After leaving Toronto to pursue her Masters at the London College of Fashion, designer Stephanie Moscall-Varey is ready for her turn on an international runway.
“It’s been absolutely thrilling,” she tells FASHION about the opportunity to hone her skills abroad. “One has the ability to collaborate with such an array of people across the UK and EU for their collection. I was able to collaborate with welders, weavers, sound engineers, coal mining museums and material researchers.”
Moscall-Varey isn’t a newbie when it comes to catwalks; her Fall 2018 collection was showcased at Toronto Fashion Week. But today’s curated graduate event opens up a whole new world to this emerging talent. The 26-year-old, who is also an inaugural fellow of the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute, was chosen as one of 10 womenswear designers to be featured in the LCF show thanks to her fashion-forward vision and ingenious approach to textiles.
Her newest collection was inspired by her family’s heritage in the coal industry, and includes 100% biodegradable textiles made from a charcoal foam composite which was crafted as “a prototype for a faux leather alternative”, according to Moscall-Varey.
“The Fall 2020 Pit Brow collection is so dear to my heart,” she says. “It channels heritage from my great grandfather, a coal and gold miner; my father, a coal power plant engineer; and myself, a charcoal fabric innovator. The collection has an emphasis on respecting and acknowledging the anthropocentric evils of the past while recognizing the call for innovation and progression.”
To create the unique materials used in her designs, Moscall-Varey worked with Bonnie Hvillum, founder of the Danish company Natural Material Studio. The designer’s favourite piece from the collection is in today’s final look, and it’s made from a fabric that Moscall-Varey describes as a happy accident.
“[It’s] a patterned apron created from our charcoal foam composite,” she says. “The striped print you see is actually a mistake! The fabric got stuck to a piece of particleboard and when Bonnie ripped it off, we had this stunning etched and excavated pattern which became a major focal point for the collection.”
We definitely dig it.