CNA textiles grad prepares for Vancouver Fashion Week

Tucker Ellis to make debut as a fashion designer

3/15/2018 12:05:28 PM

CNA Textile: Craft and Apparel Design graduate Tucker Ellis will be making their debut as a fashion designer during Vancouver Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018, set to get underway March 19-25. Their show will take place March 21, and he will present eight complete outfits, like the one pictured made of upcycled garments, centred around cosplay (costume play).

Tucker Ellis, a CNA Textile: Craft and Apparel Design graduate, shown at the Anna Templeton Centre in downtown St. John’s preparing for their debut fashion show set for Vancouver Fashion Week March 19-25.

ST. JOHN’S, NL – When you only have 10 minutes to make an impression, you have to make every second count.
Tucker Ellis of Bishop’s Falls is well aware of this fact as they prepare for the moment they’ve been waiting for – their very own fashion show. But it isn’t just any show, it is part of Vancouver Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018, set to get underway March 19-25 at the David Lam Hall, Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver. 
Ellis graduated from College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Textile: Craft and Apparel Design program in 2017, and will be the first CNA graduate to participate in a full-fledged show of this magnitude. They are about to embark on a trip across the country to show complete strangers their talent as a designer, and Ellis says it, “is definitely overwhelming considering how new this all is for me. I am definitely not a fashion type of person, but I do love costumes, so I kind of melded that into the clothes that I am making for the show.”
Ellis’ passion as a textile artist lies with cosplay, a contraction of the words “costume play,” that is defined as “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime.”
A glance at Ellis’ personal website at clearly demonstrates how much they connect with this art form. Textile: Craft and Apparel Design instructor Barry Buckle, who will travel to British Columbia with Ellis, attests that, “cosplay is huge right now and it’s only going to get bigger.”
Buckle explains that Ellis’ designs represent a crossover line that blends the wearable fashion aspect and aspects with a cosplay kind of feel.
Ellis is still in the preparation stages for the upcoming show, and is spending a lot of time at the Anna Templeton Centre in downtown St. John’s, where the program is based.
“I am here pretty much every day still building pieces to take with me,” they said, adding that they have to develop eight complete outfits for the show, which means there are many intricate pieces comprising each outfit. Once the pieces are made “pretty and beautiful,” they are broken down to look worn with dyes and printing inks. “That’s the fun part,” they laughed.
Most of the outfits Ellis is making for the show have been draped. Buckle explains that draping is a unique style of creating patterns/garments by taking an old piece of fabric and start pinning it to a mannequin to create the desired look. From there, a flat pattern is created to make the garment and doing the fittings.
“It’s an intensive process,” Buckles said, but Ellis is determined to complete their outfits in time for their show, which will take place Wednesday, March 21.
“Just having people outside of my realm see my stuff,” Ellis said is the biggest thing they are looking forward to with their debut. The 28-year-old understands that their pieces are part of a niche market, and it will be a phenomenal opportunity for not only professional development, but personally as well.
Buckle says the greatest part about Ellis’ show is that “exposure is everything right now in this industry, and this will be great exposure for Tucker. It’s going to give Tucker a new perspective on the industry by actually participating in a truly professional show. This will also give Tucker an official label as a true fashion designer. Once you do a professional show; that is your initiation.”
The instructor also notes that Ellis’ line is “very couture - one of a kind,” and his student may be surprised how many people will be interested in their designs because of its uniqueness. Ellis will also have to mentally prepare for the fashion reviews and critiques of their work.
“We’ll know right away by the reaction when it’s on the runway how it’s being perceived. Buyers have no problem letting you know through applause or no applause if they approve of what you’re doing or not,” noted Buckle, who has vast experience in the fashion industry himself. Prior to his career at CNA, he worked with Anne Klein and Adidas, along with holding more than 150 shows of his own.
For Ellis, the show’s success isn’t going to be difficult to gauge.
“Just the fact that I am going and showing my stuff is a success in itself. The experience is going to be incredible for me.”
To learn more about the Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design program, visit
Media contact:
Michelle Jesso
Communications Specialist
College of the North Atlantic