Lydia DeVries’s stunning red dress is creating a lot of buzz around Artscape Daniels Launchpad. The fashion designer and Launchpad member created it in Launchpad’s Textiles + Fashion Studio. What makes the dress really special is that it’s made entirely of thrifted fabrics stitched together from a variety of vintage and other garments. This unforgettable dress is the first of three outfits in a mini collection aptly named, Strength and Dignity. We caught up with Lydia to talk about her passion for fashion.
Artscape: You recently created a beautiful dress in Launchpad’s Textiles + Fashion Studio. Any tips on how to incorporate sustainable practices into your designs?
Lydia: The first of three outfits in a mini collection I am working on, this outfit was created using a velour curtain, lined with some additional thrifted textiles. The bodysuit underneath was created from some mesh that was purchased from a fabric store and some scrap fabric I had in my possession. I have a big heart for sustainable and ethical fashion! A few other ways I incorporate sustainability into my designs, or processes of designs is recycling my fabric scraps, incorporating sustainable fabrics, using end of the roll or reject fabrics that may otherwise be sent to landfills, and deconstructing thrifted garments to utilize the textile or transform the garment.
A: How did you get started in fashion production?
L: I am a small-town girl from a very large family. Being one of eleven kids taught me to be thrifty and creative. I always possessed an enthusiastic interest in fashion, creative writing and singing. My mom taught me to sew and this gave me a great base for entering Ryerson’s Fashion Design program in 2011. After graduating in 2015, I began a series of fashion related jobs, such as sample sewing for startups, purchasing and imports administration at Hugo Boss, managing production at Omi Woods, and starting my own sustainable line. Now I am Production and Design Manager at YNOT, a Toronto bag and accessories company.
A: What’s one key takeaway you’ve learned about the fashion Industry since joining YNOT?
L: I’ve learned a lot about the rigors of running a “Made in Canada” company — meeting deadlines, staying true to the brand while growing, and learning about what the customer needs. The fashion industry in Toronto is a small community, but it is a great place to be!
A: How does being a member of Launchpad fit with your career goals?
L: Launchpad is helping me get back into the creative headspace again. I always have oodles of ideas of what I want to do in the future, whether that be starting a new line of sustainable womenswear or growing my social media audience. Launchpad has created the space for my dreams to be realized!
Book a tour of Launchpad to see first-hand what Lydia and other members are dreaming up in our state-of-the-art Creative Studios.