VALT 2013 - Day 1, UTOPIA

Images by Peter Jensen Photography unless otherwise noted.

Friday night's theme was Utopia - "The ideal future for many, a world in which humankind lives without toil or discomfort, with little to no effort being required for survival. A sweet and hopeful future that was the dream of the optimistic 50's, 60's, and early 70's." The selection of fashion, music and performances held well all night and I, for one, was captivated.

The Hostess -

The evening's hostess was Jacqueline Ryan, Copy Editor/Writer at Miroir Magazine and Writer/Arts and Entertainment Editor at GrindDown Magazine. Dressed in a garden of Eden inspired gown by Shiverz Designs, a wreath of flowers and butterflies in her hair and a shimmery butterfly masked painted on her face, Ryan floated up and down the runway channeling the spirit of mother earth and/or the queen of the forest fairies.

Performance -

The Femstar Evolution - A creative collaboration between Dani (House of Barnes) and choreographer Hannah (Celinski Productions). For Utopia, dancers Dani, Kelsey Merrick, Dylaina Victoria Gollub, Madi Harris & Justine Kirk were clad in ethereal white costumes designed by House of Barnes and assistant Jayce Gowler with unique looks created by a great backstage team - make-up artists Stephanie De Gagne and Brandon Von Styles with hair stylists Zena Del Espin. The choreography centered on youthful innocent ballerinas with all the hope of new life and fresh beauty. An original film directed and produced by Victor Culpin ran on the screen behind them to set the mood.

Image by Rick Celinski of Celinski Productions
Fashion -

Rococo Acid Candy (Created by students from The Art Institute of Vancouver) - A colourful conceptual collection of men's, women's and childrens looks created at least 50% recycled paper/newspaper, candy wrappers, found items and more. To finish the looks, great accents were added by embellishment with colourful candy and bright paint. The students picked trends from this year (such as neon colours) and paired it with 18th century rococo (and the candy) to create this Utopian-themed collection that rocked the runway.

From left designers are - Nicollette Nettnay, Charlotte Ridley, Jessica Gagnon, Suman Faulkner, and Jessika Chalmers.

Zollection - a collection of handmade fashions inspired by incredibly detailed, finely crafted, beautifully painted art dolls. I thought the models were channeling zombies, but turns out they were told to walk like puppets. They rocked it! The collection had lots of interesting textures and layering which I always find appealing, plus a wonderful colour palette.

Music -

Modern Limits - a female-fronted indie/punk/pop band from Vancouver.

Image by CogitoErgoShoot
Fashion -

Scheherazade Banoo - Created by a team of 2 - a dreamer and a maker who design a wide range of costumes, apparel and accessories -  on the runway at VALT they presented a collection of 6 stunning head pieces titled Goddess Rising. This was fantasy at its best and I loved that one of the designers was on stage singing live during the show. Wonderful! I found a great Youtube video of this show. Check it out at

Milk Tea by Silent Kay - The designer is a Film major at Emily Carr university who spends a lot of time creating fashion and loves party dresses, 50′s style woman’s wear, shorts/ hoodies, knee socks, buttons, vintage zippers, lace, embroidery, silk screening, upholstery fabric, and sweaters. Definitely the kind of relaxed, easy-wearing garments that fit well with our West Coast style.

Kari Kanin -  Bridal wear and costumes hand made with skill and "pure unadulterated love." Clean, simple. ethereal and pristine - there were lots of oohs and aahs emanating from the audience. Sure we'll be seeing some of these looks walking down the aisle soon.

Film Short

"Don't look at the Camera" by Shayne Zwickel - available to view at

Fashion -

Jill Smolkin - Offering superior quality and fierce style to the plus size woman. I had 2 favourites in the show.  Loved the styling on the far left below with a unique, solid black jacket and skirt paired with a lacy top that peeks out at the neck, wrist and hips.  I also love the lace sweater jacket in the image 3rd from the left.  Just a great versatile and interesting piece.

Skye Davies - A graduate of Vancouver Community College, this designers creates clothing for modern, stylish women in their twenties and thirties, who want to express their individuality and feel empowered by the clothing they wear. My favourite was the image in the center below. Just all around fabulous.

Music -

The Pink Pearl Dragon - Ethereal Darkwave, Shoegaze, Dream Pop Electro. Sardonic Pseudo Pop, a 1 woman DIY band described as a mix between Enya and Radiohead.

Stock image from Reverbnation
Artists - 

Jennifer CherneckiLorelei BurkEmi KanomataAaron R WhiteMandy TsungNomi Chi Meta-MurotaPHRESHAStephanie LarsenShay Lhea (Oculto Luxury Masks), Jon LamNina Pak, Famous Empty Sky

Sponsors -

Gold Level - H+Technologies

Silver Level - Scandal Brewing, New Image College of Arts, Hush Magazine, WeDo Photo, Travis W. Photography, Opus Hotel, LuvNGrace Events, Tammy Maltese Photography, Grind Down Magazine, Ed Ng Photography, Cos & Effect, IRL Events

Bronze Level - We Love Vancouver, Sin City Fetish Nights, Ayden Gallery

Kat Ferneyhough - VALT Creative Director & Co-Founder, Kat Kozak - VALT Media Specialist & Co-Founder, Grace Donati - VALT Aesthetics Director & Head of Hair Team, Kat Morris - VALT Aesthetics Director & Head of Makeup,  Aaron Morris - VALT Model Coordinator & Event Host, Andrew Ferneyhough (no image) - Art Director & Music Facilitation and Victor Kozak (no image) - Tech Director and Front of House.

Hair and make-up team provided by New Image College of Arts.