Friday, April 27, 2012

Journey to Digital

About 3 years ago my husband showed me an amazing online fishing magazine full of stunning photography and interactive ads. It was a life-changing moment as I realized this is where it was all going.  With the advent of social media, print ads were becoming increasingly passe and hard to sell. The digital magazine ads, seemed to be just coming into their own and used social media to their benefit.  They had embedded links to relavent videos. These might take you on a tour of the lodge/resort or on a boat down the river on an actual fishing trip.  Links could be included as well to things like the booking site or perhaps an e-tail store.  The ads were a cutting edge, interactive experience available to a global audience.  I was impressed.  A digital magazine also takes no physical space to store which is perfect for those living in today's smaller condos, is cheaper to produce, easy to travel with and is right in line with the Eco Movement.

Because this area is so new, researching it was a complicated and frustrating experience. Creating a digital flip magazine to be viewed online was easy.  The challenge was to produce one that could be sold as a digital download.  I tried to look at programs available to purchase and all had limitations, were pretty expensive and you had to buy separate versions for PC and MAC.  iPad owned the market., but to get into the Apple store you had to have a development permit. Zinio was the go-to site for downloads, but you had to pay them to create the digital magazine and give them a percentage of sales to be in their store.  They would install all the hyperlinks, but it was an extra charge to create the iPad version.  The cost was prohibitive for me and the reviews I read by web techies was they were not keeping up with new developments.

I tried talking with printing programs at universities to see if I could get an intern to no avail.  The academic world had not kept up with technology and didn't yet teach this new and exciting area of publishing.  I purchased InDesign.  There were problems moving the PDF files in as those with a white border didn't place right and had to be realigned.  I could create the flip book, but couldn't figure out how to do the 3-D shading of the pages at the centre "fold" line or install a zoom feature.  Classes were available, but this program was more focused on creating the graphics with the flip publication a unnecessarily complicated sideline.  I had put over a year and a half into research at this point - talking with programmers and graphic designers and working with trial version from several companies - and was very frustrated.  Then early this year it all finally came together.

I lucked onto on program that was around $300 for a single license - FlipBook Creator Professional (additional charge to purchase a backup CD) - that said it did an online version plus a downloadable PC and MAC version.  Working with the trial version, I was shocked at how easy it was to operate.  It offered .html, .zip, exe for PC and .app for MAC.  The price was right and it was unbelievably easy to use so I decided to purchase the program. There is no help menu, so learning how to change and adjust details has proved to be a trial and error experience, but slowly I have figured out how to adjust the colour of the desktop as well as add and remove features.  I still haven't gotten to inserting hyper links, using the html version to post to an online website and more, but I will get it all done.  Hopefully in the future this company will add a help menu.

2 days ago I stumbled across a surprise.  After creating digital versions of all 4 print collectibles in PC and MAC version, I noticed the line on the convert window that said it made downloads for iPad, iPhone and Android.  Wow!  Back to the website and yes, it does do that. How did I not notice this feature before?  I have created the first set of these files now but as I don't have a iPad or iPhone, I am still not quite sure how to use them - my challenge for the next week.  The one note here is that without a developer's license you still cannot sell this at the Apple store, but there are other options.

So after several years of frustration trying to figure out how to accomplish this journey in a price range I could afford, the future caught up to me.  Hopefully a future blog will cover distribution options.  Only time will tell.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Face, No Blood, No Bugs in Houses!

This blog has never been really about any one subject in particular, but with the sheer number of fashion events in the last 4 weeks, that subject seems to have taken over.  Today I needed a change of pace.

Yesterday Glen had taken the day off to drive up the valley with me.  We took his mother to lunch and visited for the afternoon, then headed over to the UFV to watch the graduate show for their fashion design students.  Great show by the way!  On the way out, this catch phrase of mine came up.  I can't believe I never shared it with him and realized I wanted to write a blog on it. So here we go.

