Last Monday I flew to Montreal to judge one of Canada’s foremost design contests. Télio, a fabric producer used by designers around the world, hosts the event—now in its ninth year—and second and third-year students from across the country apply. This year’s theme was Textures, and together with the other judges, I helped to choose among 25 finalists, all of whom had to create a look from the same Télio fabric. The purposefully limited choice proved no obstacle to their creativity.
Winnowing the looks from 25 to 5 was no easy task and took the better part of the day. We were to choose first, second and third prize, which would respectively win a $5,000 scholarship from Joseph Ribkoff, as well as private training in Kaledo Textile software from Lectra (valued at a whopping $34,050); a $3,500 scholarship from law firm Borden Ladner Gervais and training from Lectra; and a $2,500 scholarship from Icecorp. There was also a technical recognition prize and a creative mention prize to consider, each of which would be awarded $2,000. Suffice it to say, the stakes were high.
Last night witnessed the fashion show featuring looks by all 25 finalists, followed by the prize giving. The students, who sat in the front row along with their teachers, were obviously on pins and needles. Each look was hugely impressive. Judging contests like this, the extraordinary talent that college-aged students display continually amazes me. The fact that their work always blows my mind says great things about the future of Canadian fashion. This was especially prescient when it came to the first and second place winners of Télio—identical twins! The most heartwarming moment of the show? When Frédéric Joncas was announced as the first place recipient, his brother Mathieu joined him to walk the runway to a standing ovation. A few years from now, I’ve no doubt their names will be in lights—or on clothing labels, as it were.
Télio’s Breakthrough Canadian Designer Winners
First Place – Frédéric Joncas, Collège Lasalle
Second place – Mathieu Joncas, Collège Lasalle
Third place – Alex-Ève Martin, Collège Lasalle
Technical mention – Nicole Boyer, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Creative mention – Ting Pan, Collège Lasalle