Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week (VALT) Day 3 - reVelation

Image by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

Oh my! I managed to sneak into the Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week (VALT) venue early this evening and had a glimpse of the emcee for reVelation -  Kieron Rhys Lillo, Music Editor at GrindDown Magazine, Sound Designer at Sugar Skull Films and Evil Overlord at Isoarstudio - fine tuning details of his performance onstage.

Lillo (along with 2 stunning models who also rocked it) was channelling an evil Star Gate alien with voice alteration, amazing costume by Nikki Rose of N.R.L. Designs and out of this world make-up by the one and only Jennifer Little of A Little Artistry. The overall effect took my break away. I spent the whole night in awe, especially the times he looked intently at the audience and stated, "YOU WILL................."

By day three, the glitches were all sorted out. The audience knew the ropes and what to expect, models were in the groove and the photographers familiar with the set-up and easily nailing their shots. We're all relaxed and firmly in party mode! Whooping and hollering during shows was the norm.
Jennifer Little (left),emcee Kieron Rhys Lillo(center),
designer Nikki Rose (right). along with 2 beautiful models.
Image by Nina Pak

This night my wonderful friend Tracy Cake showed up (how did we miss getting a picture together my dear?). Everything about her style from always changing wild hair colour to her great wardrobe - this night a sequins unitard - challenges me to step out of my ordinary box and have fun with fashion. Check out the picture at the end of the article! And really, fashion should make us smile no matter what our shape, size, age or gender bent. That's one of the biggest themes at VALT - just EMBRACE and ENJOY! Missed this year - mark #VALT2015 dates in your calendar - November 20-22!

Again, the choice is to write more extensively on only a few of the great artists I saw this evening, or offer just a sound bite on everyone along with photos or videos.  The second choice again wins.

Taare - Avtar Panesar is the creative force behind Taare and she learned her craft from her mother and grandmother - both talented seamstresses. The runway show itself was fun and energetic with bright pink a staple. No wonder - the theme was Classy in Pink. This collection expresses a woman's strength and the color pink chosen as a symbol of happiness, passion, confidence and awareness. There was no doubt the models thoroughly enjoyed wearing this collection.

Images by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

K-O.ME Clothing - Such a pleasure to see my friend designer/artist/teacher Kjaer Neletia Pedersen, not only show her designs on the runway here, but launch some new and interesting fabrics. Her creations are created from soft flowing silk that gently hugs the body and floated as the models walk the runway. It was obvious from their faces they truly enjoyed wearing these silhouettes and several went on to buy their piece after the show - high compliments indeed. I just had to snag one of the newer looks - the one created from a black/white skull print. Can't wait to break it out at an event. This was a large collection so more images are here to enjoy.

Images by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

Dawna (Harp Pixie) McLennan - Dawn was in the program as a musical performance, but she asked director Kat Kozak if she could start on the runway and was given the green light. This gave McLennan, a multi-talented performer, the chance to surprise everyone by opening her musical set with spoken word poetry. From there she moved onto the stage where she accompanied her own vocals by playing harp. Very different for VALT and a great twist from the normally louder bands that play here. Below is a video of her single - Never Alone.

That No One May Know My Suffering  - This film by Ulla Laidlaw is still doing festival tours so I am unable to include a link or embed a video. But Laidlaw has given me a few screen shots and this information - Photography by Graham Zwicker. Woman in bathtub - Miranda Calderon. Woman suspended - Ania Gorka

coidlyn wight - coidlyn wight designer Ashley Parker shared these amazing words with me about her collection that say it so much better than I can. - "'We shape clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.' - Lao Tzu. This collection was about embracing imperfection and the impermanence of life. Nothing permanent. Nothing is complete. Nothing is perfect." The palette as well as the feel this show was dark and somber. Elements of texture and draping brought interest to the designs. Because the palette was so dark, it is harder to appreciate the individual pieces, but there were several versatile offerings here.

Images by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

DistractedMoths - What I loved about Distracted Moths runway presentation was that the models were allowed to bring their own personality to the show.  The silhouettes were interactive - spider arms, draping fabric that flowed, wing like sleeves and the middle cape below even reversed to offer a completely different look. Each model created a performance unique to their design. There was a great mix of colour, print and texture. The designer describes the aesthetic as, "Functional Art. Designing in the literal sense of the word.Real or Unreal I have an Idea!" So this unique way of presenting the looks was perfect.

Images by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

DJ Spry Bry - Spry Bry is a Vancouver-based filmmaker, event Producer, and DJ for hire, known for his documentary "Taking My Parents to Burning Man" and his affinity for "Electro Swing" music.. He's an advocate for creative expression and collaboration. From his website - "Though he got his start in a metal band, his exposure to the West-Coast festival culture developed his ear for electronic music. In University, he began producing tracks and making a name for himself as a DJ and composer. Now he's a regular at scene at local clubs and festivals. Check out this vide of Spry Bry performing with Michael Fraser, Freebound, and Jungle Kat performing at the SHAMBHALA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2013. You can also hear some of his mixes at

Nicool Radical - Nicool Radical designer Nicole Fromm recently graduated from VCC's fashion design program and showcased in their grad fashion show - Fiat Mode XXVII - in September. She strives as a designer to create timeless garments by hand using the highest quality of craftsmanship - fashions designed to express the individual client's desires. Again, the models were given free reign to personalize their performance which makes it interesting. This designer was also the winner of the #VALT2014 G&S Dyes Surface Design Award. Kudos on this great achievement.

Images by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

Mikiko Katahira - Mikiko is another recent grad of VCC's design program who also show cased in Fiat Mode XXVII. Her designs are inspired by the art works of Isamu Noguchi who made connections of peoples' lives and nature.  Her garments are ART for people. If you look closely, you will see many pieces with 3-D, textural detailing to add interest.  This is kept to just the right note so not overpower the designs. Most would mix and match as well, with makes this collection very marketable.

Images by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

Bizarnival - Bizarnival produces events that feature a unique blend of entertainment: sideshow acts, theatrics, djs/dance floor, and more. They have a nostalgic influence, but are executed with an alternative edge. This evening treated 3 distinct numbers to "PLEASE" the evenings emcee - exciting circus style dance performance with the use of several types of props, a solo number and a theatrical duet. This group brought great energy, focus and performances each day at VALT and this closing one was the perfect end to this event.

Images by Patrick Parenteau/DVPix

Love you Tracy!
Image by Patrick Parenteau
The evening closed with many expressions of gratitude to all involved, especially co-founder Aaron and Kat Morris who are stepping down next year.  Rather than give you that list - I would like to offer my thanks to the 6 directors - Kat Morris, Victor Morris, Kat Ferneyhough, Drew Ferneyhough, Aaron Morris and Kat Morris - as well as all the volunteers who have worked so tirelessly these last 3 seasons to create this very unique showcase of talent. It is so much more than a show of alternative fashion/music/art. It is a celebration of how unique each of us are and an environment that encourages us to embrace that uniqueness fully. Kudos on another fabulous year!

Special thanks to the following generous sponsors who helped to make this event possible - Morrismore Productions, Nightshade Makeup and Hair, Opus Hotel Vancouver, Kat Eye Imaging, Aveda Tonic, Bedowynn Designs, Dead Heaven Makeup, Ed Ng Photography, DVPix International, Norm Lee Photography, Shutter House Films, Ayden Gallery, We Love Vancouver, Scandal Brewing, ODD Society, Lamplighter Public House, Floral and Hardy Edible Plants, Manifest Photography, Northwest Fanfest, Sin City Fetish Night,,Vancouver Sound & Lights, and G&S Dye.