Growing up I was what one might call a natural vegetarian.  It had nothing to do with religion, the environment or health. I remember the day the seed was planted.  My dad was a minister in a fairly small town and as a result our family finances were what could best be described as "humble." One farmer decided to help out by giving us 3 live chickens.  Dad had to kill them in the back yard and then mom cleaned them on the antique sink's washboard.  That moment was when the realization hit me that I was actually eating an animal.  Wow!  I know, I know, how could I not have realized that before.  I guess kids in general are really removed from where food comes from and just never think about it.

I struggled with this internal dilemma for many years.  There really wasn't the option to choose to eat differently. Our limited budget meant what we had was it.  At university I ate in the school cafeteria where options were pretty limited as well. Being a vegetarianism was still outside the mainstream. It was only when I moved into my own place and had to cook that I began to eat more meatless meals.  I never was comfortable inflicting my preferences on others - this was personal to me - so it really was about the choices I made privately.  When dining at the home of others, I did my very best to be as accommodating as possible. I know this is not how a lot of people feel about being a vegetarian (or other dietary choice), but it was what I felt the right choice for me.

Then came marriage and I made a very hard decision.  Growing up I never was comfortable with my parent's religion and felt horrible that I let them down when I chose to walk away.  I made a vow when I married and had children, I would do my best to give everyone wide options and let them listen to their own inner voice, let them follow their own path.  Meal time became more traditional, BUT I threw in vegetarian meals as well.  Iver the years I occasionally shared my decision, how I felt about it all and let that become a part of their inner voice.  I trust them to listen to their own heart and gave them full permission to follow it.

Through it all, I still struggle with my feelings about where meat comes from and know there are just some lines I cannot cross.  The day a couple invited us over for the first time and I turned to see them putting live lobsters in a pot of boiling water, I realized I need to be a little more vocal.  The sight of everyone twisting those poor things apart in front of me was more than I could bear and I could not eat the lobster they had so graciously spent a lot of money on.  So I came up with the line, "No face, no blood, no bugs in houses."  What that means is I can cope except in these cases: a whole fish or fully roasted animal laid out on the dinner table in front of me; meat that is still red inside, especially if it is bleeding onto the plate (I need my meat well-done even if it is burnt); and last of all no shrimp, lobster, clams and other seafood in their shells.  If the meat is taken out of the shell and used in a dish I can deal.  In the shell they look like they are a live creature and I cannot get past that.

So short and sweet - one line that says it all.  I don't like being a picky eater, so do my best to fit into a host's plans in as easy a way as possible.  I am perfectly happy eating salad and bread while the rest dine on more, but if I feel I'm watching carnivores devouring living things, the meal truly can be difficult to keep that smile on my face.  So it's all about compromise and balance.

“Your mind knows only some things. Your inner voice, your instinct, knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path.”

Whatever your feelings about this issue, it is absolutely important to let each person follow their heart.  I believe that our inner voice will guide us if we can just be quiet enough to listen.  I have also learnt over the years that every inner voice's message is very personal.  It is thankfully not the same for everyone.  Wouldn't that be boring?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vancouver Fashion Week - Day 5

Runway Photo by Harry Leonard - Leonard Imagery

This post is long past due, but I didn't want to conflict with other fashion weeks that were running.  What made this day stand out to me was the chance to yet again see several international designers.  I don't have the budget to visit global fashion shows, so having them come to me from Mexico, Brazil, Milan and more is exciting.  Day 5 offered several great collections and I want to mention 3 here - 2 international and one local.  Another I loved - DUYAN - was covered in a separate blog.

Soddi -

Out of the box menswear showcased on great looking male models is always a hit with the audience.  Unfortunately, when I went to the Soddi website to try and glean a little more background on this talented artist, the web translator didn't work.  All I have been able to confirm is that the man behind the line - Solon Diego Barros Silveira - is both a fashion designer and stylist and the brand is based in Rio De Janeiro. According to his press release, the Fall/Winter 2012 line showcased,  "...was inspired by mutation, body modification, body art, genetic, transformation, Eco hedonism, eccentricity, super hero."

