It’s been a few months since we last spoke with Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute’s student Stephanie Moscall-Varey, the sartorial mastermind behind fashion label Moskal. Since our chat back in the fall, she’s created an entire new line and, as of last week, debuted her first collection as a designer at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. We caught up with Stephanie to see how things have changed, and what we can expect to see next from this fast-paced rising star.
What was your inspiration behind your F/W 2018 collection?
“The concept, initially sparked by my current muse Rita Bishop, an 84-year-old ‘no non-sense’ Midwest farmer. The Rita Fall/Winter 2018-2019 collection explores how North American farming and irrigation practices shape our geographic landscape. The organic shapes and structures are derived from satellite images of farm layouts and crop segmentation. The collection merges a contextual visual of modern farming with themes from the Dust Bowl Era. The mood is influenced by the photography of Dorothea Lange, Theodor Jung, and Solomon D. Butcher who captured generations of strong women in farm labor. The silhouettes throughout the collection are influenced by modern takes on utility clothing such as overalls and blouses. The colour palette is a cohesive mix of earthly copper and neutrals with bright pops of yellow and deep teal.”
What does the process of building a collection look like for you?
“I start off by finding a muse or character to base the collection around. From there I build themes that support the characters mood and personality. I then begin to research themes of politics, geography, and science to support my concept. When I have a strong concept the design ideas start to flood in and a colour story is developed.”
Has your design aesthetic changed since the last time we spoke? If so, how?
“I don’t believe that my aesthetic has changed but I do, however, believe that with each collection I learn more about who I am as a designer and gain better understanding of my core creative values.”
How did it feel to show your first runway show in Toronto?
“Incredible! The sense of pride and accomplishment you feel during your very own twelve-minute runway show is incomparable. It makes the four months of stress and lack of sleep worthwhile. I put my heart and soul into this collection, and I’m thrilled by the response it has received. I could not have done this without my amazing stylist George Antonopoulos and SRFI coordinator Dylan Kwacz.”
How has being a part of the SRFI helped you in building this collection?
“The SRFI gave me the opportunity to receive feedback and work with seasoned industry professionals. I am so grateful to be able to reach out to advisors with questions. Throughout this collection the biggest thing that the SRFI has helped me with is confidence. The SRFI chose me as an inaugural fellow and had the confidence to stand behind me for Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. Having an organization such as the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute advocate for me strengthened my belief in myself.”
What can we expect to see next from Moskal?
“Currently, I am undergoing interviews for a Master of Fashion Design in Womenswear. I am excited to return to school to learn from world class professors with a focus on self-directed learning. I am looking forward to growing as a conceptual designer and further pushing my ideas. Have your fingers crossed for me!”
View the gallery above for an inside look at Moskal’s F/W 2018 collection.
CFG Photographer: Shayne Gray