When I first saw April Peters Designs, I was floored.
The amount of exquisite textile appreciation and attention to detail will amaze you. The Pieces are Grand to say the least. We only hope a museum would be so lucky someday to have April’s pieces on display. What a beautiful eccentric talented woman.
I had the pleasure of interviewing her, and this is what she had to say…
Q: Your pieces are so feminine and unique with impeccable quality, it takes someone back in time the way we can only fantasize by watching a movies. Are there any movies that give you great inspiration?
A: Movies. I never watched a lot of movies or TV. I don’t actually know where my inspiration comes from except inside my head.
Q: Who are some of your favorite fashion designers in history or present day?
A: I don’t watch what others are doing because I have so many ideas in my head I want to make that when I see other peoples work, I get very influenced and re-directed from my own work and can get distracted.
Q: Do you have a fabric textile or material you like to work with?
A: Lately I have been upcycling old leather and fur pieces as well as embroidered saris combined to create something new and wearable. I love to mix tones and textures and always try to think outside the box putting a twist or something on each piece without being overwhelming.
I like to work with rich fabrics like brocades and velvets however we also make cotton poet and pirate shirts for men, too. We also make children’s clothing for couples getting married and perhaps blending families or wanting the whole wedding party to wear custom matching garments.
I always have done custom, commissioned work for clients and run a retail store in Vancouver, so we make a lot of dresses and blouses for our regular clientelle, which range from Bridal and graduation to everyday wear.
I also make dance and choir costumes for men and women of all sizes. I can fit larger women and have lots of experience with larger sizes.
In between my shop and custom clients, I like to work with photographers like Nina Pak and make fantasy pieces for her to make into art. I can honestly say she has been my biggest source of inspiration and it was her photographs and art that have inspired me the most.
I love her mysterious and sensual female form as well as her beautiful soft, creative and quirkey man-style. I like to be part of a creative team with the model, hair dresser, makeup artist and photographer all working together to create a piece of art. It comes from the heart. I love the creative process and constructing the garments.
Pensieri d’Amore by Nina Pak in April Peter’s aparel
It usually starts with the fabric as my inspiration and work from there. Nina Pak has created some fantastic underwater fantasy pictures which inspire me to make dresses to wear underwater with layers of colors and tentacles which resembles a jelly fish or sea creature.
Sometimes a photographer gives me an Idea like the steampunk theme and a deadline and things just manifest.
Q: Your pieces are like works of art, wearable art. If you could dress any celebrity who would it be?
A: Celebrities, well any and all. Lady Gaga is an inspiration and a walking piece of art. Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen were also very creative artists however so sad of their too soon deaths.
Q: What a beautiful city to be located in with a shop like Vancouver, are you from there originally?
A: I was born and raised in Vancouver and studied Fashion Design at Kwantlen College in Richmond. I also did custom work and sewing for clients thru school and college. I soon moved to Kitsalino close to the beach and lived above a funky store called the Heart and Soul Psychic Center. After they left, the building sat empty for 3 months until I decided to move my dressmaking business into the store downstairs. The rest is history. It started with one of a kind wearable art pieces for entertainers and musicians, as well as basic stretch velvet leggings and dresses.
Interview by Kelly Brown