I personally loved the way the looks were both classic and yet incorporated avant garde elements. Several were defined by a mix of fabrics.  The minimalistic black and gray palette let everyone's focus turn completely to the strong design of the garments.  There were both draped and tailored silhouettes fashioned into shirts, shorts, pants, jackets and coats with a mix of fabrics - both woven and knit.  My favourite piece in this collection was a long coat with zipper detailing including one long diagonal that went from the bottom edge up to the right chest.

RG Sanchez -

Mexican fashion designer Gregorio Sanchez is a graduate of the Louis Sallinger Institute in San Francisco with more then 15 years in the Mexican Fashion Industry and an international clientele. In addition to his quality, prêt-à-porter clothing, the brand also offers its own highly successful line of leather shoes and bags. Inspired by femme fatales of the 70's, the classic Fall/Winter 2012 collection was full of glamour.  Cashmere wool, wool jerseys, velvets, synthetic fur, knits, silks and chiffons were combined to create textures and urban elements.  Masculine details such as ascots added the accents.  The palette included gray, camel, wine, blue and black.  Silhouettes were offered in lengths from short to long, and from skirt and blouse separates to dresses and coats

My 2 favourite pieces were luxury evening wear looks.  First was a deep wine, sleeveless floor length number.  The top was in sequins with cut away sleeves topped with a sash encircling the neck tied in a large bow. The bottom half sported palazzo pants in softly draping, same-colour satin. It was red carpet ready.  The other silhouette that stood out was a floor length gown in ecru.  The top design appeared inspired loosely by a jacket but with voluminous sleeves gathered in at the waist.  The skirt flared out luxuriously from pleats at the waist.  It was old Hollywood glamour at its best.

Eva Chen -

Last this evening was Vancouver's very own Eva Chen who just returned from her first showing at Toronto Fashion Week.  A world traveler with a degree in fashion from the Fine Arts University in China, this designer brings a unique outlook to her vision of glamour inspired by international aesthetics.  Fall/Winter 2012 is aptly titled "Elegance."  First seen in the collection were shorter dresses and separates in a palette of ecru, gray, gold and black.  They began with more upscale business wear and ended with a couple evening numbers including one with an unusual silver/black honeycomb fabric accented with feathers at the neck and hem.  Next came a suit with the pants and jacket sleeves in the same honeycomb fabric and the jacket bodice in a mid-grey.  Definitely an intriguing piece.  My favourite garment followed.  It was a bright red jacket with a hem that curved from high thigh to bottom of the knee in back, a stand up collar and black accents.

After several coat offerings, the collection headed into what Chen is most known for - gowns - in white, gold, red and black. The one that stood out for me was dramatic and yet understated.  It was a black, strapless design that had a fitted bodice in a unique print reminiscent of silver bubbles and a skirt that flared out from the low hip.  This series of dramatic gowns sounded the final note for VFW F/W 2012.

Kudos to all the designers who showcased this week and I hope we see many of them back next season.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vancouver Fashion Week - DUYAN

Runway photography by Peter Jensen
Designer photo from her website

It took a bit to get the photographs organized for this post and then there was another fashion week running I didn't want to conflict with.  So a bit late, but a designer who really impressed me.

I chose to write on  DUYAN separately because she was one of my hands-down favourites this season.    Born in Korea, she moved to Milan in 1986.  She freelanced for several fashion houses and ended up collaborating for 9 years with Gianni Versace on the main line, Versus and accessories.  In '97 she also consulted with prestigious pret à porter labels including Blumarine and Max & Co.  2005 was the year she launched her own collection self-described as "...for a modern and sensual woman with a strong personality, secure in her choices."

I was lucky enough to have designer Doo Youn Jeoung sit next to me the very first night of VFW and was instantly charmed.  It's always nice to find a talented artist who is also gracious and warm.  All through the week I eagerly anticipated her show and was not disappointed.  We often hear less is more and Jeoung proved the master of this.  There was a simplicity showcased in her designs paired with just the right subtle accents.  Nothing more was needed. The collection was a well thought out range of dresses, coats, skirts, blouses and vest inspired by Audrey Hepburn's role in the film Charade.  Luxurious, yet delicate fabrics included wool, cashmere and silk.  Garments offered an appealing fluidity combined with subtle detailing. 

