Story by Rebecca Poynton-Murray

There is something magical about the creativity of documentary. The vast hours of filming, the multiple interviews, the right locations – all formulated into gaze-capturing viewing and used to portray endless subjects. Add now one more subject to the list, Canadian design duo Greta Constantine.

Approached by Stolichnaya to show the world how their design ambitions come to life, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong were happy to let the cameras follow their team on a journey From Sketch to Runway for their Fall/Winter 2012 collection.

What prompted you to create a documentary of your process?

Wong: When Stoli first approached us about the idea of producing a film in order to track how our collection develops, we were somewhat surprised. For us, developing a collection has simply become a routine – inspirations become a sketch that become muslins and later on, final pieces. The process of a runway show is very similar. I think they reminded us just how exciting and stressful our industry is and why we love doing what we do in the first place.

You mention in From Sketch to Runway, that it is a “crunch” to get everything ready for the runway season. Does this give you adrenaline to keep going or can the stress hinder your creativity?

Pickersgill: Give us a deadline, and we’ll finish the task seconds before it’s due. When designing the collection, we use every moment available, which for the most part is the hour before the first model is set to walk down the runway. To not use every moment available almost feels like we would be settling for something short of what we could have created.

You mention that, “nothing is ever 100% perfect, because you can always do better.” Which collection or item that you have created, has left you feeling it is as close to 100% as you have ever been?

Wong: This collection was certainly up there.  We also benefitted from an increase in sales this season and great reception from the buyers, so we feel just that much prouder about the collection.

Pickersgill: We’ve had some pieces that we’re especially proud of, like our ‘Seatbelt’ second layers from Fall 2009 and the braided jersey dresses from Spring 2008. It always seems like when you reflect back to the collections from past years, it is even stronger and more powerful than it felt in the first moment.

Does your vision ever change from the initial sketch to what is produced for the final runway show?

Wong: Absolutely. Inspiration is not stagnant, it’s dynamic. Even from hour to hour it can evolve, so just imagine the change from when you start designing two or even three months before to the actual show itself.

Are you looking to continue combining fashion and film?

Pickersgill: If it feels right then certainly, especially if it can enhance our partnerships.

Wong: But someone asked us the other day, what we’d do if we had to choose one medium. For us, there’s something sacred about the fashion show. The tension and the excitement that stirs through the room as the music starts, the lights going on, and the first model stepping out; it’s one of the hallmarks of the fashion experience. The show also presents the audience with an energy and mood that film can’t always replicate. Especially important is the fact that a show is experienced firsthand, while a video is through someone else’s lens. It’s tough to compare.

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