In case you haven’t heard, Télio’s Canada’s Breakthrough Designers competition has just released the top 25 finalists from across Canada who will be showcasing their designs in February for a chance to win 1 of 5 scholarships. Seeing as how our competition is celebrating its 10th successful year, it was only suiting that the theme represent this milestone. As 2015 is the International Year of Light, aimed to pay homage to the advances that humankind has enjoyed from light science and its applications, Télio appropriated this theme by bringing you Lux(e). This year’s theme was to inspire students in the form of reflection, illumination, and movement, with themed fabrics ranging from shades of steel blue to ochre.
Having the pleasure to experience this exciting competition for my first time, I’m here today to bring you an in-depth, behind-the-scenes recap of what transpired on Friday. Our lively and talented jury spent the day at the Télio head office, feasting their eyes on the 133 sketches submitted by the 22 participating fashion schools across the country. By the end of the day, there were to remain only 25 sketches. With all the talent and creativity presented on Friday, the elimination process took much time, deliberation, and hard-work! Our amazing jury panel put their heads together to ensure a top-notch finale for our milestone edition.
The day started early. At 9:00am, the Télio showroom was busting with positive energy. Each jury member arrived with an unmistakable pep in their step, eager to offer their educated insights and collaborative efforts. Before beginning, Rebecca, our National Design Competition Coordinator, presented the day’s agenda and set the day off to a lively start. The 133 sketches were dispersed amongst different tables. The jury panel was to circulate in a set pattern to ensure that each sketch was fully evaluated by each judge.
The first round was strictly based on personal impressions. Our 6 jury members were armed with clipboards, judging criteria, and evaluation sheets, and were instructed to mark each sketch between 1-5. Sketches were evaluated on creativity, choice of fabrics, design, commercial potential, technicality, and of course, adherence to the Lux(e) theme. From 9:45 until 12:30, the judges circulated between sketches, carefully and thoughtfully marking each. Seems like enough time- right? Let’s just say that over lunch we overheard some jury members discussing how difficult this process was! With all the talent and creativity that was presented, we were not envious of the jury’s task!
Once the marking round was completed, our jury was definitely ready for some well-deserved energy! At 12:30 we broke for lunch, and ate a lovely buffet courtesy of Avec Plaisirs Catering. After enjoying the gourmet, deli style sandwiches and salads and irresistible desserts, the jury had the chance to mingle with one another before getting back to business.
If the first part was difficult, the second half of the day was even more of a challenge. Amongst the 133 sketches, we selected the top 40, based upon the jury’s scores from that morning. Organized along the tables, the jury was now faced with the task of collectively deciding upon which sketches would make it to the top 25. Our jury panel offered much pertinent insights, constructive criticism, and collaborative efforts to finalize their picks. The different backgrounds from each respective judge made for a well-balanced mix of opinions and insights, and without a doubt helped to strengthen the quality of the choices that were made. That, however, does not mean that the process was quick and easy! On the contraire; the contrasting opinions made for some intelligent debates and compromises. This was my favorite part of the entire day. It was amazing to watch these 6 judges confer and deliberate. Each distinguished opinion was strongly backed and admirably articulated. I really enjoyed witnessing the thought process from each jury member, and definitely learnt a lot in the process.
And, alas! By the end of the day, we had our top 25 finalists! We’re thrilled with the variety of sketches that were chosen, and simply cannot wait to see them in person! Our jury worked hard to ensure that all sketches were consistently evaluated and revised. Let’s just say that this year’s finale is sure to be awe-inspiring!
Next step? The top 25 finalists will each be receiving 6 meters of their selected Lux(e) fabrics, and will get to work on making the garments. Come February, we will be re-welcoming our jury to evaluate each garment, fashioned by models, in a mock-runway setting (that’s right, the showroom also doubles as a catwalk!). We’re looking forward to bringing you more exciting updates! The best is yet to come.
We wish to once again thank our talented and hard-working jury panel for their collaboration. Congratulations to all of our finalists!