For this instalment in our Ten Questions series, we meet Melissa Ferreira: Adhesif Clothing designer and Vancouver localite.
When did you start your art practice?
My mom is a seamstress. She worked in garment factories throughout my
whole childhood. On top of that, she was always doing alterations for
friends and family at the kitchen table.
I learned how to sew from her and taught myself the technical design
process. I've been the creative type since I could walk and have
experimented with all kinds of design techniques. I became a vintage
clothing buyer outside of high school and that really got the wheels
turning for Adhesif Clothing which was conceptualized in 2003.
What is your creative process like? Where do you draw your inspiration
There is a method to the madness. Many people have told me I have an
"eye" for color, print and pattern matching.
The process of working with reclaimed and vintage materials is a true art
form. How to make sense out of a giant mound of this and that, takes
constant problem solving and a keen eye as well as attention to detail.
Much of my inspiration comes from vintage clothing designs from the 1960's
and before but a lot of it also comes from people watching. I love the
confidence that comes with individualistic style and people who create
trends as apposed to following them.
How has your art practice evolved over the years?
It's very interesting to see how my technical ability in drafting
patterns and designing, in general, has really developed from when I
started Adhesif Clothing years over a decade ago.
Being a fashion designer presents a constant challenge in the learning
curve. I'm always learning new techniques and ways to create a better fit
in the garments designed and in the construction process.
Describe what you make.
I create garments made with up to 95% reclaimed and vintage materials,
notions and details. That includes anything from cotton twill, silk,
denim, wool sweaters, scarves, discarded yardage, vintage buttons and
Every garment design is original, no 2 garments are identical. Every piece
is lovingly handmade in Vancouver, BC.
How many years have you participated in SFM?
This will be my third year with SFM and I am so thrilled to be apart of
such an amazingly talented group of artists!
What's new for this year's SFM?
Every spring-summer and fall-winter season I create a new collection.
This year there will be a new and exciting designs as well as some of
signature knitwear items.
What's your favourite part about the SFM show?
Ooooh...too many things to mention!
First off I absolutely love the fact that SFM is organized and run by the
designers and artists who also show and sell their work there.
I always refer to this show as one of the absolute best holiday markets of
the year without the consumerism craziness that's associated with
I also LOVE the intimate vibe and the diverse and high quality pieces,
that can be found by what I feel are some BC's best artisans.
Who are your favourite artists?
I love Denise Wilson's work from Patina and Bronsino (Vancouver) as well as Cokluch, Little Houses and Eve Gravel (all from Montreal)
What are you listening to in the studio?
Just like the designs I create, I also have pretty eclectic taste in
music as well.
I listen to jazz, blues, swing, 60's rock and french pop, folk, old country,
world beats, funk...basically what ever moves me.
What other creative outlets do you enjoy?
Oooooh boy...well before I became a full time artist I used to do film
photography, creative writing and painting.
When I get around to it I also like dying fabrics and silk screening.
Keep in touch with Melissa: