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Born To Do This: Jillian Robertson

20
02.2018

Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jillian Robertson is a globetrotter and fashion designer. Jillian enrolled at John Casablancas Institute to take the Core Design Program where she wanted to further develop her understanding of fashion and sewing. Upon graduating the program, Jillian had the opportunity to showcase her first collection Shoreline at Vancouver Fashion Week SS18.

“I’ve been sewing as much as possible lately since I’ve decided that I want to own my personal clothing line. I now have a small studio set up in my den and a 1980s industrial sewing machine.” 

As of now, Jillian has moved to Toronto, Canada where she is working with a tailor on Queen Street West, in the Fashion District. She has also officially launched her brand Jillian Isabel Clothing.

How are you enjoying Toronto so far? 

Toronto is a great city for anyone interested in working in the fashion industry which is why I felt like it was the right move for me. Although, I can hardly wait for summer and to really get to know the city. The cold Toronto weather makes it difficult to wander outside. I forgot what a real Canadian winter feels like!

As previously mentioned, you are working with a couturier in Toronto. How is that experience? 

I work with three women at a place called 3rd Floor Tailors based in the Fashion District of Toronto. We offer high-quality alterations, custom tailoring, prototype and sample making, and garment remodelling. We focus on bridal wear and suiting and also offer custom design work for those looking for truly unique pieces. We do a lot of out-of-the-box thinking and love to work one on one with our clients to ensure they are getting exactly what they want. It’s definitely not your run of the mill alteration shops! 

What can we expect from your latest collection that you are working on for Jillian Isabel Clothing?

I have been working on a spring/summer 2018 collection, and just recently showcased a couple pre-spring items on my website. As soon as an item is ready for purchase, I publish it on the website! I view my label as a sort of personal collection development that I’m putting on sale to the public. And so I want the world to be the first to see my latest designs that I have created. 

What is the inspiration behind your designs?

I draw a lot of inspiration from vintage Chanel and Dior. I really love the minimalist look, but with that comes the need for perfect execution. I tend to look at vintage and original design houses for construction methods and detail. Japanese minimalist style is also a big inspiration for me, as I love anything slightly oversized.

My SS18 collection is inspired by the French countryside and pastoral landscapes but in an urban setting. I’ve been using timeless provincial silhouettes, such as pinafore dresses and overalls, but with luxury fabrics and modern fits.

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from the JCI Core Design Program?

Trust your instincts! The Core Design Program showed me how to develop a plan for a collection but also showed me how switch gears if your designs just aren’t working. I tend to overthink things and plan every detail, which often allows me to get caught up in the minutia of it all that I forget why I’m doing it.

I was struggling to get my ideas off the ground when I first moved to Toronto because I was trying to develop pieces that I thought I should be creating, instead of pieces I wanted to create. Once I decided to work on the more creative and more difficult pieces, I began to visualize my collection. 

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

Don’t be afraid to network. I’m a rather introverted person, so networking is honestly the most dreaded aspect of business development for me, but every time I talk about my brand to someone I learn new things. Toronto has a lot to offer to its fashion designers and entrepreneurs. I’ve definitely been taking it very slowly, but in the five short months that I’ve been here, I’ve made more connections through casual conversation with fabric shop owners, co-workers, and friends of friends. Reaching out through email and taking full advantage of social media is a great way to network if you’re someone like me who struggles with face-to-face networking. Every bit counts!

Shop Jillian Isabel Clothing


 

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion

Must-Have Women’s Accessories for Pre-Fall 2018

16
02.2018

Fashion is always moving fast and what we think may be the latest trends can end up being vanished in a blink of an eye. Designers are constantly working years ahead to bring out new and creative fashion. With Spring yet to arrive, we’ve already come to terms with the must-have women’s accessories for pre-Fall 2018.

This Fall you will notice youthful attitudes seen in fashion. Trends such as baseball caps, big scarves, tote bags and statement pieces will be seen worn by all the popular Instagram bloggers. Get prepared for Fall 2018 with these must-have essentials:

LOGO Baseball Caps

Forget the plain and suede baseball caps, Fall is all about statement logo and branding caps. These streetwear caps have been seen on the runways by designer brands such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Balenciaga.

