Catkin, a line of gender neutral children's clothing by Langley student designer Devon Okamoto, will be among the fashions displayed at River Rock Casino on April 9; below: Cassandra Bucholtz has designed a line of upcycled vintage clothing which she calls The Poetry of Cloth.

Catkin, a line of gender neutral children's clothing by Langley student designer Devon Okamoto, will be among the fashions displayed at River Rock Casino on April 9; below: Cassandra Bucholtz has designed a line of upcycled vintage clothing which she calls The Poetry of Cloth.

Langley fashion design students cut from a different cloth

Two graduating KPU students among 39 young designers whose work will be featured on the runway at River Rock Casino in Richmond on April 9

Two Langley students are among 39 young designers whose work will be featured as part of the Wilson School of Design’s annual grad fashion show in Richmond on April 9.

Cassandra Bucholtz and Devon Okamoto will both unveil their original clothing on the catwalk at the River Rock Casino and Show Theatre that evening.

The 2015 Fashion Show, presented by Tamoda Apparel, will feature nearly 40 emerging designers, each with a unique apparel line. The runway event will showcase the skills the students have honed over four years studying fashion design and technology.

“The process is what excites me the most,” said Bucholtz, whose passion for upcycled vintage clothes and natural materials inspired the emerging designer’s line The Poetry of Cloth.

“From the development of the season concept to the cutting and sewing of each garment, the reward will be to finally see it all come together on the runway and being able to take that sigh of relief before jumping into my next endeavour.”

Like the uniqueness of poetry and the craft that goes into it, Bucholtz has worked hard to create a line of timeless pieces that are in themselves pieces of art.

“There is such an excess of trends and mass clothing being made today,” she said. “The Poetry of Cloth is my step toward slowing down consumption and appreciating the fine detail in one-of-a-kind pieces; creating that connection between the designer, the buyer and the garment.”




For Okamoto, a 2011 Langley Senior Secondary grad, the show offers the opportunity to unveil her gender-neutral children’s wear line, Catkin.

Okamoto developed Catkin as part of her final project before graduating from KPU’s four-year fashion design and technology program this May.

“For four years we’ve been making our way through school, and it felt like school. The show gives us this final excitement to work towards, and to help us transition to careers in our field,” said Okamoto.

“Since the 1940s, children’s clothing has become more and more gendered to the extreme stereotypes we see in the distinctly separated ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ departments of today. I think the next generation of parents on the West Coast has updated values focused on equality and individuality that have yet to be addressed outside of Europe,” she said.

“Catkin is an attempt to step back and let children choose their own version of themselves and their style. I’ve focused on practicality and play rather than gender.”

The industry-grade runway event will showcase collections for men, women and children; from couture to commuter cycling wear to burlesque costumes. Traditional Far East-inspired casual attire, plus-size corporate clothing, gender-neutral fashion and organic kids wear are a few of the distinctive collections that will walk the runway on Thursday.

There are collections for all phases of life — maternity, youth, the golden years—plus stunning outfits that repurpose vintage clothing, incorporate slow fashion and are created by hand with locally-sourced sustainable materials.

It is B.C.’s biggest student-fashion show, drawing industry professionals and fashion aficionados alike.

Tickets for the 2015 Fashion Show start at $18 and are on sale now. More information is available at:

Follow the team of 39 designers on Twitter and Instagram as they fix, fashion and finish their final projects.

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