Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cuevas Takes Us To Colombia for Spring/Summer 2013


All photography courtesy of Peter Jensen

 While this column is a bit late in terms of an October 2012 event write-up, it's bang on in terms of availability.  The new Jacqueline Conoir and JAC Spring 2013 collections by designer RozeMerie Cuevas will start arriving in the boutique around the end of January.  So in the end, perhaps the best time to read about the fashions you are going to want to add to your wardrobe is when you will soon have access to them.

It was a typical October evening outside, but inside the Jacqueline Conoir boutique it was a balmy day in Colombia. Gone were the racks of clothing and in their place was a tight u-shaped runway with a symbolic bamboo forest dotted with orchids running down the middle and along the back. The atmosphere seeped into our pores and prepared us to see what this talented designer had in store for Spring/Summer 2013. Show producer Vladimir Markovich shared, "RozeMerie brings an inspiration for these two collections that she derived from recent trips to Colombia.  She was fascinated to see the diversity of both the people and the resources, particularly in combination with the natural beauty and cultural resonance of the country."

The unique sleeve makes this both classic and unexpected. I also
love the BOLD colour.  Definitely a statement-making dress.
For those who do not know, 2 years ago Cuevas decided to expand her brand to include a second line. Jacqueline Conoir is the original label and offers upscale, sophisticated garments. Here you will find stylish coats, jackets, dresses and separates incorporating unique feminine accents designed for the moden woman. Work, play, party, travel - it's all here. The second line launched just 2 years ago is the JAC collection. The look is casual, hip and edgier. You'll see a trendier, more daring cut to these garments. While JAC in general addresses a younger market, there are many looks perfect for a wide range of women. This evening we were treated to both.

Great colour blocking.  One look is created with soft knit separates,
the second is a more structured one piece dress.
The theme that carried through all looks was strong and sexy. According to Cuevas, "[Today's power woman]...loves attention and is never afraid to make a glamorous statement in all aspects of her life. She is bold and confident, cool and relaxed, never sits still and always strives to accomplish." The challenge of offering 2 full lines each season is enormous, but you would never know it when viewing the collections. Designs appear effortless and silhouettes in perfect proportion. And there are always surprise elements.

2 stunning woven jackets to bring in texture to your look. The
one on the left actually has solid turquoise knit panels for easy wear.
To further set the scene for an already captivated audience, as the lights dimmed the intriguing sound of chirping birds was offered as well as a softly drifting haze that flowed lazily into the space. Then the show began in earnest. Cuevas described the spring collections as, "In the jungle, you never know what you are going to get." An intriguing premise to build on. First down the runway was the Jacqueline Conoir line offering us a diverse selection of knits and wovens, draping and structure, bold and subtle. It was like Yin and Yang - energy and ease, loud and quiet.  You could imagine walking through the jungle with bright pops of bird or flower interspersed. Then came the JAC looks created in softer pastels meant to channel slowly moving water and warm sandy beaches. A different take on the designer's South American inspiration.

Bold graphic prints are timeless and a must-have staple in every wardrobe.
What I personally love the most is the return to colour in the last few seasons. I've never been a beige/pastel person. Give me prints and colour, give me bold graphic black/whites - you get the idea. I also love fabric with drape or texture. Cuevas offered me all this and more, with the inclusion of enough neutral to provide both balance and a strong foundation for my wardrobe. Silhouettes were soft overall and very wearable, with several structured pieces to add interest. Variety was the name of the game. From prints to solids, knits to nubby wovens, classic silhouettes to those with a unique twist - the show kept us on the edge of our seats waiting to see what came next.

Great separates are offered in both casual and upscale looks.
The evening ended with the traditional wave and smile by RozeMerie Cuevas that we have all come to know and love, followed by trays containing wine and bubbly to celebrate another great show. Working to make it all happen was the amazing staff at Jacqueline Conoir who bent over backwards to be sure everyone was well taken care of; show producer extraordinaire Vladimir Markovich whose artistic touch could be seen throughout; DJ Anna Loftipur who kept the evening's music flowing; La Biosthetique who provided the fabulous hair and make-up styling; partners Gravity Pope and Nine West who provided footwear; and a great group of student volunteers from Blanche Macdonald and The Art Institute of Vancouver. Metal drop earrings seen on the models were a collaborative design between JAC and Rocaille.

This look just oozes comfort and chic at the same time.
I love when a new season hits!  Spring/Summer 2013 will begin arriving in the Jacqueline Conoir boutique -164 W. 5th - around the end of January and I will be there to check out my pre-books (something I recommend everyone look into doing each season). Stylists are always on hand to offer sage advice and perhaps guide you out of the box into a few new looks to update your wardrobe.  Hope to see you there!

For more information or to check out the online store click HERE.

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