’re interested, they’ll be at “Bike the Blossoms” this Saturday, and the upcoming Sustainability Expo Not to be confused with the Fan Expo that happened over the past weekend.

Little did we know… YVR loves to dress up! Last weekend’s Fan Expo brought loads of people downtown dressed in their favourite superhero/ comic character/ legendary villain attire. Lucky you, the MOV is giving you a chance to dress up for our Mother’s Day High Tea @MOV – explore the Art Deco Chic exhibit in classic 1920’s style with your mum.

At the MOVeum: Art Deco Chic Curator’s Talk and Tour with Joan Seidl – May 3, 7-9

MOV Walking Tours are back! Home: An Exploration takes place May 6, 10:30am

[Image: Illustrated by Adela Kang c/o They Draw and Travel]

Posted by: Gala Milne on April 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm

MOVments: current events in Vancouver by the Museum of Vancouver

Rize development in Mount PleasantVancouver makes, shakes, retaliates!

This week’s MOVments have tallied up yvr’s points and prongs from policy to film.

In Mount Pleasant, despite loud controversy, the new Rize development has been approved by city council. This will mean a 19-story development smack in the middle of Mt. Pleasant. OpenFile has curated some great comments from the twittersphere.

Down Broadway at Granville street, the Vancouver Public Space Network transformed a bus shelter  into a public message board to house your comments about Vancouver!

In film, the Projecting Change Film Festival is underway and bringing Vancouverites a special panel discussion along with their screening of Miss Representation this Saturday. Simultaneously, our MOV Youth Council will be hard at work editing their films. More on this in late May.

In foliage, nature lovers gathered outside the Van Art Gallery recently to throw a giant flash mob for cherry blossom season. Simultaneously, across the Georgia Straight, the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities threw their hands in the air to pass a resolution for the decriminalization of pot! This means the UBCM will vote on this issue later this year.

Lastly, if you’re an aspiring journalist, you’ll appreciate this workshop on Perfecting your Pitch, put on by the Tyee’s Freelance Survival Series.

Posted by: Gala Milne on April 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Despite our efforts to bring people together over stimulating talks and exhibits, the conversation of “Lonely Vancouver” has reared its lonely head once again. Luckily, however, this time it comes with a well-written and somewhat rousing remedy: Rent-A-Friend. Do you find yourself yearning for occasional companionship? If Rent A Friend is up your alley, you might want to consider this bubbling compilation of events around town as date-options. Careful, it might make Vancouver seem fun and action packed.

In Burnaby, one woman is aiming to build, not only a network of friends, but an entire community of empowered immigrants. Through launching a community market in her Edmonds neighborhood, Lubna Abdelrahman is a shining example of the type of leadership Vancouver needs to embrace. Speaking of which, did you know there is a free market taking place this Sunday in Grandview park?

While the “Regeneration” dialogues around transportation and sustainability continue this week, some are calling the series a new platform for public engagement with the City. Indeed. On the contrary, forty years ago, the City’s idea of public engagement consisted of possibly the most daring act of grant-giving in the enactment of a Town Fool.

And on that note, we leave you with some contemporary, digital tomfoolery.

What do you think? Next MOV exhibit, “#YVRlolz”? 

Posted by: Gala Milne on April 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

The quest for truth is always on our heels, and as many of us head into Easter, this week is no different. In true Vancouver fashion, “chicken classes for urban farmers”, aims to teach us which barnyard animal truly lays the Easter eggs around here. On the other side of the proverbial fence, Vancouver is just shy of joining the ranks of online cities using techno-power to engage tourists and citizens. Interestingly, however, green-thumbed gardeners are using their ithumbs to connect garden-to-garden. Now if only there was an app to actually garden the garden…

Local robot-lover and handsome musician Dan Mangan has walked away with two Juno awards including best new artist. Luckily, the witty folks at CBC Music provide some helpful tips on how to win a Juno. At MOV, we wonder all these years later, whether or not it was the hard work and enthusiasm of folks like Red Robinson who led the way for Vancouver’s thriving musical-talent base. In recognition, Happy Birthday Red Robinson!

In contrast, in Northern BC young people are adamantly opposing the Enbridge Pipeline project by declaring a hunger strike. Check out this video on the Tyee’s website for more information. In tying together ideas of political willpower and video production, a video contest is asking participants to pontificate on how parliament would look with a 75% female cast (rather than the current 75% male representation). Good question - particularly as we hear the news that CBC is being forced to cut 650 jobs in the next three years.

At the MOVeum: MOV Youth Council begins this week! Congratulations to the participants. We look forward to meeting you.

Additionally, Ivan Sayer’s Curator’s Talk and Tour is this Thursday April 5, 2012 is SOLD OUT. Next opportunity is June 7 - book early! Or, at our MOV AGM, which is for MEMBERS only, and May 30

Posted by: Gala Milne on March 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm

The budding of the cherry blossoms meets the end of another fiscal year, and the conjunction of these two signifies a more familiar type of change than we’ve been acclimatized to over the past little while. Scandalous elections and nature’s renewal!

He’s no Jack, but the NDP has spoken with their election of Tom Mulcair as federal party leader. This decision has some wondering whether or not the idea of “cooperation” among opposition parties is still possible, while others speculate on the technologically-enabled “disruption” to the online voting system used in the election.

