WHO: Chelsea Petterson, fashion designer and Sales Manager/Buyer at Coda Clothing & Shoes. WHERE: Northgate Sewing Centre. CLOTHES: Lily & Joe shirt, $120, Coda; “The Shiny” leggings, $60, American Apparel (Edmonton); Divided by H&M jacket, $60, H&M (Calgary). ACCESSORIES: Kitty cat petit point necklace, 94 cents, Salvation Army; engagement ring,; Paul Frank glasses, free from a rep! SHOES: 80%20 black shoes, Coda, $120. HAIR: Kristina Hallwas


Chelsea walks into Northgate Sewing Centre and the sales people instantly smile and ask her how her new sewing machine is working out for her. A sure sign this young designer knows what she is doing. When the recent graduate of Fashion Design & Marketing is not working at Coda, she is busy planning her wedding, working trade shows, styling photo shoots or working on a project that she hopes will bring more exposure to local Saskatchewan fashion designers. Aside from that, she is trying to find more time in her busy schedule to design and construct her own line of redesigned vintage and environmentally sustainable clothing. Stay tuned.


Have you always been interested in style and fashion?  In Grade 7 I had to write a paper about my future. That future included me living on an island and being a fashion designer. Throughout high school that dream job became unrealistic. After 2 years out of high school and one unconvincing semester in business school I decided to take take fashion design to learn how to sew. It was the best decision I made. I'll be dreaming about that island all winter.


What has been your best fashion purchase?  Every time I purchase something new (or old) I think its my best fashion purchase. You know those new Betsey Johnson shoes really did change my life!


How do you update older pieces?  I've always loved to redesign vintage, by taking pieces with fantastic patterns or amazing fabric and constructing a more modern fit. I also wear a lot of vintage costume jewelry with my every day outfits.


What outfit would you like to be remembered by?  I'm sure one day I'll want to wear classic pieces but for now I like that I have a versatile closet. Often I choose an oversized shirt with great pair of tights, but I also love my skinny jeans and a flashy pair of sneakers.


What is the best fashion advice you have ever received?  I suppose I learned that fashion is cyclical. To truly understand trends it is important to be able to understand history and analyze what's happening in our current social and economical environment to be ahead of the game. Also, at some point, I learned to truly be yourself.


A trend you think should stay around for a while?  Eco-friendly, sustainable clothing; and supporting locally.

Interview and photography by Carey Shaw for prairie dog