Vancouver Fashion Week S/S 17 Tuesday - Joseph Ribkoff, Michal Negrin, JKline and Give Guatemala

Runway Images courtesy of Ed Ng Photography

With SHINE founder Dean Thullner
Shawl by Chloe Angus.
As I said yesterday, I usually miss the gala but there were just some must attend moments that drew me this season. That said, the real Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) for me always starts on the first full day of runway shows and Tuesday held a whopping 11.  There was a great mix of styles and aesthetics to keep us all interested and several new-to-me designers who caught my eye. Always a treat.

I really enjoyed the mix of new guests in attendance. Getting to know people outside your normal circle is just one of the many benefits of attending each day. On Tuesday I was privileged to sit between Anil Bora Inana, the Turkish Consulate General, and Julia Mariuska Hodgins, radio host on Iheartlatinamerica. We shared resources, made introductions, and of course, traded business cards.

My outfit today featured a wonderful wool button wrap shawl from Vancouver designer Chloe Angus' Spirit Collection with original artwork by Haida Artist Clarence Steven Mills. This versatile piece is a must in every closet as it can be worn over 30 ways. It was paired with a wide leg pant by JAC by JC which I just realized I may need to shorten a bit, and a pair of earrings featuring shredded bicycle inner tube from a local designer. Unfortunately, I'm struggling to find their name.

I will be adding audience candid photos to this article as they become available. 

Now for the shows. I pick 3-4 each day to feature from the amazing number offered, but there are always many other wonderful designers each day. Be sure and check out all of them.  And a note - I am again running a separate BUY LOCAL column that will feature only Vancouver Designers. It will be added too each day.

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Joseph Ribkoff

It was obvious from the very first look down the runway - one I wanted to snatch right off the model - that this collection would be something very special.  Silhouettes, proportions, great fabrics and excellent tailoring were an intricate part of every single look. No surprise, as leading Canadian designer Joseph Ribkoff has been successfully designing collections for women in over 64 international markets for over 60 years. Best of all - almost all clothing is designed and created in Canada. The palette focused mostly on white, gray and black. The garments had a nice balance between fitted and softly draped.  By the end I think there were at least three if not more looks I would love to put in my wardrobe.  

I wanted to know more, so found this 2015 interview with Ribkoff in Dress To Kill Magazine - 58 years of fashion: Joseph Ribkoff. It's a great read.  And while the main headquarters are in Quebec, we are luck to have a showroom right here in Vancouver at 100-1737 W 3rd Ave.


Designer Kristina JGENTI was born in a small town in Georgia - her mother Russian, her father is Georgian. Since her childhood she had always strong passion for fashion and design which led her to pursue studies in fashion design at ESMOD. While there, she also entered numerous competitions. After graduation, she spent eight years working at PHILIPPE CARAT where she became head designer. Eventually she felt it was the right time to launch her own brand - JK Line. Her extensive experience was clearly visible in her strong tailoring skills. Leather took front and centre on the runway with top stitching, cut-out and fabric insets used as accents.  A few woven fabrics were added to the mix, used mainly to create companion blouses to complete looks. I love the occasional unique silhouette details such as in the image second from right above. An excellent show overall.

GIVE Guatemala

I had the pleasure of sitting next to the host for ilovelatinamerica radio who had conducted an interview with GIVE Guatemala the day before. While I knew GIVE Guatemala was a collaboration of Guatemalan designers, she let me know there were a whopping 17 helping to create the magic. They embrace their country's beautiful nature, landscape and colourful textiles as inspiration. Each piece is a unique and handmade work of art, made with a Mayan ancestral technique of back strap and foot power loom. We were offered bright colours, unusual menswear designs and even 4 children's looks.  The accompanying handbags and backpacks were stand out accessories.  My favourite looks involved the traditional woven fabrics, but in the end, the four child models stole the show. 

Michal Negrin

While this was not the final show of the day - I moved it to the end because I wanted to add some extra runway images. Israeli designer Michael Negrin's collection was both alluring and feminine - "...a vintage-inspired fantasy world of beauty and romance." Her design aesthetic had an understated ethnic element. The styling of every look right down the the jewellery chosen and the matching handbags was right on point.  This show was a breath of fresh air that lingered long after the designer had taken her bows. Well done.  I have taken an excerpt from her VFW bio for those who, like me, wanted to know more.

"[Negrin] began designing as a child, driven to counteract the drab, sensible aesthetic of the Kibbutz where she grew up. Her first collection was launched at Tel Aviv’s open-air marketplace in 1988. The demand was overwhelming and led to the opening of the first store in Tel Aviv. Today there are over 50 Michal Negrin stores in nearly two dozen countries, in major cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sidney and Moscow. A core value Michal Negrin is to keep production local, so despite rapid international success,the extensive fashion and jewelry lines are still hand crafted at the studio in Israel by skilled local artisans. Fabrics are hand printed and meticulously layered with lace and Swarovski crystals for an enchanting, intricate look."

Note - this international designer does have a Canadian location - 1225 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1Y6.