Beautiful silk dresses in in a fall palette had soft flowing shapes that were utterly feminine. Vivid burnt sienna, burgundy and black alternated with 2 well-chosen prints.   Silhouettes were created using a combination of soft tucks, pleating and gathering at neckline and/or waist.

A personal favourite was the softer shaped, thigh length jackets with the fold out lapels. Here the palette included 2 shades of gray and a bright red.  The use of buttons and stitch trim as well  detailing the back provided just the right accents.  The large, roomy pleat in back was also a great addition.  This look is both elegant and wearable at the same time.

The collection also included a bit of fur for the fall as well as a few jackets and knee length coats.  Cream, taupe, navy, brown and black offered a range of choices and all were designed to have just the right balance between room to fit over clothing and a flattering, silhouette.

The last 2 I wanted to show here are a bit difficult to see because of the dark colour, but they add what every fall collection should have - a bit of sparkle.  On the left is both a dress and coat with the accent found in a wide swatch at the bottom of both.  A great pair to wear for a night out.  On the right it's the dress underneath that has that hint of glamour intriguingly created in a subtle checkerboard pattern.

I can only hope this designer will be back next season for us to see what new is in store.  She has a unique talent to combine elegance and simplicity with just the right proportions and fabrics.  The line is flattering, feminine and oh-so-easy to wear - all guaranteed to make it a hit with today's modern woman.

For more information or to contact this designer, you can visit her website at

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tua Belle - Beautiful and Sexy!

April 20th, from 7-10 p.m. will be the official launch of a new feminine and sexy women's line to be sold under the label Tua Belle (Beautiful!).  According to their press release,  "[The brand] was created to satisfy the needs of modern women that want to look different, classy and sophisticated."  The garments are romantic, sensual, unique and designed to enhance a women's beauty.  Two fashion shows will be presented this evening covering swim and beach wear, lingerie and active wear all designed to European standards of couture.  

Because of the diversity represented, everyone can look forward to seeing variety in the fashion shows.  Active wear ranges from day wear to yoga wear.  Soft colours, fluid lines, feminine draping and accents provided by pops of colour and small ties create an appealing aesthetic.  Then in total contrast you find the Smiling Diamonds line full of bright, attention getting prints.

Lingerie looks range from soft and pale to classic black lace to bold statements.

For swimwear expect to see sexy, South American designs with great fit, bold prints and lots of colour.  

Tua Belle is a division of XBROK Trade Inc., a company that fosters trade between Canada and Latin America. CEO Edgar Rojas signed agreements with 6 famous, high-quality clothing manufacturers in  Columbia to produce this line.  Right now the garments fall into 5 categories: Swimwear, beachwear, underwear, nightwear and active wear.  2-3 new category will be added each season.  They will be sold on the new "Tua Belle" Fashion Store OnLine.

For more information or to purchase tickets to this event - only $15 - go to or phone 604-374-5610.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thank-you To My Amazing Female Friends

After being sick for over 4 weeks, I found my spirits very low and my mojo gone.  What to do?  Definitely I needed to get back to exercising, but first of all it was time to re-connect with the women in my life who inspire me.  

There really is nothing like sitting face to face over food, coffee or a glass of wine and opening your heart.  While it may start with the things that are a challenge, I find the conversation with these women always quickly moves forward to the positives - new directions, new ideas and our bond that grows each time we get together.