Tote Bags

The everyday tote bag has returned bigger and stylish than ever for pre-Fall. This handbag is an essential piece to have because it can be worn year-round and is guaranteed to fit all your belongings! The tote bag is also perfect for when traveling and can be used as a carry-on bag. Once again, logos are crucial for Fall 2018.

Branded Belts

Every woman deserves a classic leather belt in her wardrobe. These signature belts will sweep the market this year.

Oversized Scarf

Scarves are always trending and we all probably have blanket scarves piled up in our closet. This Fall, get your hands on a knitted oversized scarf that won’t just keep you warm, but also stylish.

And there you have your full guide to must-have women’s pre-fall accessories.


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion

JCI Fashion Show Highlights

16
01.2018

John Casablancas Institute Fashion Business & Creative Arts and Core Design students delivered a creative and dynamic fashion show on January 12th, 2018 at Performance Works, Granville Island, Vancouver.

Core Design Show

JCI Core Design students Martha Pandelo, Lyndsey Jackson, and Shito Mohammed graduated in September 2017 and made their appearance this Saturday to showcase their latest s/s18 collections.

Martha Pandelo

Martha’s collection showcased minimalistic fashion trends and soft layers. We were inspired by this young designer and her transparent pieces that graced the runway. Martha’s collection was influenced by origami techniques and geometric shapes found in architectural structures.

Lyndsey Jackson

LJ by Lyndsey Jackson is an edgy and daring ss18 collection. Pants with the pockets on the outside? Yes, Lyndsey did that! This Core Design graduate isn’t afraid to step outside the comfort zone of traditional fashion trends.

Shito Mohammed

Ethio Fashion House, a collection by Core Design graduate Shito Mohammed, consisted of relaxed silhouettes that had us dreaming of summer. The long flare pants seem as comfortable to wear as pyjamas!

Watch the Core Design Fashion Show:

Tokyo Drift Show

The Tokyo Drift Fashion show hosted by JCI Fashion Business & Creative Arts students was inspired by the Japanese race car culture and was unlike any show that JCI has seen. The show began with the entrance of a tuned Nissan GTR. The first model of the show stepped onto the runway which was lit by the beams of the GTR’s headlights.

This show was all about street style with a mixture of modern-day trends. The striking models worked the runway with hip-hop music in the background. The variety of edgy trends included fitted one-piece suits, body-suits, and distressed pieces.

Watch the Tokyo Drift Fashion Show:

AMAZONAS Show

AMAZONAS Fashion Show hosted by JCI Fashion Business & Creative Arts students began with a video about the environment, deforestation of the rainforest and global warming.The gravity of the message of the show was contrasted by the bright and colorful whimsical clothing and brazillian music.

AMAZONAS collection opened up with contemporary designs and embroidered pieces. Floral was a major theme seen throughout the show, and there’s no denying that florals are a key trend for spring/summer.

Watch the AMAZONAS Fashion Show:

The fashion shows would not have been put together without the help of JCI educator Joan De Raucourt and JCI Fashion Director and Industry Liaison Maneli Nourbakhsh.


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion

Meet Michelle Esteras, Visual Merchandiser and JCI Fashion Graduate

10
01.2018

Born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Michelle Esteras moved to Canada in her teenage years. Michelle grew up in a culture where pursuing a career in the fashion industry wasn’t an option.

“Aside from becoming a fashion designer, I was unaware of the limitless career opportunities in the fashion industry.” 

Michelle began working in fashion when she contributed to her high school fashion show. Later, she worked with Canadian fashion label JAX Company, which has now closed down. Michelle was also hired at Eatons, (currently known as Nordstrom), as a sales associate. Continuing to gain experience in the industry, Michelle knew she wanted to go to school to furthermore educate herself in fashion.

Michelle enrolled in the Fashion Business & Creative Arts Program at John Casablancas Institute in 2003 to learn more about the business side of fashion. Prior to JCI, Michelle had completed a diploma in Design at another institute.

“While working at JAX Company, I also volunteered with other fashion companies. I began networking in the industry and enjoyed every work opportunity I came across paid or not.” 

After graduating the JCI Fashion Program, Michelle landed career opportunities to work as a Fashion Show Director. She was the first Fashion Show Director for Gastown and was recruited through a referral.

