Saturday, March 21, 2015

Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 15 Day 4 - Pillar, Allison Wonderland, Aniimiism, Haveney, Night X Day & Noe Bernacelli

Noe Bernacelli! - Image courtesy of Peter Jensen Photography
For those who do not know - this is my 16th season covering Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW), but my connection with this event runs even longer.  My daughter decided to model for a few years at the age of 16. Her very first bookings were 3 shows in VFW and I think she walked for 3 seasons. Photographer Garry K, who has been with the event all 25 seasons, took her first runway images which I still treasure. While I never watched - I met VFW founder Jamal Abdourahman when dropping her off or picking her up.

In September 2007, I partnered with a local photographer who was starting a magazine, and so my career attending this event as media began. Over the years I have made some amazing international connections and had the privilege of interviewing many, many truly amazing artists. I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities I receive each season and it's always such a joy when an international artists returns. It's like having friends from far away visit.

Image courtesy of Kuna Photography


The rain continued to be a challenge this evening with wet spots here and there, but the staff worked tirelessly going above and beyond the call of duty to keep thing smoothly. Kudos to those well dressed men in suits who would step out between shows to take care of small wet spots on the runway so that the models could walk safely.  And emcee Symone Says again rocked it.  She has such a talent for filling those small empty spaces - last night included getting phones from audience members to snap their pics, having the entire audience send her friend requests and somehow drawing the fashionable the audience unto doing a sports arena style FASHION WAVE as she strutted the runway.

Images courtesy of Sam Stringer


I loved my outfit last night.  The black/white jacket, soft flowing skull print blouse and skull print scarves were by local designer Kjaer (pronounced CARE) Neletia Pedersen of K-O.ME Clothing. Paired with the skull print was a pair of skinny pleather/knit leggings with zippers up the back of the ankle by RozeMerie Cuevas of JAC.  One accessory not local that I am still very proud of was a bottle cap crocheted purse handmade by a Brazilian artist in a co-op and marketed by Escama Studios (Escama means fish scales - very appropriate) out of California. I topped it all of with some sparkly pink dangly earrings and hot pink/black skull print high heels from Iron Fist.  The outfit made me feel like a million and it was unbelievably comfortable to wear as well - okay maybe the feet protested after a few hours!



On to the shows. A real variety again and I am mixing it up a bit.  I have 3 designers covered under one heading with shorter write-ups as they are all a part of the Buy BC Local campaign and all represented locally by Sarah Murray at the Fashion Capsule showroom in the FX Fashion Exchange. Again - tons of great design seen last night, so be sure to check out all the other designers - Vitamin A, Covet, Brunette Showroom, Bench Garsia, Scotch&Soda, Maison Scotch and Silvian Heach.

Buy BC Local

Pillar by Allison Wonderland and Allison Wonderland

Pilar - Images courtesy of Ed Ng Photography

I had the privilege of interviewing designer Allison Smith in 2009 for a magazine I co-owned and was impressed with her clean designs and focus on creating very wearable clothing for the West Coast lifestyle.  Looking at the two collections she showcased last night, she has continued to grow while still staying true to her focus. Love this quote from her bio, "Allison Smith, realizes that a woman’s life is not all about evening gowns. She designs clothes for the everyday life of working, running around town and getting things done...clothes that she and her friends would want to wear, often inspired by references from her favourite decade – the 70s!"

Images courtesy of Ed Ng Photography


Pillar is a very wearable eco line. One fabric I was really drawn to was a silk/wool blend.  There was also a great mix of separates in particular. This was followed by her trademark Allison Wonderland collection.  There is still a comfortable plaid shirt, but overall the looks were a more upscale. These were looks that would take you to work or just out looking fab with friends, while still feeling oh so comfortable.

