Vancouver Fashion Week S/S 17 Saturday Shows Shows - Lesley Hampton, Gatsbylady London and Moon Choi

Runway Images by Ed Ng Photography
Selfie of Angela Krewenchuk, myself &
Randi Winter, snapped by Randi!
Day 6. Yes I'm fading big time. Yes the brain is fuzzy. Yes it's getting harder and harder to keep the smile fresh when getting my photo taken. BUT - being inspired by the unexpected surprises I see on the runway every day makes it all worth it.

There were several high moments yesterday including this great selfie snapped by my dear friend and doppelganger Randi Winter. No we are not the same person. No we are not biological sisters. Yes we are mistaken for each other all the time. Too funny.

Yesterday began for me with Volunteer Appreciation Day - something I started a few years ago. One day each season at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW), I come in early laden with a big container of treats - this time cookies from Costco. I hand them out to all the people we don't see on the runway, but who make the week special - hair, make-up, sound techs, backstage staff, front of house staff, bar and more. This small gesture doesn't take much effort - but has a big impact. If you're attending today, find one person working the event to say thank-you to. You'll make their day.

Symone Says again stepped in as emcee - always a big plus for me. She brings great energy to the event and the audience responds. I loved her long dress this evening by Tetyana Golota. Really stunning. For my outfit, I chose a B/W short kimono inspired jacket along with skull print blouse and circular scarf by Kjaer Neletia Pedersen of K-O.ME Clothing. Added to this were a pair of pleather/knit leggings by JAC, some really cool edgy black earrings I picked up in a board shop in Maui and a pair of black heels decorated with tiny metals shiny dots.

In addition to a whopping 13 runway shows, we were treated mid-evening to a solid musical performance by 11 year old vocalist Jeffrey Li. He had a big voice and a maturity in his performance well above his age. It was also unbelievable to hear he had only been singing for two years.

On to my coverage. Today I chose Lesley Hampton, Gatsbylady London and Moon Choi to cover in this article. Models Own, 44511234 and Shelley Klassen for Blushing Boutique are featured in my Vancouver focused BUY LOCAL column. Last but not least, I will be doing an interview and separate article next week on Australian designer Lara Ireland.

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Lesley Hampton

This is the second season Lesley Hampton has shown on the runway at VFW. You can see the previous show HERE.

Toronto based designer Lesley Hampton is a First Nation wearable artist with degrees from both the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. She is currently adding to that by studying Fashion and design at George Brown College. She opened her show with a news style video covering the many, many first nation's women whose lives have been taken with very little government response. It was a reminder their names should not be forgotten and a call to action. The collection that followed led the audience on a journey of native mermaid folklore. Her designs were inspired by the connection between land and sea, hard and soft, human and earth. The mix of gowns and separates featured intricate appliqués, geometric sequins, pleathers and floral designs.

This is the second season Gatsbylady London has shown on the runway at VFW. You can see the previous show HERE.

The Gatsbylady London show rocked the runway yesterday. The combination of Gatsby inspired garments encrusted with sparkle and many with beaded fringe that swung freely on the runway was eye catching. What also made everyone sit up is that models came in all sizes and shapes from thin to curvy. Many looks were sent down the runway with models of two different body shapes wearing the same dress so everyone could clearly see how fabulous they looked on both. Great news! Designer Rojda Hoda told me after the show she would be returning next season. This time I'm going to find time to sit with her one on one and get an interview.

From her bio, "What sets Gatsbylady apart is the quality of fabrics, unique hand embellished designs and the flexibility of their fits. Their designs are individual, effortless, comfortable and stretches by a size for an easy fit. They cover from a UK size 0 to UK size 30 and also do the Petite range and Tall Range , so there is no matter of size and shape with Gatsbylady."

From her bio, "Moon Choi is a New York-based designer who admires androgynous fashion.,,Choi believes that clothing is not defined by gender. [She uses] her craft to break down the barriers between male and female, representing how individual can adopt any identity they choose, giving them power over their own lifestyle."

Choi was born in South Korea where she studied graphic and product design before moving to the U.S. in 2013 to study fashion design at Parsons. I loved what she brought to the runway.  Traditional garments were deconstructed, then revisited in new ways.  This can be tricky if not done right, but the designer's strong tailoring skills and eye for silhouettes was bang on.  I was intrigued. I found this collection both intelligent and thought provoking.  Fashion isn't just about ready to wear, it's about pushing boundaries and evolving. At it's most basic - it's art.  Well done.