Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 14 Day 2 - Dawson & Deveraux, Connally Mcdougall, Firan & Rose and Evan Clayton

Images by Kuna Photography
The second day of shows at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) was amazing.  By the end I had changed the 4 designers I wanted to cover several times. There were many, many strong choices and I really encourage you to check out runway images of the day.

Before I begin, I want to introduce you to a person I had been trying to meet for several days - Manon Lapierre, Communications Manager for P&G Beauty. We finally connected mid-evening on day 2 and sat through a couple shows together. What a bundle of positive energy! As everyone knows - sponsorship is very important to running any fashion week and this year P&G Beauty & Grooming stepped in. Lapierre, along with Ashley Goldberg - Senior Assistant Brand Manager at P&G - are here not only to represent the brand, but are two of the people working behind the scenes both backstage and front of house to make our experience FANTASTIC. I asked Lapierre to share a bit about their brand and their involvement in VFW.

Images by Peter Jensen
"P&G Beauty & Grooming brands like Pantene, COVERGIRL, and Olay have been longstanding supporters of the Canadian beauty and fashion industry for many years through our sponsorship of Montreal Fashion Week, the Toronto Fashion Incubator and as the official beauty partner of the shows in Toronto. Vancouver is a very multicultural city and VFW gives us the opportunity to reach the diverse audience who will be attending the events as they are presenting such a diverse array of fashion collections. 

We are very excited to partner with VFW for the first time. We are the Presenting Sponsor for the F/W ‘2014 edition. As part of the sponsorship, COVERGIRL, Pantene and Olay products are provided to the make-up and hair team working backstage to create all of the beauty looks seen on the runway.

We also have Beauty Bars set up in the front of house, where guests can get free make-up or hair touch-ups, inspired by the beauty looks from the runway using the latest COVERGIRL cosmetics and Pantene hair styling products. Guests can then use our convenient selfie mirrors to capture their new look and share on social media (#vfwbeauty, #covergirl, #pantene).

Photography by Ed Ng

Photography by Ed Ng
We are already very impressed with the work of the backstage artists and to see how they interpret the diverse fashion collections to create beauty looks using Pantene, COVERGIRL, and Olay products, while keeping true to the designer’s vision and inspiration The creativity that goes on backstage is truly inspiring and we can’t wait to see the looks coming down the runway again tonight."

And now for today's 4 picks!  Enjoy!

Dawson & Deveraux

Images by Kuna Photography

Dawson & Deveraux's Sophie Karen has come a long way in 3 years. First marriage brought the artist from her home in Mauritius to more rural Bainbridge Island in Washington state. Then came her decision to launch an emerging global and independent fashion house - she filling the role of Creative Director and Lead Designer, her supportive husband embracing the business side as President. Inspired by the fashion capitals of London and Paris, the brand is focused on blending contrast, balance, rhythm, and scale as well as featuring quality construction, clean lines, and a multicultural perspective. "We strive to inspire moods and attitudes that make women feel and look their best."  I loved the fit, variety and palette of the looks - a great balance of strength with a touch of the feminine.  My favourite look hands down is the coat second from right above with the large buttons. It would be a great addition to my 

Connally Mcdougall Design

Images by Peter Jensen

Niche Magazine stepped in this season to sponsor one show and out of 11 strong applications, Connally McDougall's quickly rose to the top - an excellent choice. McDougall is a Canadian-born talent who left home to study fashion design at Central St. Martins in London and now resides there permanently. Growing up, her family provided a childhood full of travel that has given the artist a well of experience to draw from. Bio notes share her work embraces architectural silhouettes and pairs them with rich details. Her clients - confident, international women. On the runway models offered shapes ranging from loosely draped to softly body skimming. The palette was anchored by black and dark grey with tan and red to add interest.  I particularly loved the accents - a knit muff, a great textural collar, great handbags, conic-shaped feather hats and unique eyeglass frames designed by Oliver Goldsmith,Theo and Anne et Valentin courtesy of The Optical Boutique. (Note - there was a funky red/black round pair I would die to own).

EXCITING NOTE - after her triumphant showing here, Connally McDougall has received in invitation to show at Beijing Fashion Week in June - a well-deserved honour.  You can support this Canadian born talent by being a part of her crowdfunding campaign. Go to!

Firan & Rose

Images by Kuna Photography

It's always disappointing when I have trouble finding any information on a designer I enjoyed. Unfortunately that is the case with Firan & Rose.  I did find a twitter account and will be contacting them, so please check back as I will have something available at a later date.  In the meantime, check out that amazing open weave crocheted (I think) dress in bright red. A statement making piece that made everyone sit up!

Evan Clayton

Images by Peter Jensen
I love design students passionately. What a privilege to first see their graduate collection and then follow them as they grow into amazing artists who bring new ideas to the runway and push boundaries in their design work.  Evan Clayton is one of Vancouver's very own rising stars.  A graduate of the fashion design program at Blanche Macdonald - he has quickly established himself by offering a range of designs from wearable to edgy and theatrical and is an expert in tailoring and draping. They are looks designed for women who embrace their sexuality and love making a bold statement when they enter a room.

Images by Peter Jensen

Clayton's collection for F/W 14 is titled JENOVA. "Inspired by the artwork of Yoshitaka Amano and the video game 'Final Fantasy VII.' Jenova seeks to explore Western culture as seen through an Eastern lens." As in the past, Clayton offered us 2 unique segments. The first half - the death - featured darker fall looks with wearable silhouettes juxtaposed with models in revealing strap silhouettes. A short pause, change of backdrop and lighter music took us into the second half - the born - which was much more feminine and soft with white, lilac and a floral print. There was a range here despite the more subdued nature of this half. An example is the dusty lilac gown on the right above - classical from the front, but with a back that dips extremely low to reveal a sexy bit of of the model's posterior.  Kudos on another great show and congrats on being honoured with an award this night that include a trip to Vienna.