VFW Sept. 2012 - SODDI, Y!D.N.A. and George Bezhanishvili

Photos courtesy of Peter Jensen

Vancouver Fashion Week closed this year with a triad of amazing designers - Solon Diego, Andy Hoan Nguyen and George Bezhanishvili.  It was the perfect end to what has been an exciting week and the strongest line-up of international designers I have seen here.

SODDI by Solon Diego

This is the second season Brazilian designer and stylist Solon Diego has shown his SODDI menswear line at VFW. F/W 12 featured a dark palette and stark silhouettes that modified the male form. His S/S 13 collection heads off in an entirely new direction.  Lines were still fairly clean, but a bit softer than last fall.  Stark white, neon yellow and vivid orange created the feel of the hot sun shining in on a tropical beach.  As always, Diego is not afraid to play with silhouettes that fall outside traditional male shapes.  The one shoulder shirts - example on right above - are one example.  The wrapped shorts offered in several colours another.  It was easy to spot the influence of traditional African and Asian styles. In addition to incorporating multicultural trends, the looks were completed with crownless hats and styled with accessories by Negra Rosa, another Brazilian designer.  Well tailored, great lines and vibrant colours all combine to create an exceptional line and I for one always applaud new directions in menswear.  It's their time to shine.

Y!D.N.A. Collection by Andy Hoan Nguyen

In 2010, Designer Andy Hoan Nguyen caught the attention of the fashion world as the Grand Prize Winner of the Telio Design Competition at Montreal Fashion Week.  With several successful shows now under his belt, he brought his latest collection to walk the runway at VFW.  His fashion house is called Y!D.N.A. - Andy backward, but also a reference to the y-chromosome.  Nguyen shares in his Facebook bio, "Human DNA is unique to each individual, and this characteristic of uniqueness is something that I wish my collection to be interpreted as. It’s like transferring the “Differences” between them to make something different again." The palette focused mostly on the colour black with a few accents of red and yellow as well as one bright print. It was young hip and fresh.  Sexy dresses, skirts and shorts had very lofty hemlines and there was even a body suit with high french cut leg lines that heralded back to his connection to the dance industry. Zipper accents and nice detailing rounded out this statement making collection.  Young designers always shake up the industry and Nguyen is definitely one of those making waves.

George Bezhanishvili

George Bezhanishvili was the final show at VFW and he did it with style.  This internationally recognized designer creates his unique look by bringing together diverse ethnic looks and utilizing contemporary techniques to craft them.  He thinks of his garments in terms of a 2nd skin to wear.  I loved this statement I found explaining the designers process, "...combining different fabrics and materials, spinning the wheel of color and adapting ethnicities to contemporary technique, this designer establishes an androgenic world of dreams – thus existence. Garments are assembled as an endless flirt between strong and fragile, outlining the opulent look. Each collection is a personal chronicle, present captivation and a fresh breath of desire. They shape and move in tune with the wearers body."  I couldn't have said it better myself. The palette for this collection was dark and the music played to accompany it dramatic. Delicate hints of gold, brown and purple drew us in. My favourite piece of the collection was the dress on the left above - kimono style with print sash and high slit.  The overwhelming response from the audience was well-deserved and I hope enough encouragement for Bezhanishvili to return.  This is another designer I hope to interview in the future.