“I love being surrounded by beauty, whether that comes from nature or people. Stick with those who have an immense passion to reach their goals.” 

Michelle has traveled to Toronto and New York to coordinate fashion shows. Her most memorable show was working with model Coco Rocha.

“Networking is very important, in all industries. After volunteering for many fashion companies, people began remembering my name because of the good impressions I left.” 

Michelle went back to school to study Communication of Design for a short period of time but soon realized she wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry as a Visual Merchandiser.

“My first job I received as a Visual Merchandiser was for GAP, West Vancouver. I lived in Surrey at this time which meant I would have to wake up at 4 AM to get to work at 6/7 AM every day. This is discipline.” 

After GAP, Michelle got promoted and moved on to fashion company Banana Republic. From gaining experience here, she landed herself the position of Regional Visual Merchandiser for H&M in the Middle East. And so in 2007, Michelle packed her bags and flew to Kuwait City!

“I was trained by the Sweden and Europe H&M team and lived in Kuwait and Qatar, Arab, for a year. I was opening H&M stores and mentoring visual merchandisers.”

Michelle didn’t stop there. She flew back to Canada in 2008 to work at BCBG as the Area Visual Merchandiser for Western Canada (BC/Alberta). She had the opportunity to work in Paris and Madrid with BCBG.

As a visual merchandiser, Michelle has traveled the world. In 2010 she was promoted and relocated to the United States of America, where she worked as a Regional Visual Merchandiser in Southwest USA: including Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.

“I lived in Las Vegas and soon got promoted to work at the head office in Los Angeles after a successful visit to the Billboard Music Awards, where BCBG were main sponsors.” 

With Lubov Azria (former Creative Director, left)

Michelle has also worked as an International Visual Merchandiser for nine countries with fashion brand Ever New. Even when she was pregnant, Michelle traveled to 48 cities!

“I opened so many stores that I lost count. It wasn’t until 2015 that I moved back to Canada to give birth to my firstborn child.” 

As of March 2017, Michelle left BCBG to work for Louis Vuitton as the Western Canada Regional Visual Merchandiser Manager. She has also been mentoring JCI Fashion graduate Jerome Insorio.

Aside from working in the fashion industry, Michelle has played tennis professionally and also coached the sport. She was a part of several varsity sports teams including basketball and table tennis. In her free time, Michelle loves interior designing/staging and is currently re-decorating her home. She also considers herself a foodie because she enjoys trying new dishes, especially when traveling.

“I’m thankful for the directors at John Casablancas Institute who have supported me each step of the way.” 

All pictures via Michelle Esteras. For more, follow Michelle on Instagram


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion

Meet Sarah Davidson: Visual Artist & JCI Fashion Graduate

22
12.2017

Born in North Vancouver and raised in Port Moody, B.C, Sarah Davidson graduated John Casablancas Institute Fashion Business & Creative Arts Program and is a visual display artist for Anthropologie.

“I’ve always loved fashion and dressing up ever since a young age. I became fascinated by the industry and the buying aspect. I chose JCI specifically for the hands-on class material and heavy emphasis on visual display.”

Flatlay by Sarah Davidson

Sarah enrolled at JCI in January 2016 and was given the opportunity to intern with the visual team at Anthropologie.

“My visual display teacher at JCI, Danielle, used to work at Anthropologie and really believed in me and my passion for visual display. She pushed me in the right direction. If it wasn’t for her I don’t think I’d be where I am right now.”

Anthropologie Window Display by Sarah Davidson

After graduating JCI in November 2016, Sarah worked as a Product Stylist and a Social Media Coordinator, until she landed her dream job.

“My goal job after graduation was Anthropologie’s display artist position and as of now, I’m enjoying my accomplishment!”

Sarah was approached by Anthropologie for the display artist position which she landed recently. This has been her prized moment throughout her career so far.

Styling by Sarah Davidson

“JCI took real-life scenarios and turned them into hands-on projects for us to problem solve and make our own.”

Besides being involved in the fashion industry, Sarah enjoys going for bike rides, photography, styling, and crafting. “Pinterest is my weakness,” she says.

“Stay focused, work hard, be eager and push yourself! Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!” 

Doughnut Wall made by Sarah Davidson for the JCI Less is Bore Fashion Show

More of Sarah’s work can be viewed on her website


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
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