Self-taught Chilliwack artist puts her talent to fabric and lands on Vancouver’s fashion runway

Anelia Basson will be showcasing her original clothing line at Vancouver Fashion Week 2019

Although she hails from South Africa, these days Anelia Basson calls Chilliwack 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

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

UPDATE: Chilliwack man arrested for Agassiz break and enters

Westin Ferguson, 19, faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Short closures on Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge during pier upgrades

The project comes before the major retrofit of the bridge, which has been in the works since 2017

Preliminary inquiry starts for Chilliwack woman charged in 2016 fatal hit-and-run

Linnea Labbee, 70, accused in Dec. 1, 2016 incident that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read