Hailing from Canada, Serean Bechara of Aphotic has used her passion for innovation and storytelling to create her illusionary and transcendent artistry in creating one-of-a-kind headpieces. Bringing back traditional techniques in millinery and infusing it with her unique flair, with Aphotic, Bechara tells a story, takes a fantasy, and makes it something tangible in fashion. Adding eccentricity in her pieces for the fashion-forward women, Aphotic lets them express their personal style to make exceptionally crafted wearable art pieces.
1. What sparked you to begin a career as a designer?
At first I wanted to be an avant garde womenswear couturier. I am in love with art, and believe strongly in using fashion as a medium to express oneself. Every time I sketched a collection I always drew my women with fabulous headpieces, and when the Toronto Fashion Incubator introduced an accessory designer boot camp I decided to explore creating those pieces myself.
2. What was it about millinery design that intrigued you the most?
A hat is very distinctive on any person. It can be a subtle or loud statement about who you are, just like any kind of fashion. However, what I really loved, and what really hooked me are these beautiful vintage wooden hat blocks that are used to mold and create the silhouette of the hats themselves. Hat blocks are absolutely stunning and I feel proud to say that there are still traditional milliners out there, myself included, who create hats this way. That is why I love experimenting with these traditional millinery ways and using them to create innovative volumes and trims.
3. Where do you draw your inspiration?
Aphotic is defined as ‘the absence of light’ and that is how I become inspired. I find beauty in darkness. Whether it is that of the mind, of our surroundings, or of the unknown. Regardless, it’s always about a feeling, and about a story that I feel compelled to tell, whether it is my own or of fantastical mysticism.
4. Is there an fashion designer that you admire the most?
Alexander McQueen is, and always will be, my favourite fashion designer. He is what inspired me to foray into fashion in the first place. I could feel his story through his work and it was so tragically beautiful. It’s everything I could ever hope to achieve with my own brand. His vision was so strong and so clear, his soul on display for the masses.
5. What has been your biggest achievement/obstacle so far in your career?
My biggest achievement was quite recent, in fact, just a few days ago where I won the HumberLaunch New Venture Seed Fund competition. Basically, it was a business plan competition for new and innovative ventures. As an artist it is easy to get lost in the love you have for the design itself and to completely disregard the business aspect but I have always been a very good business woman and it was a great achievement for myself to re-instil the fact that I can be both a designer and a business woman without compromising my artistic integrity.
6. Any advice for aspiring #creators?
Do not compromise your artistic integrity for anything or anyone. Going into a creative field and being a creator is risky business, but that is the point. Choosing this path is a large commitment so you need to stay true to your vision and be very clear about exactly what it is that you want to accomplish. With that, the world is your oyster, take advantage of as many opportunities as you can.