Vancouver Fashion Week S/S 14, Day 2 - LaSalle, Unified Theory, Taran K. Cheema and Dandilion Wind Opaine

Runway Images by Peter Jensen
All other images as credited (Ed Ng)

My guilty confession - this is from Day 1, but love this
image by Ed Ng with Edward Quan, Mark Abbott,
Trisha Petrovich, ?? and Dominque Hanke
Day 2! After being too excited to go to sleep and then waking up at 6:30 in anticipation, I figured I would be a lot calmer this day and I was. Still - I cannot begin to say how much I love and appreciate the great people in the fashion community here. It is a privilege to spend time with each and every one and they inspire me in so very many ways. Way too many people to mention.

Best friends Jan Van Vianen
and designer Evan Clayton
after his amazing runway show.
We were treated to 14 collections and you just can't imagine how diverse they were. I have always been a huge supporter of students and new designers, so want to take a moment and recognize the talent coming out of Vancouver. In addition to the LaSalle students below, there was Angela Huang - a student at Kwantlen - who showcased an amazing collection in all white and the incomparable Evan Clayton - a graduate of Blanche Macdonald whose designs are absolutely out of the box original. Loved seeing several teachers and program directors from these schools in the audience to support their students and alums.  It's what makes our schools special!

Trying to figure out who to cover in this write-ups was gut-wrenching as there were so many that deserved to be featured, but I can only select four each day because of time restrictions. If you really want to get an idea all the incredible collections seen on the runway yesterday, I suggest you go to the Vancouver Fashion Week site and look up the other designers.  Also check out the many runway pictures that will be posting over the next week.  It was a truly inspiring day.

LaSalle College Fashion Design Students - 
Note - special thanks to LaSalle PR Patricia Robitaille for forwarding me the write-ups below on the students that showcased on day 2.

I was VERY impressed with all the collections shown by this great group of students. All I want to add to the information sent by the school was to note that all the beautiful silks seen in Jang's collection were hand-dyed by the designer.

Images by Peter Jensen Photography

Jesper Annerstedt – Sweden, 20 years old
Twenty year old Jesper grew up in a small town near Gothenburg, Sweden. He can’t remember a time when he wasn’t drawing and sketching. Drawing princesses as a child quickly turned to drawing dresses and clothing, although he didn’t think of fashion as a career initially.  “I kind of happened upon fashion in high school. I was thinking of graphic design or 3D animation, but there were no programs in those fields at my school, so my guidance councillor suggested the fashion program, and of course I loved it right away!”

  • Theme: I was inspired by traditional religious garments and symbols, and also contrasting opposites, such as hard/soft, black/white, life/death etc.
  • Colour Palette: Black, white, brown, silver.
  • Fabrics: Cotton & leather.
  • The Collection Described In One Word: Daring.

Images by Peter Jensen Photography
Carolina Rojas – Columbia, 17 years old
Seventeen year old Carolina is from Bogota, Colombia, and started sketching fashion when she was just twelve. “My grandmother really loved sewing and embroidery, and growing up around her and seeing her interest in it, really planted a seed in me,” explains Carolina. When packing for Vancouver, Carolina made sure to include squares of Colombia’s colourful hand sewn fabrics, which she plans to use in her show at Fashion Week
  • Theme: My theme and inspiration is mainly the juxtaposition between structure and softness, and the way native people from Colombia (Kunas) use the fabric I'm using too. They use it as a square on their clothing, which is what I’m recreating by using it as a belt, or small details on my pieces.
  • Colour Palette: The Colour palette is black, white and some shades of gray. The Colombian fabrics are mainly red, orange, green and yellow.
  • Fabrics: I'm using some jersey knit, and some polyester to make the dresses, for the jacket and bustier I'll be using linen and some cotton for lining.
  • The Collection Described In One Word: Balanced.
Images by Peter Jensen Photography

Sonya Jang – Ottawa, 26 years old 
Twenty-six year old Sonya is from Ottawa. She started designing as a teen, because she couldn’t find what she wanted to wear in Ottawa stores. “I was a bit of a tom-boy but I was always into clothes and wanted to wear things that reflected who I was. I love the way fashion is a form of communication. What we wear is a reflection of our mood, and how we want people to perceive us. Whether it’s right or wrong, we do tend to judge people by their appearance.”

  • Theme: The overall theme of this collection is feminine vs masculine, I'm trying to challenge the idea of what "pretty" is (without being a hippy dippy feminist). A lot of the pieces are menswear inspired. I was initially inspired by The Kiss by Gustav Klimt and other erotic art. You can find my inspiration in the colour choices.
  • Colour Palette: black faux leather, and silk that will be painted and dyed burnt orange, mustard yellow, navy blue and pea soup green.

