Alumni​ Spotlight: Sepideh Ghahremani

Inspired by the vibrant colours and intricate patterns of Iranian architecture, Sepideh Ghahremani’s collections, Deevaand Forest Glory, reflects the symmetrical and lustrous imagery of the traditional Persian Baagh (garden), that can be found in her country of origin, Iran.

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With a background in fashion design from the University of Tehran, and a painter by profession, Sepideh has always had the desire to work in the fashion industry. Owing her artistic process to her background in painting, Sepideh approaches fashion design through an idiosyncratic and creative lens, seeing the human body as a surface for her artistic expression.

Her collections Deevaand Forest Glory, showcased at the 21stCentury Atelier: Redefining Fashion in a New Age of Design, a collaborative event between the Seneca School of Fashion and the Royal Ontario Museum, is one of the highlights of her career. “[This is] a very unexpected opportunity for me,” says Sepideh. “I’m thankful to Seneca for involving me in this event, and to display my designs right next to Dior…It’s just fantastic. My collection is very feminine — and I try to be more focused on the feminine body type – in many ways, it’s related [to Dior].” commented Sepideh. The event ran concurrent with the Christian Dior exhibit, a brand she considers as one of her biggest influences.

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Using silk, hand-dyed satin and fabrics that she designs herself, Sepideh visually captures and manipulates organic elements found in nature, adorning her fabrics with shapes of flowers or leaves, in the attempt to create an illusion of being one with nature.

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One of her most praised pieces in the event features a design from her Forest Glorycollection; a mid-length, deep mauve and black A-line dress, embellished with symmetrical leaves across the front and back. The inspiration of the design – a leaf she photographed and later sketched into fabric.

Sepideh’s choice to highlight vivid colours in her silhouettes are intentional, which she traces back to fashion trends she observed while living in Iran. Patterns and embroidery in ruby red, deep purple, dusty pink, rich blues, golds and black are some of the colours seen on clothing worn by women in Iran, and similarly on Sepideh’s designs.

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When asked what she would like to tell fashion Students at Seneca, Sepideh said, “If you have a passion for fashion, pursue it!  It is not an easy industry. There will be a lot of designers who will be in the same position as you and you need to work hard.”

 

 

 

 

 

Alumni Spotlight: Michelle Nicol, CERP

Michelle Nicol

Did you know that Seneca Fashion offers a certificate in Event Management; Event and Exhibit Design? Meet Michelle Nicol, a graduate from the first year the program was offered! We are so proud of what she has been able to accomplish over the past two years and look forward to watching her continued success – enjoy!

Full name: Michelle Nicol, CERP

Program:  Event Management; Event & Exhibit Design

Grad Year: 2006

Current Position: Account Manager, Festival Specialist (Higgins Event Rentals)

What is your favorite Seneca memory?

My favorite Seneca memory has to be working on the Design Exchange Gala with my classmates and professors. It was such a gorgeous venue and great opportunity to work on an event from inception to completion. Another memory, which is perhaps more of a lesson that I still look back at and laugh at to this day. During a group project where we had to design a tabletop, one of my classmates was adamant on using a feather boa as a centerpiece and one of the judges said it looked like roadkill. Needless to say, we didn’t do so well on that project. Lesson learned: follow your design instinct and never put feathers in a centerpiece! If something does not go your way, get back up and try again. We learn from our mistakes.

If you could give one piece of advice to a student completing the same program as you, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to get out there, introduce yourself and make a name for yourself! The competition is stiff in the Event Industry; you have to stand out, be relatable and friendly. People will remember how you made them feel, not necessarily what you did for them.

How has your career evolved?

I have grown tremendously in my profession and have really made “rental” a lifelong career, which I love! Sitting on multiple committees for local, national and international industry-related associations keeps me busy and involved in the ever-evolving event industry. I have recently been recognized with an award for Rental Person of the Year and have been named a “Top 10 Under 40” for the American Rental Association! I continue to write articles for industry associated publications and am one of few CERP (Certified Event Rental Professionals) in Canada. 

How did your Seneca program help you get to where you are now/your current career?

I was referred to a large local rental company by one of their greatest customers, who was also a professor of mine at Seneca College. Upon graduation, I accepted a position with them and my career has grown since then.

Do you have any other thoughts or memories you would like to share?

Be a fruit loop in a world of Cheerios!