Monday I had the privilege to meet with a woman who truly inspires me for what she is accomplishing - Monika Blichar.  Tuesday the opportunity arose to connect with 2 more - Mita Naidu of Lotus Eye and Christa Leigh of Style by Business and Fashion Night Out Vancouver. Both uplifted me and helped me focus on the wonderful possibilities ahead.  Today I will have the opportunity to connect with Shannon Belsito, my stylist who is always ready with an open ear and a shoulder to cry on. On my list to catch up with are designer RozeMerie Cuevas of Jacqueline Conoir who mentored me from the beginning, Pam Jackson of Street Cat Designs who encouraged me to start this blog, Kris McKenna of Social City Networking who has many times shared the wisdom of her experience and Tawnya Busch of Lexington Models who gives me amazing industry feedback.  These are only a few of the many wonderful women who have guided me over the last 5 years in particular.  All have had a tremendously positive impact on my life.

I grew up as the only daughter with 2 brothers, so found I gravitated to hanging out with men.  It's only later in life I have come to realize the wonderful value of my female friends. They enrich my life and tell me the words I need to hear.  They understand my challenges as a woman, a mother and a business person in ways my male friends cannot. Here is my thank-you to each of them - I hope you know who you are.  You share my heartbreak, you share my joy, you give me the best advice imaginable and for all this I am utterly grateful and love you all!

“Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other belong to themselves.” - Louise Bernikow

"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Cry and you cry with your girlfriend." - Laurie Kuslansky

"In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman." - Margaret Thatcher

"I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career." - Gloria Steinem

"Women are amazing.  She can put a smile on her face, act like everything is fine, when really the world is on her shoulders and her life is clipping throug the cracks of her fingers..."

"Girls, always remember:  You are smart enough and beautiful enough to never be taken for granted and to never be anyone's second best."

"I refuse to think of them as chin hairs.  I think of them as stray eyebrows." - Janette Barber

"A man's got to do what a man's got to do.  A woman must do what he can't." - Rhonda Hansome

"The phrase 'working mother' is redundant." - Jane Sellman

"Behind every successful man is a surprised woman." - Maryon Pearson

"Whatever women must do they must to twice as well as men to be thought half as good.  Luckily this is not difficult." - Charlot te Whitton

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Snicker Bar Brownies!

This will be short and sweet.  Sometimes the best ideas are simple ones.   In this busy age, most struggle to find the time for home baking - it can be hard enough putting a healthy meal on the table at night.  So when I recently took treats to a fashion week to give to the volunteers as my Random Act of Kindness, I only baked one night.  The rest were bought at Costco or Safeway.  However, it took no time at all to pull this one together.

Brownies are one of those chocolate treats that pretty much anyone loves.  You can frost them, add things like nuts or one of the many varieties of baking chips - mint, milk chocolate, etc. - or even top with marshmallow cream  A plain brownie mix found in the baking section of any grocery store is your launching board.  Want to be non-eco friendly and really save mess, you can buy 8" square aluminum baking pans so that you can just cut and carry with you.  One box makes enough to fill one 8" square pan, so if you're serving a lot of people, I would mix up 2 boxes at once and just split the batter between 2 pans.

Here is my version using Snicker Bars to give them that extra bit of flavour.

1 -  Package plain Brownie mix
Whatever the package says you need - usually an egg, oil and water
My mix also suggested parchment paper to line the pan
1-2  -  Snicker Bars, the more the richer! (could try other candy bars as well or M&M's)

Pre-heat oven according to the directions on the box and line the bottom of your 8" Square pan with a piece of parchment paper.  Put the brownie mix in a large bowl.  Cut the Snicker Bar lengthwise into 3 long sections and then cross-wise into very small pieces. Note - if you put them in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes they are easier to cut. Toss the diced candy bar into the dry ingredients until well mixed.  Mix together the wet ingredients (egg, water, oil) and gently stir into the dry ingredients.  Place the batter in your prepared pan and bake according to package directions.  Cool in pan, then cut in small pieces and serve.

