VALT 2013 - Day 2, DYSTOPIA

Images credited individually.

Images courtesy of Hush Magazine
The theme for Saturday was Dystopia -  "A bleak future scape in which humanity toils and struggles with little to no recompense. An anarchist, survivalist nightmare world as was expected by many throughout the late 70's, 80's, and early 90's."  The collections for Dystopia tended to be rawer and darker.  Models offered these looks on the runway with a more theatrical presentation. They mixed it up this evening starting with a film short that, while a play on the term fashion victim, had a scary, gory vibe that really caught everyone's attention.

The Host - 

The evenings host, Aaron Morris (President of Morrismore Productions and GrindDown Magazine), carried the evening with his big voice, intense energy, great humor and, occasionally, a wooden bat. That's right a bat. And big, intense, in-your-face was the theme of the evening. Let's face it, shy wall flowers wouldn't survive in a dystopian future! The energy flowed from the runway right out through the audience, who responded with lots of cheers and shouts.

Short Film -

"Fashion Victim" by Vesica Films (trailer below)

Fashion -

Vixxen Prints - Vixxen is the brainchild of The Art Institute of Vancouver student, Nicollette Nettnay. For Dystopia, this designer embraced an out-of-the-box, disturbing aesthetic. Models were adorned with tape covered in hand written messages, poster boards, a straight-jacket inspired onsie, garments silk-screened with commentary, black frames resting on shoulders, gas masks and looks created from newsprint. What an opening to the fashion section of this bleak-themed evening.

Images by Nina Pak
Pretty Bastard - "Motion as creative energy, bike rides under the rain, where soul meets body... Itinerant by choice, duality as life principle."  Pure silk or leather are the material of choice and are used in 85% of the garments. This collection featured a great olio of sexy vibes, slim silhouettes, a mix of soft draping silk, leather and a few unusual synthetics and a palette predominantly inky black and vivid blood red.Looks offered draping, textural embellishment and sheer insets. There was also a dramatic red/black swimsuit with cut-outs that really caught everyone's attention.

Images by Nina Pak
Shiverz Designs - Fascinators, hats, masquerade masks, feather hair clips & bands, flower hair clips, earrings, jewelry, top hats, garters and chapeaus to decorate yourself! Add in a great array of theatrical dresses and you get an idea how fun this show was. Variety was the name of the game - from the Garden of Eden dress worn the first night by the hostess to others showing a wide variety of textures, colours, themes and silhouettes. There was something for everyone.

Images by Nina Pak
AD Designs - Pushing the limits on outwear,this designers strives to making costume jackets, vests and pants to make every women feel empowered and strong - bringing the ordinary costume to life and breathing life into the unreal. Tonight they pushed the limits in their presentation. The models could have come right out of a Zombie film or a scary story set in an insane asylum and they totally rocked it on the runway from first look to final image. Dresses and separates were styled with belted strapping. Looks were offered in a black/white/gray/red palette. And I know a lot of sexy women who would be happy to wear the open-sided pant held together with belt buckles shown in the 3rd image from the left below.

Images courtesy of Hush Magazine

Jillian Gray - I loved Jillian Gray's work when she graduated from The Art Institute of Vancouver, and in fact featured her in an article on this website. You can check it out by clicking HERE. What she offered for Dystopia was exquisitely tailored garments with a vibe that was both hard and soft created from leather, textured leather and leather combined with a sheer fabric. My favourite is the combination dress on the left below. It had an understated edge to it, yet was both elegant and classy. Kudos Jillian. I continue to have my eye on you. It was great to finally meet in person.

Images courtesy of Hush Magazine
Performance - 

The Femstar Evolution - A creative collaboration between Dani (House of Barnes) and choreographer Hannah (Celinski Productions). For Dystopia, dancers Dani, Kelsey Merrick, Dylaina Victoria Gollub, Madi Harris & Justine Kirk were clad in black/silver edgier costumes designed by House of Barnes and assistant Jayce Gowler. Choreography centered around a dark, animalistic approach to the troubled artists and the journey out of the darkness of one's own mind. An original film directed and produced byVictor Culpin helped set the mood. The dancer's Zombie/SciFi looks were created by a great backstage team - make-up artists Cherie Martens and Brandon Von Styles. hair stylists Zena Del Espino and Linzo Dubz and airbrush artists Tracy Cake and Ashley Rose!

Image by Ed Ng Photography
Music -

The Pink Pearl Dragon - Female artist, writer, philosopher, and multi-faceted self taught musician who writes sardonic pseudo pop songs - tormented and moody music with pleasant vocal harmonies.

Stock image from Reverbnation
Fashion -

Oculto Steam Masks - Mask maker who creates a line of Steampunk offerings where dead poets and crippled chemists, mad doctors and living machines can all be found hidden within. The masks were pure fantasy for the Steampunk enthusiast. I love that they only cover part of the face - more comfortable to wear over a long evening. It really is time for me to embrace a Steampunk outfit and one of these masks would be the perfect accessory. A little birdie told me the designer - Shay Lhea - is launching a hat line in January.  I can't wait to see it!

Images by Peter Jensen Photography
The Dixon Collection - Each design is like a carefully thought out work of art. Each has a story and a reason. "Wrap yourself in it." While the presentation helped this collection embrace the night's theme - check out the great facial expression on the model in the center below - the clothing was the most feminine of the evenings offerings, and the audience responded. The first look on the left below with subtle dying and feather accents and the glittery white number with chain accents on the far right brought lots of oohs, aahs and "I would wear that" from the women all around me.  You really need to see these up close and in person to appreciate them.

Image by Peter Jensen Photography
Pretty in Punk - Designer Tanya Walker - a recent grad of the Vancouver College of Art and Design (VCAD) who - was selected by VALT as 2013's Most Promising Student of the Year. This edgy brand is created for the exceptional misfits of the world, without whom the earth would be a far less colourful place. On the runway we saw wild and wonderful wear in black for the strong woman. My favourite was the second from the left below. The use of a lighter print with the black combined with a very cool dip in the back accented with chains hit the mark for me. It had that perfect slightly edgy look, but still wearable combination that can be so hard to find.

Image by Peter Jensen Photography

Music -

Celestial Ruin - Styled after European Symphonic Metal but executed with a decidedly North American flavor - the sound is heavy rock rhythms and riffs with catchy, singable melodies, and rich symphonic textures.

Stock Image
 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 LevelScandal BrewingNew Image College of ArtsHush MagazineWeDo PhotoTravis W. PhotographyOpus HotelLuvNGrace EventsTammy Maltese PhotographyGrindDown MagazineEd Ng PhotographyCos & EffectIRL Events

Bronze LevelWe Love VancouverSin City Fetish NightsAyden Gallery

The Team -

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 - Art Director & Music Facilitation and Victor Kozak - Tech Director and Front of House.

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