Malene Grotrian “New Heights” Fall/Winter Collection Launch and Runway Show

by Jacqueline Ryan, guest writer

Photo by Anita Alberto
To say that I am a fan of Malene Grotrian would be an understatement of epic proportions.  Spending any length of time with this talented designer is to experience a brightness of passion, spirit and engagement that you don't come across too often in a lifetime, if ever.  Sure, it's easy for me to say because I am fortunate enough to call her my friend.  But it's really much, much more than that.

The clothes, the woman and the experience is an all-inclusive visit into the realm and vision of someone who, over the past four years, has become one of Vancouver's brightest stars and most sought after designers. She is the little girl from Denmark who knew from the start that her dream was to be a fashion designer.  That girl grew up turning her vision into a reality.

Grotrian continues to follow her heart and it shows.  Never one to disappoint, the designer likes to treat her audiences to surprises.  We've come to anticipate a WOW factor every season!  Fast forward to her "New Heights" Fall/Winter 2012 Collection Launch Event and Runway Show at Performance Works on Granville Island on September 5th - what a show!  Timeless Ready-to-Wear?  Check.  Sumptuous Couture Collection?  Check.  A brand new custom line perfectly named "Made to Measure?" Check.

Okay, but wait!  What's that sitting on every seat?  Why it's Malene Grotrian The Magazine.  And why not? With so much achievement under her Dupioni silk belt, it's a perfectly natural next step.  It is a stunner and every bit as elegant and timeless as anything you would expect from this designer.  The magazine is a meeting place of all things Malene Grotrian, where her substantial and diverse talents are beautifully illustrated on thick, stylish pages.  From amazing images of her one-of-a-kind pieces draping and hugging striking model Beatrice King in all the right places, to glimpses into the world of the designer's conceptions, hard work and glamorous events, this magazine is no rag.  It's filled with riches.

The show itself was full of surprises.  My favourite moment was of model Allison's brand new husband shearing the flowy ruffled skirt right off of her ethereal white chiffon dress...We didn't see it coming and all were utterly delighted.

The ultimate serenade by violinist Rosemary Siemens, wrapped in a Malene Grotrian couture black and red corseted gown, was a hypnotic lead-in to the introduction of her latest endeavor, "Made to Measure."  This custom designed line means a true collaboration between client and designer.  Grotrian is fundamentally all about the connection she makes with the woman she is designing for.  It brings her ultimate satisfaction to create an exquisite, one-of-a-kind piece that truly captures the essence of the wearer.

That these designs can at once be described as both sculptural and free-flowing, architectural and versatile, seems impossible.  But her pieces are just that.  This season's must-have jackets are structured and fitted.  The draping silk separates fold in beautiful and surprising ways that can take you from day to night.  Tops and gowns layer and float down the runway like a dream.  Malene Grotrian pieces always have a sense of purpose and movement.  A juxtaposition that she can do like no other.

The attention to detail on her staple pieces offer that extra little edge, like an angled pocket on a jacket or an extra wide collar to roll up for a different look.  Peplum is all the rage, but Grotrian took this trend one step further by making a piece that is removable to keep it fun and flirty, while her signature bustier and pencil skirt maintain their timelessness and versatility. 

Classic cuts on blazers, skirts and trousers paired with beautiful, sheer blouses added a sense of richness and femininity to the clean lines that you can take to the office.  Knit jersey trousers and tops sashayed down the runway as well, proving that comfort can be elegant and sexy.

Photos by Anita Alberto
Grotrian impresses even further by inviting models of all ages, shapes and sizes to strut down her catwalk.  While her collection is the stuff fashionistas are made of, these are real women wearing clothes that everyone can relate to.  These imaginative designs can be worn in ways that are surprising and transformational.  Sheer geometrically patterned silk overlay falls beautifully over an essential slip dress, but it can also be twisted and draped into an asymmetrical shawl or scarf for added volume, effect and versatility.

Overall, Malene Grotrian has kept true to what she does best and what you hope to see from her each season...Literally, with a twist