I met Mikiko Katahira at the opening party of VALT 2014. She was sitting with fellow designer and fellow VCC Fashion Arts graduate Marjan Rabbani . Mikiko spoke softly but passionately about her decision to transition from architecture to fashion.
Born in Japan, Mikiko followed cultural norms that emphasized ‘making a living’ over the pursuit of ‘following your dream’. She chose architecture as it was intriguing but not in the same way she dreamed of fashion design. When she moved to Canada her life changed. She was free to learn more about herself and how to be true to herself. She entered the Fashion Arts program and graduated this past season.
The collection presented at her graduation and at VALT was inspired by Japanese designer and sculpture Isamu Noguchi. Her pieces are strongly based in structure with a playful twist on shapes and dimensions. She says “I like to consider colour, strength, and elasticity, etc. I like to use leather, faux fur, and lace because those materials have powerful presence and help to catch the eye and I keep all my waste fabrics to use in my future creations!”
Feedback on her collection was inspiring and she is thrilled that so many members of the audience sought her out afterwards to tell her how amazing and stunning the pieces were. These high-end but very wearable pieces are unique and, if the interest shown at VALT is real, they will definitely find their way into the wardrobes of Vancouver fashionista very soon!
(This article was written by Helen Siwak)