UFV design chosen for Hong Kong symposium

A fashion student from UFV has been selected to showcase one of her creations in Hong Kong.

A model showcases the dress designed by UFV student Kim Kokaszka of Mission.

A dress made with the help of marbles, clothes pins, and sheer creativity will be on display at a prestigious event in Hong Kong this month.

The University of the Fraser Valley’s Kim Kokaszka is the only Canadian student, and one of three in North America, selected to showcase a piece at the International Shibori Symposium held at Hong Kong Polytechnic University from Dec. 5 to Jan. 18.

Kokaszka was chosen by an international jury that received more than 100 student entries. Her garment was made with Shibori, an ancient Japanese technique in which cloth is manipulated and dyed to create unique patterns.

“I am just so shocked and surprised. It’s only just starting to sink in now,” said the Mission resident of being selected. “It’s what everyone hopes for – to be recognized as an artist and designer.”

Kokaszka created the dress in a UFV surface design class as part of the textile option offered in the program. Using a single piece of polyester, she twisted the cloth with clothes pegs, bound pieces of fabric around marbles with elastic bands, and added stitching.

Then she dyed the fabric a light grey. Instead of cutting the cloth – which Kokaszka couldn’t bring herself to do – she found an innovative way to fold and form the fabric into a design.

“I was completely in my glory and I loved the results,” she said.

Her creativity garnered recognition not only from an international jury, but also from her instructors at UFV.

“As an artist, she has endless creative energy,” said UFV surface design instructor Eleanor Hannan. “She has an open mindedness and a fearless approach to her work that lets the piece lead her into design decisions rather than forcing her own will. She absorbs techniques quickly and then puts them into practice in her own way.”

Deanna Devitt, UFV fashion design department head, said it is an honour to be part of the symposium.

“We are very proud of Kim as this is an enormous achievement,” she said.

For more information on the International Shibori Symposium, visit http://8iss.wordpress.com/

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