Alberta Fashion Week, week one

By Adriana Sveen

Name: Nicholette Freele

Occupation: Designer Liaison for Alberta Fashion Week
Hometown: Calgary, AB

G: What does a designer liaison do?
NF: I handle any concerns or questions the designers have. Sometimes they’ll spring things on you like, “Oh, I actually have 14 models.” It can be frustrating.

G: Where does your love for fashion come from?
NF: As a kid, I watched Fashion File and read Vogue with my mom. I worked at [the clothing brand] BCBG when I was 17.

G: Compared to other international fashion shows, how does Alberta Fashion Week stack up?
NF: I think that it’s been seamless and on par with Milan, Paris and New York Fashion weeks.

G: How did the idea for Alberta Fashion Week come to be?
NF: David [Politi, Alberta Fashion Week head organizer] used to do guerrilla fashion shows around Calgary. I was asking him what happened to [the now defunct] Calgary Fashion Week and just said, “Why not do Alberta Fashion Week?” So we did. That was in March and it wasn’t a lot of time to get things together.

Name: Alizee Paradis

Occupation: Model
Age: 22

G: What was the casting call for Alberta Fashion week like?
AP: There were lots of girls there. About half were signed to agencies, and half were unsigned. I am unsigned. I have an agent but I am looking for a company to sign with.

G: What was the atmosphere backstage like?
AP: It was really laid back and friendly. Everyone was sharing shoes because we were the same size. But there were very few breaks because we want everything to look seamless on the runway.

G: Was this your first runway show?
AP: No, I just walked in New York fashion week last week. I was amazed at how good Alberta Fashion Week has been so far, compared to New York.

Name: Camille Prins

Occupation: Designer
Label: Dutch Blonde
Age: 28
Hometown: Calgary

G: How did you get into fashion?
CP: I used to go to the [University of Calgary]. I was enrolled in business and I would just sit in my classes sketching. So I transferred to George Brown college in Toronto and took fashion design. I live in Toronto now.

G: What kind of exposure have you gotten so far?
CP: I was on season two of Project Runway with [Calgary designer] Adejoke Taiwo. We were roommates. I also worked in London, backstage at shows for a label called Customer’s Own Property.

G: Any last minute jitters?
CP: It’s funny that you asked that! Last night I had a nightmare that my driver dropped me off at my show and drove away with my designs. I only had three dresses and I just . . . couldn’t move my arms and legs. But I’ve been really focused today, no messing around.

G: Where should we go to see more of your designs?
CP: You can see my designs on my website, My Fall/Winter ’09 designs will be sold at the Alberta Fashion Week trunk sales.

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