Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 13 - Adriana Santacruz

All images courtesy of Peter Jensen Photography

For the most part I cover the designers at Vancouver Fashion Week by showing a few from each day together in a re-cap. I am making an exception here because I was so impressed by the story behind one collection. Moments like this are one of the reasons I attend all fashion weeks I am able. The world is full of these positive stories to enjoy even if the daily news is not.

As I was not able to make the Saturday evening shows, I decided to head down to the venue in the early afternoon to talk with the designers getting ready and look at their collections on the racks. There were many amazing, wonderful artists I had the privilege of talking with, but one stood out for her joyous, passionate personality and for the message of social consciousness that is an intricate part of her brand - award winning Colombian designer Adriana Santacruz!

Talking through an interpreter was an experience not to be missed.  Santacruz spoke with her entire being. Her eyes flashed, joyful excitement animated her face, her hands moved through the air as if communicating through sign language and the more she shared her passion, the faster she spoke. Several times I had to ask her to slow down as I couldn't keep up even though I wrote at a furious speed. Thank goodness the PR agency for this show - The Promotion People - had a great media package to fill in the blanks. 

The designer's passion for this collection is bound tightly to the responsibility she feels to bring happiness and prosperity to those who create her garments - the ancestral indigenous culture of "Los Pathos" - descendants from her local town tribes. They bring age-old artisanal skills such as "..the art of the four rustic sticks - 'The Loom' - which reunites cultural elements and sewing techniques."  The garments are wonderful artistic compositions created by hand - from the weaving of the fabric, to the hand dying, to the final sewing.  

Santacruz is committed to rescuing 3,000 year old traditions and using them to create classic, modern pieces that will be as wearable in 20 years as they are today. The garments reflect a blend of contemporary concepts with tribal unity and cultural roots. For Fall/Winter 2013 a subtle Oriental influence could be seen.  Handmade fabrics in horizontal and vertical loom with brocade; dying with ikat, tie dye and mooring techniques; and a beautiful, warm palette all blended to create a show-stopping collection that had the audience on the edge of their seats.

There was a surprising soft fluidity I didn't expect in the structured woven fabrics. Many garments had a lovely unexpected swing. The coats were hands down my favourite as I have always loved the silhouette of a fuller, draped coat worn over more fitted garments. I covet a whopping FOUR of them. My top choice over all is one the designer's favourites as well - the red and black coat on the left below - but it was a close call as I would just has happily wear most of them.

These garments I wanted to show front and back as they were 2 of the designer's personal favourites.
There is so much more to this story, but I will leave that for a future article so be sure and check back. In closing I want to offer my personal congratulations to the designer for not only her wonderful runway show at VFW, but her nomination as the official representative of Colombia to the Inaugural Ceremony at World Fashion Week Paris 2013.  And I can't wait to see what she will be offering next season.

You can visit the designer's website at

For media in Vancouver contact - 
Lesley Diana

In the U.S. contact - 
Monica Macía,