The Show designer spotlight: RELIC atelier by Aileen Mikaela Twa

Article from the Georgia Straight, Vancouver, BC - April 16, 2014

Alex Duncan wears a beautifully crafted RELIC atelier dress by Kwantlen Polytechnic University student Aileen Twa. Hair and make up by Lindsay Gibson.

Photography by RONAN REINART

Beautifully fashioned clothes that are meant cherished, appreciated, and passed down generation to generation. That’s the concept behind RELIC atelier, a line of formal and bridal wear designed by Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) fashion student Aileen Twa.

Inspired by "slow fashion" and nature, Twa’s garments embrace the regeneration of antique costumes, while remaining stylish for today.

RELIC atelier will be unveiled at The Show, presented by Tamoda Apparel, on April 24 at the River Rock Casino. Thirty-six other lines by Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion students will also be showcased. See for event details.

Kimberly Ronning: Describe your collection.

Aileen Twa: My Line, RELIC atelier, is a slow-fashion formal and bridal wear line. It focuses on the regeneration of antique costume. RELIC embraces the slow lifestyle and a market that dresses consciously yet simply for life’s celebrations. The garments in my line are timeless, elegant and of quality. They are carefully crafted, and meant to be treasured and passed on as heirlooms.

KR: Where did you get your inspiration?

AT: My collection was inspired by the deep saturated colours of the forest floor. The result came from a botanical study of plush mosses, dusty blueberries, feathery ferns, and small, easy-to-miss juniper buds. This also inspired my use of natural dyes and rich natural fabrics: cool crisp Irish linen, plush silk rayon velvets, and frothy vintage silk tulle. I’ve incorporated a mix of handcrafted details like beaded and embroidered embellishments to add the final touches.

KR: If your collection had a soundtrack, what song would it be?

AT: "Into the Wild" by Lewis Watson.

KR: What's your favorite piece in your wardrobe?

AT: A chartreuse 1960s dress that belonged to my grandmother.

KR: What are you doing after graduation?

AT: I'm hoping to gain some experience in the industry before launching my collection. 

KR: Bow tie or tie?

AT: Tie—most definitely tie.

Kimberly Ronning works and lives in Vancouver as a marketing coordinator, and is a final-year fashion marketing student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.