Every year, the team here at Diane Kennedy looks forward to the Fall season in part because our city holds a very special 4 day event. This year, 2016 will mark The Eastside Culture Crawl’s 20th year running. It’s an event that celebrates the tremendous impact that Art and Design has on our East Vancouver Community. The Crawl began as a small group of Eastside artists interested in engaging with the public. They eventually decided to come together as a circle and promote an open studio event.
As one of Vancouver’s annual cultural highlights, The Culture Crawl provides a great opportunity to explore East Vancouver’s vibrant arts scene and laude our local artists for their contributions to our city. Vancouver’s strong and creative arts community is a key element of what makes Vancouver such a dynamic and thriving city. As a proudly Canadian fashion line, being located in the heart of such an inspiring neighbourhood is such a blessing to us.
In the first few years, attendance was low at only a few hundred people; participants and attendees included. Fast forward twenty years later and The Eastside Culture Crawl has grown to include over 450+ artists and more than 80 venues. Participants include visual artists, craftspeople and designers, and the event attracts an audience of more than 25,000.
We’re so honoured to include ourselves in the Crawl’s wonderful line-up of textile and design artists; their work is well worth your attention. Textile practices go back as far as humanity’s origins. Deborah Valoma, Professor at California College of the Arts, refers to it as “string technology.” Over history, this “technology” has led to the invention of basketry, weaving, knitting, stitching and ever increasing complexities of design and process. It’s only natural that the fashion industry works closely with the artistry of textile production. Together, pieces are created that not only express one’s individuality, but can also make statements about social/ethical values, such as our personal commitment to Eco/Ethical fabric and production practices. This year we’ve also included the art of (machine) embroidery into our designs.
From November 17-20, our designer, Diane, will be on hand to chat with you about our inspiration, process and execution of our work. Our design process is created almost entirely on a computer, but using a machine does not mean we simply pushes a button and the finished product appears. Computer–aided design, for example, is a labour intensive, highly skilled process. Patterns need to be created and tested, prototypes are sewn and fitted on real bodies. Adjustments are made, patterns are graded for size and a cut layout is created to make best use of the fabric. Then of course each Diane Kennedy garment is sewn on machine by a skilled seamstress, all of which happens at factories also close by in East Vancouver.
The Eastside Culture Crawl is a grand opportunity to learn more about this process and we’re excited to show you how much goes into every piece we design & produce.