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Kamloops designer sets off on new chapter, bids farewell to city's fashion scene

Quinn Collier thanks his supporters at his final show in Kamloops before he heads off to Ryerson's fashion program in Toronto.
July 03, 2015 - 10:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - The city is losing its best-known fashion designer to Toronto.

Quinn Collier, owner of QTC designs, staged his final fashion show at Hotel 540 on June 28 to a crowd of white-clad spectators — mainly friends and family — who supported him in his six-year quest to become a fashion designer.

“Lots of people were crying in the audience. It’s been so much work to get here,” he says.

Carving a niche in the Kamloops fashion scene included a caveat for Collier: Making locals realize the city was capable of such a scene. He plans to attend Ryerson’s fashion design program in the fall to get his 'foundation year' before potentially moving on to a different school. The designer chose the Toronto-based school over the highly-touted Parsons college based in New York’s Greenwich village and the London College of Fashion.

Collier’s label caught the eye of more than his classmates in 2013 when he rolled out his first collection. Store owners, media and others with an interest in his clothing tastes have turned up to his events, which boast tasty appetizers, a cash bar and DJ. Attendance to the shows feels like a tiny piece of the global fashion scene landed in Kamloops. Sunday’s show was a tranquil breezy setting on the hotel’s patio, with the catwalk mounted over the pool.

“I like how I just sort of bring a bit of differing culture in the regular high school life,” Collier says.

The peacefulness of the location carried the theme among the pieces well — Collier says the collection was reflective of his journey; a final send-off to his youth before he left for school.

“It was a coming-of-age collection, the final time being a child,” he says.

Many of the pieces were loose-fitting dresses which the designer says symbolized memories he had of younger siblings wearing hand-me-downs that didn't fit. The idea, he says, spawned from looking at old pictures. With help from friends, he churned out 22 different looks ten days before the show.

Collier says this show doesn’t mean the chapter closes on QTC in Kamloops. He plans to keep the label alive and remarks he'll build on the brand, maybe even put another show on during the summer months. 

So where does a teenager find the drive to choose a day sewing over going out with friends? Collier’s answer is simple.

"When I’m in my studio sewing there is so much serotonin being released. I’m having the best time. That’s the magic of people that have that drive, it’s within you,” he says. "If you don’t act upon it, you’re sort of just wasting your life."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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