Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 2012 - Day 1 and 2

Photo by Kuna Photography

With the great venue from last season torn down, Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 2012 chose the Chinese Cultural Centre on Pender Street for it's new season.  I have always loved this venue for it's accessibility and open feel.  It did not disappoint.  Day 1 and 2 ran very smoothly and while the first shows usually started late to make sure all seats were full for each designer, the shorter breaks between meant we were on time by the end of the night. Host Mandy Ross, showing gowns from the designers featured over the week, kept the evening flowing with short, to the point updates as well as one-on-one interviews between shows.  I was glad my turn in front of the mic came later in the week after I had the chance to get a look at the collections from many designers. Congrats to Jamal Abdourahman on another successful season.

Photo by Charles Zuckermann - www.zook-it.com
As the first multi-show event of the season, it was also a chance for all of us to catch up with fashion industry friends we lost touch with over the holidays as well as an opportunity to make new ones. From photographers to agents to media to customers, we were all talking avidly between every runway offering.  VFW is also the fashion week with the most international designers attending - a big draw for me personally as I write for a couple of international magazines. 2 favourites I will write on separately were Duyan from Milan and Ha Sang Beg from Korea (his 3rd and strongest appearance here).

Photo by Dan Poh 
First I'd like to share some candids from Day 1 and Day 2 courtesy of Ian Chae, Kuna Photography and Peter Jensen.  Then I'd like to talk about just a couple runway shows with all runway photography today provided by Peter Jensen. Updates on Day 3-5 will be coming shortly.

 Photography by Ian Chae - www.ianchae.com


Photography by Kuna Photography - www.kunaphotography.com


Photography by Peter Jensen - www.peterjensenphotography.com


BD Homme - 

All photos by Peter Jensen Photography
BD Homme is a line from Seattle, but I can't seem to find any information on it.  Too bad as I felt this collection was one of the strongest this evening and let's face it - we all love see a menswear set with male models.  When you're watching show after show it's great to mix things up a bit and men bring a different feel to the runway entirely.  The fact the audience is 3/4 full of women and that we buy many of our significant other's clothes also means it was a welcome change.  The line was classic enough to appeal to most men and yet had those needed interesting twists.  I particularly liked the black jacket above with the wide lighter grey trim although I am not 100% sure the fit was right on this model.  The dusty lilac note included in the palette was also interesting and subdued enough to be widely sell-able.  It was a tight, well thought out line that included pants, shirts, vests, jackets and coats in fabric, knits and leather.  Kudos to the designer and I hope he or she will make themselves more visible so we can give contact information.

Blushing Boutique - 

All photos by Peter Jensen Photography
Designer Shelley Klassen of Blushing Boutique has enjoyed a huge local following for years.  Her focus - feminine dresses that enhance the female figure.  Instead of the Fall/Winter collection, the designer chose to feature her Spring/Summer 2012 line just now hitting stores.  Those in the audience wanting to get their hands on a much desired favourite design will not have to wait impatiently for months. This is a trend many forecast will become more popular as social media continues to speed up the way we access all that is new and exciting.  Models sported retro hairstyles and flirty smiles as they sashayed down the runway.  33 looks were shown in a variety of very wearable fabrics fashioned from a mix of prints and solids. Silhouettes were soft, yet emphasized a woman's curves and the major hemline focus was just above the knee.  The piece de resistance was black red carpet dress with spaghetti straps and sexy high slit. 

Lasalle College International Design Students - 
All Lasalle runway photos by Peter Jensen Photography.

Final Look from Eunmi Kim and Synikal by Byron Abad
Final Look from Jun Young Kim, Leigh Rose, Melis Nur by Nur Kurban
Lasalle College's Fashion Design Program has had students showcase their collections in the last several season of VFW.  It's always an interesting addition to the evening.  Students don't bring the years of learning to the runway so proportions and finishing are not as polished.  They also have not yet honed their personal design aesthetic or nailed down what a cohesive collection really is.  BUT what they bring to the runway is a freedom to explore ideas and concepts without shackles as they are not yet worried about selling their current collection.  So while the construction and design level is not the same as a long-established designer's, the audience can get a glimpse of what the future might hold for the world of fashion.  Today's student designers will be the face of fashion in the coming years, so it's always interesting to see what they have to offer.   This year, the 5 students presenting were Jun Young Kim, Leigh Rose, Melis Nur by Nur Kurban, Eunmi Kim and Synikal by Byron Abad.  Congrats to each of them!

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