With all this electoral scandal, and robocalling, and so much of our identity and faith being put into advanced technology, one has to wonder if we can’t just learn to love and accept robots for who they are…

Vancouverites everywhere are rejoicing in the large sums of their fare-evasion tickets. News broke this week that apparently, you may never be held accountable for your $173 ticket. Almost makes you want to catch a train and have a friendly chat with a stranger, doesn’t it?

Lastly, Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein joined a room of hundreds at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s annual Gala this week. The pair spoke with care and urgency on the state of our natural environment just as the CCPA releases their Annual Alternative Fiscal Budget, to tie up this post. It’s enough to make one want to spraypaint moss grafitti onto the nearest concrete jungle wall.

At the MOVeum: Veda Hille Sings Songs of the False Creek Flats this Friday night!

Posted by: Gala Milne on March 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Greeting, MOVers. Just as Canada’s West produced harrowing hail while the East saw seducing sun this week, Vancouver’s sightlines are equally diverse. Caught between the closing of little YVR gems like The Book Warehouse and the growing movement of BC schools to offshore destinations, one is left to wonder about values and priorities when it comes to staying in the city.  Did you know 300 BC certified teachers are employed in 29 BC offshore schools?

Should I stay or should I go? Your local radio program, On the Coast, is hosting a series of conversations on housing affordability as conversations out east say the next federal budget should stretch its long arm of policy reform to put the rental housing market “on solid ground”.

This way to Grandma’s… Of particular interest to MOVers is where this stay/go dilemma intersects with visual history and our built city. Recently Vancouver knocked down an old building to reveal a new (old) ghost sign for Grandma’s Boy.
Should it be saved? Maybe this is a question for Vancouver’s museum professionals. If you’re interested in what Museum educators have to say, you might be interested in the upcoming un-conference, Then/Hier.

Cut a Rug. Or… some other fine fabric… As you may know there’s a fashion design challenge happening at the MOV around our new exhibit, Art Deco Chic. In tune, this article explores the question, Can historic garments be used for contemporary fashion? In small-business response, the owner of Musette Bicycle Café thinks so. This Italian-vintage-cycling-attire-inspired café recently opened off Hornby bike route and we think it pulls off the contemporary-glam thing quite well.

In other worldly affairs, the LA Times is examining the ups and downs of Vancouver’s Climate Action Plan, 5 years post instatement. And for those of us interested in the goods behind the Canadian Economy, a free dialogue is being held at SFU Woodwards Wednesday night.

At the MOVeum: Veda Hille @MOV Songs of False Creek Flats

& Big thanks to everyone who came out to Mini MakerFaire Fundraiser last week! Here are some photos.   

[Photo care of ]

Posted by: Gala Milne on March 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Something we aim to do here at MOV is to provide a platform for emergent thinkers, local leaders, and innovative projects and organizations around the city.  In short, the people and groups whose passion centres around making Vancouver a better place for all of us.  Although we mentioned the passing of Jim Green in MOVments last week , we wanted to take a second look at the legacy of this man and think about some Vancouverites who push the envelope in similar ways.

Throughout his long list of accomplishments and innovative goals, Jim is recognized as possessing “joy, originality, urgency, curiosity, laughter and love to the city”.

Something resounding for us, is Jim’s relentless understanding of the importance of community-based knowledge and leaders. It’s something we try to actively make space for at the MOV through our public lecture series and dialogues around food security, city planning, DIY communities, and Vancouver urbanism (to name a few). 

More and more, organizations in Vancouver are also using their resources to spotlight Vancouver’s social innovators, environmental warriors, human rights advocates, and cultural proponents. For example:

We’re honoured to live in a city of innovative idea-makers. We know we’re missing more, but keep it coming, yvr!  

At the MOVeum: Art Deco Chic opens with a glamourous party tonight and runs through September 23, 2012

[Image is Shift Delivery Service speaking at Re:Generation via Vancouver Public Space Network]

Posted by: Gala Milne on February 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

You like us!

Thanks Vancouver – you’ve put us right up there with the VAG and the MOA for your top three public art gallery/museums in Vancouver, and we couldn’t be happier. From exciting talks about city planning and food resiliency to the opening of our upcoming exhibit on Art Deco fashion from the 1920s and 1930s, things just keep rolling along over here in Vanier Park and we’re so glad to be your museum for the curious.

As a special treat, some digging in our archives has revealed an interesting thread to Vancouver’s past. Did you know Vancouver was once home to a Toy Library? A brave venture that was left out to dry as it was unsupported by city council in 1973… Likely if Jim Green had been on council at the time, he would have made sure a legacy project like a Toy Co-operative would have prospered in Vancouver. With regrets we acknowledge Jim’s passing today, and recognize all the wonderful things he did for our city.

These days it seems our province is finding it very difficult to communicate with its people as negotiations with the BC Teacher’s federation grow increasingly sticky. This might be a good time to announce the MOV is releasing applications for its second-ever Museum of Vancouver Youth Council this week!

Into the veins and arteries of city life, OpenFile Vancouver wonders if we can ever have a truly sustainable transit system at the same time as the Vancouver Sun questions the brilliance of people moving from rural countrysides en masse to metropolises! Perhaps we’d be best to move our dreams of lush green parks and walkways underground just like this proposal for a “Lowline” in NYC?

At the MOVeum: Food Resiliency talks tonight and the opening of Art Deco Chic next week!


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