Remember - this is just a lunching board for where ever your imagination can take you. Here are links to a few more variations:

S'more Brownies -
Brownie Gems -
Rocky Road -
7 Variations -

Have more time and want to try something from scratch?  I found this recipe for homemade brownies that taste like Snicker Bars.  I haven't tried it yet so if you do, let me know what you think -

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vancouver Fashion Week - Day 4

Photo by Ian Chae
I already wrote up Ha Sang Beg in a separate post, so here are recaps on the other designers from day 4 at Vancouver Fashion Week.  It was a great set of shows that included a wide variety of designers from Vancouver, Poland, Toronto, Korea and London.  Diversity was the name of the game and the surprise of each new offering kept us all on the edge of our seats.


Xsenia & Olya -

Fall/Winter - Photos by Peter Jensen Photography

This line is the joint effort of designers Xsenia Runa and Olya Shishkina. Graduates of Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, these talented artists showcased 2 collections this evening. Their Spring/Summer 2012 collection, entitled Staircase Wit, was my personal favourite. Inspired by Gerard Richter’s masterpiece “l’Esprit d’Escalier," I loved the knit fabric with digital prints of aquatic life and soft, draped silhouettes. Bright colours, deeply plunged backs, soft sheers and body hugging dresses created a line that was both fresh and feminine.  The garments "...had a natural fluidity like water, echoing the movements of the body." The Autumn/Winter 2012-13 collection was called "Digital Knit" and played with the notion of light and dark in the movement of water to create unique prints. Wool and crepe de chine were added to round out the fall fabrics. My favourite fall print was the one created with beautiful golden browns and black.  It had warmth, pop and a look of luxury.

Vawk and Vawkkin -

Vawk - Photos by Peter Jensen Photography
Designer Sunny Fong is still recognized everywhere for his win on Project Runway Canada season 2.  That win was instrumental in helping to launch his couture line - Vawk - which is sold in The Room at the Bay nationwide.  Called "Sci-Fi Samurai," Fall/Winter 2012 was inspired by the idea of "The Uniform" in both Japanese culture and science fiction. Models sporting leather helmets exuded strength as they presented look after look. The colour palette was dark - mostly black with accents from a deep burgandy and a coppery bronze.  Details of laser cut leather and fur were scattered throughout.  My favourite piece was the long black gown with sheer panels and laser cut Koi accents. Probably the one negative is that Fong makes it look too easy. With the dark palette it was easy to miss the intricate couture construction and detailing so inherent in all his work. Each of these garments are made in his small studio.  It is a a very hands-on and time consuming process, but one that guarantees the quality of each garment is at the high level Fong demands. These are luxury pieces sold exactly as they appear on the runway.

Vawkkin - photos by Peter Jensen Photography

Fall/Winter 2012 was also the launch for his new ready-to wear line called Vawkkin.  There has been tremendous pressure for this designer to offer a more affordable line for his many fans and this collection of menswear-inspired garments answers that call brilliantly.   In Fong's press release he states, "I wanted to design pieces for this collection that would build a wardrobe...I really listened to feedback from those who love my work.  The collection was designed with them in mind."  The palette was kept to the very practical and versatile basics of grey and black, but offered one surprise pop with a deep electric blue.  While the silhouettes had a feminine feel, the lines were softer and more comfortable, something important if working a long day.  I loved the textured greys. My favourite was probably the dress on the far right above where the textured grey is a sheer fabric laid over a black dress with black trim at the waist, arms and neck. Look for this line to be sold through a new online e-tail space shortly.

Teresa Rosati

Photos by Dale Rollings

Polish designer Teresa Rosati presented her newest collection called Her Shine. The designer's specialy is glamorous, European haute couture cocktail, evening and wedding dresses in a variety of lengths.  Not really a cohesive collection, this was a grouping of widely different styles but I suspect when it comes to evening wear, this is just what is needed.  Everyone wants something unique that stands out from what others are wearing.  Solid and print, applique and feathers, softly draped or more structured, deep elegant colours alongside bright pops of energy - the range in styles was diverse.  I personally preferred the longer draped gowns such as the black/white printon the far right above; a black, one shoulder top paired with a long, white pencil skirt; and a softly draped, deep blue one shoulder gown with white applique.  I also found the jeweled collar on the shorter grey dress very intriguing.