Sofia

Images courtesy of Ed Ng Photography


I first saw the Sofia collection when it was awarded Best Up-and-Coming in Western Canada's GENERATION NEXT competition. Designer Sofia Mendez Schenone was born in Chile, but now lives, works and manufactures right here in Vancouver. The collection is created from luxurious natural fabrics and the palette featured muted winter tones. There were several pieces that caught my eye that had a softer fit for those of us not model thin - such a the look in the centre above. In fact I will be wearing the sweater jacket in the 2nd image from the left on Sunday at VFW.  Here is an excerpt from her bio, "The pieces are vibrant, feminine, and do not over shadow the woman wearing them. Sofia is perfect for a day about town or a night of wine and laughter; perfect for bringing out the best qualities in you."

Aniimiism

Images courtesy of Ed Ng Photography


I met the designer behind Aniimiism - Cassie Dee -  at the Fashion Capsule showroom during an open house for media and she was full of great positive energy.  When I realized the label wasn't full of animal prints, I was intrigued and asked the designer to share her thoughts. This excerpt from her bio is bang on as her words are clearer than what I could share, "Confident and curious, the Aniimiism woman is both current and forward thinking, traversing boundaries in search of truth– to herself and the world around her," This collection surprised me as I'm not always fabulous at seeing potential on the hanger. Seeing the looks on models really made several pieces stand out - a unique detail here, a strong shape there and I loved the print. This is another label designed and manufactured right here in Vancouver!

Haveney

Images by Peter Jensen Photography
We were introduced to Haveney and designer Marie-Laetitia Rossazza (from Nice, France) the day before in a video offered by Alliance Francais. A recent design graduate - June 2014 - her brand offers, "...femininity and handmade creations, which are both chic and elegant." From her bio, " Marie was influenced by minimalist art, as she was inspired and motivated through the elegance found in black and white. The Halternecks for instance, present elegant, subtle silhouettes, as Haveney focuses more on the detail within, as opposed to being flashy with the designs."

Image by Peter Jensen Photography


Many of these silhouettes are not for the less daring as there were low cuts in the front, on the side and even one very short top with under cleavage.  But the strong, classic, structural nature combined with great tailoring skills and elegant fabrics definitely made this collection a stand-out. I especially loved looks featuring higher fronts with swooping, low backs - a detail I find wonderfully feminine.

Night X Day

Images courtesy of Dale Rollings
Night x Day offered both mens and womens wear, but I really thought the menswear offered the stronger looks.  From their bio - "NIGHT X DAY is a contemporary fashion brand in Seoul, Korea, which launched in March 2014. Creative Director Juun-ki Hong presents NIGHT X DAY every season with different concepts and attraction. The collections are defined by signature contemporary art and youth culture. The brand can best be described as 'attention to detail with a touch of minimalism'." The detailing and tailoring on the leather jackets stood out in particular and I loved the structured scarf accessorizing several of the looks.

Noe Bernacelli
Image by Peter Jensen Photography

Ah Noe Bernacelli - an amazing talent and in my opinion one of the top in the world today. Born in Peru and trained in Milan, he is an admirer of beauty, who both celebrates and is inspired by the women he creates for. I was floored with his show a year ago and went on to write it up for Raine Magazine in New York.  It was hands down absolutely fabulous.  How to you follow that up? With the show last night.  I am an avid fan of not just this collection, but of the designer. As a former sewer, I am well aware that the skill needed to create the looks shown last night are couture quality and each look take serious amounts of time from start to finish. 

Image by Peter Jensen Photography
The designer also knows how to pace a show.  The lovely mix of pale, exquisite fair-tale with more classic luxurious looks both light and dark was wonderful. The designer has an eye for colour, shade, proportion and  silhouettes to compliment his strong construction skills and a talent for selecting just the right fabric for each look. There were a few prints offering delicate shades such as a a brocade with hints of colour that whispered as it passed.  I gave this show a well deserved standing ovation. Smitten as always, at the end of the show I managed to snag moment with him backstage just to connect, say hi and shake his hand. A treasured moment as last time I did the whole write-up with only email contact through his rep. I hope Bernacelli continues to honour Vancouver with his designs for seasons to come!!!!!

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Saturday and Sunday are the last 2 days to come see what all the excitement is about.  Doors open at 3 both days.  Tix available through www,vanfashionweek.com.

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