  • Fabrics: I'm using a lot of black faux leather, and silk that will be painted. I'm also not much for jewellery or over-accessorizing so I've designed each look to stand alone. Gold zippers are used as detailing to replace the need for jewellery.
  • The Collection Described In One Word: Unconventional.

Images by Peter Jensen Photography

Jenna Cotton – Victoria, 29 years old
Twenty-nine year old Jenna is from Victoria, BC. “Being able to show my work in a serious venue like Vancouver Fashion Week is a major item on my bucket list, so I am really excited and grateful for the opportunity,” says Jenna. After exploring creative writing, business, science and nursing, Jenna learned that her abilities needed an artistic outlet. She is now focused on fashion and is committed to refining her skills as fashion designer.

  • Theme: This collection started with a sketch from the far reaches of my brain. I then developed it and read meaning into it, until the collection became what it is. I am taking the direction of future meet past, black and white meets colour, and hard meets soft.
  • Colour PaletteE: Black white and beige with pops of bold contrasting colours like poppy red and yellow-green.
  • Fabrics: Silk: dupioni, taffeta, chiffon.
  • The Collection Described In One Word: “Bontrast” a mix of balance and contrast.

Unified Theory - 

Images by Peter Jensen Photography
Per her online bio, Sara (doesn't mention a last name) was born in Ontario and raised in the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. Now she lives (when not travelling) in Saskatoon. I love this quote from her website, “Never living in one place for too long created a nomadic spirit in me which is unanimous in my designs. I always lived in places that surrounded me with undeniable beauty and forces of nature. Forces so vast and powerful they could only inspire...I think that fashion should be timeless, and parallel the natural architecture of it's surroundings.” Her collection explores the dual faces of a woman - her strength alongside her fragility. I'm not much of a girly girl and yet there were several softly feminine pieces I could see going in my closet.  Looking at the runway images above, I think she found just the right balance. The fabric choices were perfect, the construction immaculate, the background mural intriguing and the styling - especially the hair - bang on. A perfect blend that made me sit up in my seat and take notice.

Taran K. Cheema

The more I read up on this Canadian-born designer/artist/photographer, the more I appreciate what I saw on the runway yesterday. A recent graduate of Parsons (receiving one of the highest scores on her collection), she has an impressive resume showing internships with high end designers such as Stella McCartney, Donna Karan and Diane Von Furstenberg. I highly suggest any serious fashionistas check out her website and have a look at some of her other work - Gear Collection, Fly Collection, MTA Kids Collection and Painting Collection.

What we were treated to on Day 2 was her Thesis collection. Cheema took a unique approach in its creation, "The collection is inspired by paintings. Taking various brushes from a fan brush to a filbert, I created multiple layers of brush strokes. After creating these, I used tracing papers to find the silhouettes. Then, I transferred the pieces to Photoshop and put it on a model. Erasing the rules of pattern making, I created my own set of rules.Each piece is limited to three garments within a look. Each garment contains two different colors of raw silk that are fused together. Essentially, each garment layer consists of two colors and one piece of fabric. The pieces are combined through multiple wrapping and intertwining techniques. Each layer can be laid flat because 95% of the closures are hand-sewn snaps. The collection is unique because each layer is a distinct pattern shape. Similar to how an artist paints, the garment develops as you add each layer to the look – building up layers to get the final product." Why is it I now want to see this collection again with new eyes? This is one designer who I will be following!!!

Dandilion Wind Opaine

Images by Peter Jensen Photography

As I covered this designer last season, some of this will be a repeat. Vancouver based Dandilion Wind Opaine brought it again this season with a unique theatrical show to inspire us all. Her collection is always a great way to finish a long day - a conceptual show that gets us to sit up tall and fully engage. She is a musician who has performed all over the world, art director and costumer whose work has appeared in DazedNylonPlayboy and Elle. I love this quote from her website as it offers us a small window into her imaginative world, "Dandilion Wind Opaine was conceived in a tent, and born and raised in northern British Columbia in a cabin without running water, next door to a taxidermy museum in a concrete igloo. Her young and extremely loving parents, and WWII veteran grandparents taught her the appreciation of the earth’s natural resources and elements for survival." Not your average biography. I believe this collection was called "Pastoral Dawn" and was inspired by childhood wonderment and her unusual upbringing immersed in northern nature. The most dramatic moment was the final look with several models forming a long shape crawling down the runway.  It was definitely a wow moment and the perfect ending to both this show and the day as a whole.

Images by Peter Jensen Photography

Hoping to have some candids to add soon, so be sure and check back.  Want to know which shows are running today? Check out the schedule at the Vancouver Fashion Week site.

A few great candids from Ed Ng Photography -