University of the Fraser Valley - Absolute Style 2014

Images courtesy of Peter Jensen Photography

I know, I know - this event review is late, but finishing my manuscript and moving to a new home absorbed all my time for awhile.  Now that things are settling down, I decided to have a look back at a few of my favourite events that occurred earlier in the year.

One such event is Abbotsford's University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) Absolute Style 2014 - a show featuring not only the graduating students from the UFV Fashion Design program each season, but some of the best work done in specific departments during the school term.  It is a truly unique show.                                                                                                                                                                
2014 was a special year as UFV was also celebrating it's 40th anniversary. The Fashion Design program has brought great recognition for the school through the strong performance of those enrolled. UFV fashion students have been finalists in Telio's Canada's Breakthrough Design Competition, designed an original tartan for the city of Abbotsford and gone on to work in all areas of the industry from ready to wear to theatrical costuming. The packed house each year at the grad fashion show includes increasing media representation from across the lower mainland.

In honour of it's 40th anniversary, UFV held a lovely reception before the evening show this year with drinks and appetizers.  Driving out from Vancouver, I found this a welcome addition to the evening.  It also gave me a chance to connect with several industry friends attending for the first time. I have been been a regular for quite a few years now and have been slowly spreading the word. It was great to see so many finally making the trek up the valley to experience this unique show.

Every show begins with a selection of work from a wide variety of students covering Designs for Speciality Markets (jackets, coats, corsets, swimwear and more) and Wearable Art (surface design, weaving, machine knitting and draping). If you scroll to the bottom, you will see a great selection of photographs of some of the wonderful work showcased here.

Then the grad collections follow. This year offered a range from edgy to classic, childrenswear, menswear and niche markets such as riding wear. Each student stood out for their unique aesthetic and received a warm reception from the audience. Over the course of the evening I saw several pieces I would love to have in my closet.

Congrats to the student award winners this seasons - Sokna Duch, Most Creative Showing;  Kevin Hunter, Most Marketable Collection; Felipe Pereira da Silva, Textile Proficiency; and Ran Tan, Technical. Kudos as well to those working behind the scenes: Make-up by Blanch Macdonald Centre, and hair by Utopia Academy. And special thanks to the over 45 fabulous sponsors who helped to make this evening possible.

For more information on the Fashion Design program at UFV go to -

Designs for the Specialty Market and Art to Wear -