Farida Lalji -
Photos by Peter Jensen Photography
Designer Farida Lalji was born in Uganda, a fact that continues to provide inspiration in her designs.  Her move into fashion began when she opened a high-end Indian designer boutique.  Customers began to request custom garments, so she decided to enter the fashion design program at Vancouver Community College and shortly after graduation launched her first collection.  This season was her 2nd showing at Vancouver Fashion Week.  For Fall/Winter 2012, the influence of her heritage could be seen in a wide variety animal prints scattered throughout as well as a palette that echoed the colours found in Africa in the Autumn. There were two definite directions offered in this collection.  One gave a stronger nod to classic looks for her more traditional clients - fusing traditional elements of femininity with a touch of modern sensibility. Then there were other garments where Lalji offered contemporary looks that would have a wider appeal in our Western market, more accessible and practical for today's modern woman. Sheers and wovens, suits and saris, bright colours and more muted shades all combined to create a lively and appealing show.  Her final number to close the show was a stunning beauty pageant gown in blue and gold.  Kudos!

Well, that's it for day 4.  Only 1 more day to go and then that will be it until next season.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 2012 - The Evolution of Ha:Sang;Beg

I admit it - I am a total HaSangBeg fan. Years of watching runway have drawn me to those designers who can surprise me and this designer is the master.  It is hard to get information on him.  Go to his website and you can navigate your way through it, but I can't seem to find a BIO or a current collection page.  In an internet search I finally found a write-up in the online version of Vogue London in 2010 that had at least some information.  

My favourite look this season - I would
buy this in a minute!
Photo by Dale Rollings
Beg worked as a stylist at Tank Magazine before feeling "culturally homesick" and moving back to Korea.  There he dabbled with television presenting, later becoming creative director at Korean Dazed & Confused.  As far as his entry into the fashion world, all I can find is this quote in the same article - " I have been enjoying and learning about fashion since I was 19 years old; from being a model, to an illustrator, stylist, creative director and as an independent fashion designer.  It took more than 10 years until I found that fashion design is the most personal fashion medium."  

I still have so many questions and just not sure when I will finally get those answers - where did he learn to design, what has the journey been like, how does he approach inspiration, etc.  I love a mystery and in the next few months hope to solve this one.  In the meantime I want showcase the evolution of this designer at Vancouver Fashion Week where his collection has been on the runway 3 of the last 4 seasons.  Enjoy!

Vancouver Fashion Week November 2010 (photos by Peter Jensen Photography) - For Spring/Summer 2011 HaSangBeg offered both bright colour and structure. Fitted wovens offered clean silhouettes with draped knits a welcome contrast. I loved the strong, in-your-face palette and the way the knit strands were interwoven like tree roots. 

Vancouver Fashion Week April 2011 (photos by Dale Rollings)  - Fall/Winter 2011 changed to sharper silhouettes.  Never for the timid, these designs are meant to appeal to the young and bold.  Colour blocking was a strong theme in this collection.  Notice the shoulders and sleeves on the garment on the far left below and the sweater 2nd from the left - both interesting design elements not seen in ready-to-wear.

Vancouver Fashion Week March 2012 (Photo by Dale Rollings) - I was so glad to see HaSangBeg back for Fall/Winter 2012 after missing last season.  Again, he brought a new look to the runway to surprise us all.  Still edgy, but messier - right down to the model's hair and make-up. The theme this season was gingham and chains with a few pom-poms thrown in.  From the time the first model hit the runway, the entire audience sat up. This was a show with a capital S and the fact it was unexpected made it all the more enjoyable. The palette was focused largely on deeper tones such as fuchsia, red, turquoise, purple and black.  The chain used to make all the decorative elements also had it's own palette - silver, gold, red, turquoise and charcoal.  Here are photos of most of the looks showcased this season. 

So ends another showing by HaSangBeg.  I am determined to find more detailed information on this talented artist from Korea before he comes to Vancouver again - hopefully next season.