From gothic blacks to vibrant colours, Thursday was a night to remember with an eclectic mix of styles.
Thursday night kicked off with Taiwan-based Ming Design Studio by Ching-Ming Chen. Her latest collection, ,,Charm.2015”, is defined by vibrant medleys of colour pieced together in a variety of silhouettes. From peplum skirts to militaristic coats, Ching-Ming has clothed the female form in every way possible. Evoking nostalgia through retro designs, Ching-Ming utilized subtle sheer and cotton fabrics highlighted with velvet accents. Ensembles were completed with natural makeup and white, black, or nude shoes. Many outfits were also paired with petite, brightly-coloured purses suspended at hemline level.
Next was Grandi by designer Grandy of Vancouver. A returning designer, Grandy presented her bold, crayon-inspired collection entitled ,,Essential Colours”. All ensembles were monochrome, completed by small conical headpieces atop voluminous curled hairstyles. Glossy fitted jumpsuits and dresses in every colour of the rainbow were brought to life with the help of matching metallic lipstick and wide-brimmed shades. Grandy has splashed a collection of wonderfully elementary colours onto wardrobe staples.
Lisa Aviva, by US-based designer Lisa A. Bleviss, commanded the runway with an intensely accessible yet modestly sensual collection. A size 10 + brand, Bleviss’ collection was a celebration of curves. It presented a selection of elongating dresses and skirts that floated down the runway in muted yet sophisticated colours of army green, camel, and blues. The collection offered fitted yet flattering pieces that did not hide but celebrated a fully figured form. The collection ended on a high with two knit, heel length, cinched at the waist ponchos in reddish pink and rust with dashes of blue, maroon and green. A true testament to careful, creative and innovative craftsmanship, Lisa Aviva made a line that not only looked good on plus sized women but, in fact, looked better on a full form than any size zero counterpart.
Mabu49, a New York based brand created by Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, celebrated the designer’s rich African heritage though inspired yet modern pieces. The ,,Thawasa” collection, meaning Light of the New Moon in Zulu, was named after and inspired by the journey to becoming a traditional healer. A palette of stark whites and navy blue, combined with soft leather fringe, mimicked the movement and beauty of moonlight to translate this Zulu tradition. While ancient in its inspiration, the collection was nevertheless relevant and youthful with a line of wide-legged, high waisted pants, triangular rompers, and long tunics paired with white sneakers. Simple in colour and deliberately wearable, the collection was nevertheless unique due to its innovative silhouettes, artistic cut-outs, and dramatic necklines.
Sorockolita, by Russian designer Viktoriya Stukalova, mastered the aesthetics of Gothic subculture to create a memorable collection that was simultaneously show-stopping yet also featured incredibly wearable pieces. A fine craftswoman, Stukalova incorporated the name of her collection, ,,Black Wing”, into the items with fascinating yet subtle accents such as leather cutouts on blazers that resembled a feathered wing or soft Luneville embroidery. Transporting the audience to the dawn of Gothic culture, the Victorian period, the collection brought back the corset, bodice and ruffled neck juxtaposed with skinny leather pants and stilettos to keep the looks modern and accessible. The collection was exclusively black and white yet nevertheless textured through its mastery of multiple materials such as wool, leather, silk, and cotton. ,,Black Wing” made Gothic fashionable, sexy, and powerful.
Australian designer Francesca Alexander presented Continuum from her brand Frank & Virginia as the night drew on, making a statement with a collection defined by drape and layering with tight-to-figure profiles. Pieces were consistently marked by splashes of vibrant colour that brought an energy to the runway that would prove difficult to emulate. Long skirts and jumpsuits were long and flowing with asymmetrical cuts. Pockets, folds and belts added depth and functionality to the line, and several pieces near the end of the order added a provocative feel with sheer fabrics and tightly cut forms. Continuum was well tailored, vigorous and sexy, and injected a jolt of energy into the Thursday night crowd.
Hometown designer and recent Blanche Macdonald graduate Gerome completed the evening with an electrifying show of streetwear-inspired looks for men and women. The collection featured a wide range of materials and influences- from ice white leather pants matched with fluorescent orange turtlenecks to oversized corduroy puffer jacket and matching brown pants. The soundtrack featured Vancouver-based rap group So Loki and was explosive and visceral, driving models to walk forcefully down the runway. Influences came directly from hip-hop culture with samples of 70’s cuts and futuristic concepts. Although the show was incredibly varied, it stayed true to Gerome’s sense of style, and he earned a standing ovation from the crowd as he danced with his models at the outset of the show.
About Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW)
Vancouver Fashion Week is the fastest-growing fashion week in the world and the only industry event that actively seeks out to showcase international award-winning designers from over 25 global fashion capitals. For 32 seasons, VFW has celebrated multiculturalism and up-and-coming designers on their runways. VFW strives to identify undiscovered designers by providing an accessible and internationally-reputable platform. Through international media coverage and cogent buyer connectivity, VFW has provided the exposure to project past designers on to international success.
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Vancouver Fashion Week
Photo: Filippo Fior / Imaxtree.com