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.