By: Marilyn Wilson

Shine 2016 – an extravaganza of fashion, music and dance– will be hitting the stage at the Commodore Ballroom on September 10th. This wonderful evening is made possible by hundreds of individuals who are rallying together for mental health. Communities helping communities!

Every single person and every single business involved is volunteering their time and services. Because of their generosity, Shine! will be able to donate 100% of every dollar raised through ticket sales and donations directly to the evenings recipients – Canadian Mental Health Association and The Lions Gate Hospital HOpe Centre.

As a thank-you, we will be highlighting some of the wonderful people and businesses who are working hard to make this evening the best it can be. Today’s interview is with Nikki Rose of Nicole Rose Design, one of 12 designers participating in SHINE!

Please share about your journey to becoming a designer – how did you choose this career, training or self-taught, when did you launch your brand?

I first moved to Vancouver 10 years ago to start a fashion design course at The Art Institute. From there, I have always known that I have followed the path less walked. I opted to embrace extravagant, stage show and fantasy fashions. I started out working in the bridal industry for a number of years, continuously working on my own wearable art on the side. Eventually I left the bridal industry in search of something more grande. It was then I discovered working for the TV and film industry. I still continuously am at work on my own creative ventures, but film helps me build my career, skills and of course pays the bills. I work out of my home/studio space and have not yet put any of my designs into stores as of yet.

Describe your brand/collection? Who is your customer? What would you most like readers to know?

My designs are built for the peacocks in the crowd. I want these people to feel absolutely amazing from head to toe, as well as over the top in a glamorous and more than not sparkling costume! Some of my major passions are corsetry, millinery, and lux fabrics with layers of lace and rhinestones. I also specialize in creating these fantastical wire armature head pieces inspired by animals. Though much of what you see delves deeply into the heart of my imagination, I can also create less elaborate looks with grace and beauty. But my main focus is fabulous fantasy evening and performance wear.

What do you love most about working in the world of design? What is hardest?

I am absolutely passionate and grateful in being able to have the craft and skills, which I have worked tireless hours to achieve. To be able to create these mystical fantasy scenes and by dressing someone head to toe sending them into another world. The most difficult part of being in this industry would have to be my specific niche. In my years of building my trade, I have not come across enough of a need by the people for what I do. I believe that what I do is important for the world of art and fashion, and one day I will find the right path to set me towards my future goals. This path is not an economical one, so it’s a luxury to have a strong film industry in our city. This aids me in being able to continuously use my costume skills so that I can maintain a future visual of continuing to create my art.

Can your share an interesting story from your time working in this field?

I would say one of the most memorable times for me would be where I felt a milestone in my skills and art direction took place. This would have been my debut of the animal armature head pieces shot at the Hycroft mansion with photographer Nina Pak, key makeup artist Jennifer Little and my close friends and beautiful models that I work with on many occasions. It was my very first serious photo shoot and I recall I did not sleep a wink the night before due to frantically pushing to finish all of the pieces for the shoot. I had an assistant with me who really saved me. She stuck by my side and made sure everything was in order all day. I was delirious with joy and exhaustion, but we made it though the entire day only using natural day light, literally chasing the sun around the mansion with the models in different states of dress, or should we say undress! It was a fabulous time and all of my hard work paid off in the amount of recognition I received. The images were published in MIRRIOR magazine, my first official publication. This shoot also brought in my first official custom order for a zebra armature, which was yet another amazing project I was able to delve into.

Can your share an interesting story from your time working in this field?

I would say one of the most memorable times for me would be where I felt a milestone in my skills and art direction took place. This would have been my debut of the animal armature head pieces shot at the Hycroft mansion with photographer Nina Pak, key makeup artist Jennifer Little and my close friends and beautiful models that I work with on many occasions. It was my very first serious photo shoot and I recall I did not sleep a wink the night before due to frantically pushing to finish all of the pieces for the shoot. I had an assistant with me who really saved me. She stuck by my side and made sure everything was in order all day. I was delirious with joy and exhaustion, but we made it though the entire day only using natural day light, literally chasing the sun around the mansion with the models in different states of dress, or should we say undress! It was a fabulous time and all of my hard work paid off in the amount of recognition I received. The images were published in MIRRIOR magazine, my first official publication. This shoot also brought in my first official custom order for a zebra armature, which was yet another amazing project I was able to delve into.

Please share how you heard about Shine 2016 and why you feel it’s important to participate in this fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association and The Lions Gate Hospital HOpe Centre.

I first heard bout SHINE through Dean Thullner who approached me after my runway show at VALT2015 show. I am very proud to be supporting Canadian Mental Health as I too have clinically diagnosed adult ADHD. This is an every day struggle in some cases and an every day gift in many others. Mental health is one of the most difficult illnesses to understand as it in many cases can appear to be an “invisible” disease. I want to be in full support to wash away any stigma with mental health and am in full support of our LGBTQ and arts community.

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What part of the Shine 2016 show will you be involved with? Can you give us a titillating hint as to what we expect so see from you on the runway?

I will be showing all of my animal inspired looks as well as some brand new gowns! Be prepared to indulge in the decadence of ethereal radiance!! There will be nothing but sparkling goddess’ gracing your presence in a huge way!

For more information, please email the designer at nicole.rose.design@gmail.com.

Shine 2016 is going to be a do-not-miss amazing showcase of fashion, music and dance, all in support of The Canadian Mental Health Association and The Lions Gate Hospital HOpe Centre.

Don’t Miss Out! Pick up your tickets today at shinenostigma.eventbrite.ca