Fraser Valley artist puts her talent to fabric and lands on Vancouver’s fashion runway

Anelia Basson will be showcasing her original clothing line at this year’s Vancouver Fashion Week

Although she hails from South Africa, these days Anelia Basson calls the Fraser Valley home. And now the self-taught artist is using her experiences getting from there to here as inspiration for her latest project, Explore the Journey, a clothing line she’s showing at this year’s Vancouver’s Fashion Week (VFW).

Art, at its core, is the creative representation of a person’s experiences or imagination in whatever manner they decide to express themselves. Yet, as of late, Basson has chosen haute couture as the medium through which she artistically expresses her emotions and stories.

“It’s all for my art,” said Basson. “It’s a way I can expose my art to the world. The people who wear my stuff do really love it, and it makes them feel good, confident, and comfortable as well.”

READ MORE: Colourful designs in fashion show

Anelia Basson’s original clothing designs–which feature her artwork as the fabric’s design–will appear on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week, the second largest fashion week in North America, this year. (Photo by Sean Dalin)

However, although Basson has expressed herself creatively through a variety of different materials, canvas, sculpting, canine coats, table cloths, and now clothing, she says each item she’s created has been bursting with colour.

“Colour is very important to me,” said Basson. “I grew up in (South Africa), a country with (some of) the poorest people in the world, and colour is so important to them. Colours make you feel happy!

“I’m not a person for black and white,” continued Basson. “There’s a reason why the most beautiful animals in the world—the birds, the fish, et cetera—are all very colourful, so why can’t we be, you know?”

Starting with more typical art forms, Basson explains how, several years ago, she got the idea to do more than simply put paint to a canvas.

“In about 2014 I started using my art and photography to make pillows, fabrics, and dog jackets. Then I branched out from that to doing skirts and tops, and started doing dresses, and just recently started with the swimwear line.”

Using her art as the pattern, Basson creates eco-friendly fabrics that are then cut and sewn into the designs she’s created.

And while she recognizes that “the fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world,” Basson says it’s for that reason that she has her items manufactured in Canada, which also helps support our local economy.

As for her pieces, Basson says her “dresses are very flowing and each one tells a story. (They’re) more a piece of art. I want to give people the freedom of colours and the opportunity to wear a really unique piece of art.”

RELATED: First Nation fashion designer invited to Paris fashion show

And while this may be Basson’s first time showing her wears on a stage as large as VFW’s, it’s not the first time she’s strolled down the catwalk.

“In the past, I just had a few small fashion shows in Chilliwack (that I hosted) by myself. (But) it was a dream for me to maybe one day show my work on the runway,” Basson said.

And sometimes dreams come true.

After noticing her work on Instagram, the powers that be behind Vancouver’s Fashion Week contacted Basson and invited her to show her work at this year’s event.

“I said, ‘Of course!’ and feel very honoured,” said the 56-year-old artist, who’s now excited about the possibility of international exposure.

Running from Sept. 17 to 23, VFW is going into its 17th year, and is not only the fastest growing fashion week in the world, but has also grown to be the second largest in North America. And Basson’s going to have nearly two dozen pieces to show off.

“I have a big selection, like 20 pieces in Vancouver Fashion Week,” Basson explained.

In addition to item selection, Basson says she also gets to control how her pieces are presented to the public, ensuring her artistic vision is complete: “I picked the music, I picked the clothes … (I’m even) taking four of my girls with me (as models).”

For more information on Anelia Basson, or to view examples of her work, please visit her website at AneliaBasson.com, or her Instagram account. For more information about Vancouver Fashion Week, visit their website at http://www.vanfashionweek.com.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Prominent Chilliwack realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Robert Meissner’s trial for accessing and possessing child pornography

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Q&A with federal Liberal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Francois-Philippe Champagne visited the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 123

Mini Med School events are slated for March

Free info sessions allow attendees a chance to talk face-to-face with local medical professionals

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read