Vancouver Fashion Week S/S16 Thursday - Vogel, Mia Amica, Sarah Tremain and Iarocheski

Image by Sam Stringer
Thursday dawned very early for me.  With a cold setting in, I found myself up and at the computer in the very wee hours - 5:30 a.m. to be exact.  I'm not a morning person, but it all worked out as I had tons of Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) writing to catch up on. Posts are now on line for Tuesday and Wednesday with a separate article on Amber Nifong and another Shop Local piece featuring only Lower Mainland Designers that will be added to each day.

We had a new emcee this evening - actress Nicole Oliver.  It's lways a nice touch to change it up when events run a full week as each emcee brings a different flavour to the runway. Oliver did a great job connecting with audience members during lulls, including teaching how to walk the runway to an audience member.

I also wanted to take a moment today to talk about the two great lounges this season. There is a KISS RADIO VIP lounge on the stage with cafe tables offering a great view and comfortable seating. The second floor balcony offers the SKY VIP lounge where guests can view changing displays as well shop at a new retailer each day. The two times I went up, there were great offerings in jewelry. Shows are viewed from above while standing along the railing. Two bars are also offered on the main floor for those of us tied to the runway.

Notice my book floating eerily by my head??? :) - Images by Sam Stringer

This season I decided to alternate my look each day between bright colourful looks and black/white ones, but my best colour option for today meant wearing another skirt again. I needed a more comfortable choice, so opted for colourful accessories instead.  My black tunic is by RozeMerie Cuevas of JAC, the printed leggings are by Some Product, my red shoes are vintage John Fluevog, my hand-painted African wrist cuff is from the Project H Shop at Holt Renfrew Vancouver, my hand-painted bottle cap earrings were created by an African artisan and purchased from a free trade store in Kingston and lastly, my fabulous necklace and bangles were from The Bay.

Now on to the four collections I am highlighting today. Remember, there are always many collections showcasing each day, so be sure to check them out as pictures go up.


Images by Harry Leonard

VOGEL is an emerging contemporary womenswear brand based in New York. Designer Lea Freni has a BS in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University. Her design philosophy is centered on the tension between order and enigma. VOGEL presents the contemporary womenswear market with an aesthetic viewpoint, rich in mathematical intricacy and coded imagery.  Melding craft and technology, Freni's S/S 16 collection - called "Cypher" - features original textiles embellished with intricate crease patterns developed in collaboration with Origami artist Uyen Nguyen. I thought the designer's choice of an all-white palette was bang on as it let the creasing and pleating features in this collection take centre stage.  In addition to the garments, she also offered a few unique geometric handbags to finish the looks. All in all an interesting and thoughtful collection.

Mia Amica

Images by Harry Leonard

MIA AMICA is a Jakarta based ready-to-wear fashion brand blending the Indonesian traditional and modern fabrics into the elegant and fashionable women’s attire that launched in 2014 at the Genie Women Festival 2014. Creative director and head designer, Priscilla Listia, worked as an engineer for over a decade before turning her talents to the world of fashion - studying first at the Bunka Academy and then continuing her studies at the Abineri Ang Atelier et Createur de Mode. The designer has been chosen to showcase at the upcoming Jakarta Fashion Week 2016 in October 2015.

MIA AMICA collections are all manufactured locally in Listia home country of Indonesia. Looks feature Indonesian traditional fabrics, known as ‘batik’ (hand-drawn or hand-stamped or combination of both) and ‘tenun’ (hand-woven), with contemporary design and the application of charming embellishments, embroideries, sequins, laser-cutting, and digital-printing. I loved the bright, vibrant blue/white palette of the S/S 16 collection.  The designer's engineering background was also evident in several pieces, such as the blue/white skirt with fold in front.  I was most intrigued by a dress with printed top and white skirt with a matching border print. The combination worked well together.

Images by Ed Ng Photography

From Designer Sarah Culberston's bio - "Beauty comes in many forms, but one way to express it is through fashion design. Exploring beauty as an idea is an inspiration for most of her designs, whether it is by looking at how the idea of beauty has changed throughout history or by seeing it in the shape of art and nature. [The designer] is also very drawn to colour and how it can inspire a certain feeling from a viewer... Fashion design is a form of expression for her – a way for her to communicate and inspire others to see the beauty she sees in the world." 

On the runway we were treated to Culberston's newest collection called Changing Moments. Changing Moments was inspired by the changing seasons. The colours palette of orange, red and green reflects that of leaves in the fall. Fabrics include cotton sateen, silk organza, satin and jersey knit. The colourful and geometric prints were created in collaboration with the designer's mother - Tremain Smith. Those unique prints really were the centerpiece of this collection.  I am glad the designer left the silhouettes simple so they could shine.  My favourite piece was a very open dress created from two pieces of fabric expertly draped.


Images by Ed Ng Photography

Iarocheski is a clothing label known for his conceptual approach to design. Together with the WNext Group, they founded the label based on flourishing collaboration between local expertise and eco-conscious suppliers from the creative scene in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.  Designer Lui Iarocheski has always loved experimentation, so it was fitting that after an exchange trip to Sweden, he decided to shape his conceptual menswear grad collection in Brazil. The designer's disruptive concept and unusual exploration of shape, colour and material stood out on the runway and Iarocheski was chosen to receive the RG Designer Award.

Images by Ed Ng Photography

The label's philosophy is simple - recreating concepts and processes within an artistic outlook that does not compromise on stylistic preferences. While I wasn't in love with all the looks, I was in love with the risk and originality this showcased. Some were truly outstanding. Creativity and innovation is so important to the future of fashion, especially in menswear.  This is a label I am definitely keeping an eye.