Friday night was a sensation, with a multitude of styles presented by designers hailing from Canada to New Zealand.
Local Vancouver designer Amy Herndon from Ization studio presented her visionary collection ,,Popularity Contest”, which aims to expose and break down societal norms. Herndon’s line embodies this idea through its experimental composition, technical approach, and urban streetwear influence. The unisex garments transcended gender roles as male models donned the runway wearing ankle-length skirts and females wore baggy hoodies, dark makeup was worn by both. Signature pops of bright colours were interspersed with black in comforting fabrics that were further interlaced with unconventional zippers and quotes like: ,,we don’t clique” and ,,conformation”. Herndon intertwines function and form, combining soft textures and layers to create clean-cuts and boxy, relaxed shapes in hooded sweaters and loose-fitting pants. Most notable was a bright yellow floor-length puffer jacket paired with cobalt blue baggy trousers.
Ay Lelum-The House of Good Design, a line crafted by B.C. based sisters Aunalee and Sophia, presented their enchanting new collection, The K’wuyucun~Grizzly Bear. The sisters drew inspiration from Coast Salish culture and their family story originating from the ethereal Grizzly Bear, which was encapsulated in the pieces by the incorporation of intergenerational Coast Salish art. Garments featured nature-inspired colours, with shades of sage, turquoise and muted yellows, all infused with calming neutral tones. Floor-length column dresses of silky, silvery fabrics danced on the runway, alluding to an image of a flowing river while velvet tops and jackets lined with fur seemed to mimic a bear’s delicate coat. Also featured were draping shawls and hooded capes with embroidered intricate Coast Salish designs. Their showcase of wearable Indigenous art garments was a modern day storytelling of ancient traditions which left the audience in awe.
Emelia’s Swimwear, a Canadian brand by Emelie Hausler, transported the audience to a tropical holiday through their collection of luxury swimwear. Energetic and playful models worked the runway wearing flirtatious bikinis, interacting with each other and taking the spontaneous selfie. Hausler draws colour inspiration from her travels, resulting in diverse shades ranging from earthy tones to vibrant and bright hues which caught the eyes of the audience. The reversible swimwear was interlaced with modest mesh inserts, playful zippers and feminine belts and braids, keeping each piece a balance between functional and stylish. The show finished with a dazzling finale as the models strutted down the runway for the last time collectively in head-turning bright fuschia pieces.
The first of a presentation by Apparel Magazine, Bradley Smit’s collection personified the discolouration of glaciers. Through fabric, he imitated nature, starting with soft whites and blues that progress to increasingly darker silhouettes. The collection by the New Zealand based designer featured an array of gowns, floating blouses, and wide pant jumpsuits highlighted by hand-dyed elements of blue. While Smit channelled the ocean, Wairata presented wonderfully floral silk details that decorated dresses reminiscent of 1920s flapper girls, modernized with asymmetrical hemlines. The collection was wonderfully seductive with dresses that exposed the shoulders and included sequin details. The final collection presented by Apparel Magazine, from Aania, showcased a collection of tailored dresses, pants and tops exclusively in deep green, white and classic stripes. The show finale featured an exquisitely feminine, eye-grabbing and flattering silk dress.
Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia presented a show that exposed the rich, diverse and beautiful fabrics to be found across Indonesia. NY by Novita Yunus offered three pieces that featured a royal, golden, traditional Indonesian pattern and a sweeping red sash juxtaposed with modern silhouettes in a blazer, v-neck dress, and A line dress. Bernada communicated Indonesia's rich variety of fabrics through a line generous in material that expertly mixed and matched patterns. The items themselves, while often traditional tunics, vest and skirts, felt stylish and accessible with modern accessories and muted colours.
Faun, by Canadian designer Marisa P. Clark presented a wonderfully wearable collection this evening. A robustly feminine line featuring silk dresses, wide-legged pink pants and a suede jacket, the items stood apart due to a diverse colour palette of pink, teal, red, and blue. Clark added texture and dimension through details such as pearls, gold trim, gloves with fluffy cuffs and the brand’s signature antlers. The line looked sensual and flirty passing down the runway but would easily translate into any young woman’s office and social wardrobe.
Hamon, a Japanese brand created by Kumiko Iwano, showcased innovative and masterful craftsmanship through an extensive line exclusively made from fragments of fabric and materials left over from her last 10 years of production. ,,RE:incarnation”, a collection that spoke to the themes of memory and rebirth, started with a bright, eye-grabbing red dress and moved throughout a rich palette of black, grey and purple to conclude with beautiful white dresses. Most of the items featured one colour but added incredible texture through recycled fabric sewn upon the items in numerous ways, including raw and frayed strips, hemline tassels, patches and folds. Keeping the traditional Kimono silhouette of long jackets and robes with wide sleeves over long pants or skirts, Iwano’s collection looked effortlessly elegant and, while innovative and creative, perfectly comfortable and wearable.
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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Photo: Filippo Fior / Imaxtree.com