Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 17 - Friday Shows by Tengri, Joseph Ribkoff, Daphne Wong & CooperHotcooture

Image by Harry Leonard Imagery
Friday was my fifth straight day of watching shows at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) and then doing write-ups for 5 hours the next morning. I'm obviously slowing down. However, this day held so many, many wonderful shows from a truly wide range of aesthetics - conceptual art, rough Mongolian knits/weaves, minimalist and high end established ready to wear - I could not help being energized . Being in such a creative environment always inspires me.

Then there was the mayhem between shows. Tuesday the runway during breaks was a quieter meeting of attendees. Then each day after it started to build in numbers and sheer energy.  By Friday it had become a crazy melee of fashion lovers all sharing about the shows and snapping pics in singles, pairs and groups from small to large. There is just no way to convey the almost carnival atmosphere happening during the breaks.  It's amazing to be a part of.

The other thing that helped me get out the door yesterday was my outfit.  The anchor piece was a wonderful, edgy, synthetic leather bolero by Vancouver's very own Roxanne Nikki. That bolero and I have a long history together.  When Sarah Murray first invited me to one of the designer's holiday sales, I was blown away. Her collection was amazing. Of all the garments, though, this bolero called me. My budget at the time just wouldn't stretch, so I had to walk away. When a while later she had a big sample sale, I was there right at the start and this time managed to make it my own.  It's been in my closet for a couple years waiting patiently for the right styling idea to come together. This week it happened.

Image with designer Lesley Hampton by Fotowerks 
I paired the bolero with a great basic I picked up a month ago at Fine Finds Boutique in Yaletown - a green, bias cut silk sheath by PS The Label. My bag looks like it was made to match the bolero, but it was actually created from recycled auto tires. I purchased it last fall at Bookmark the Library Store at the Vancouver Public Library - a great way to support the VPL. My earrings are created from strips of bicycle inner tube also look they were made to match. They are by a local artist as well, but I need to find the name. The wonderful shoes are also fav's I've had in my closet for many, many years. Sadly I noticed last night that they are reaching the end. I need to find a replacement.

Honestly, every designer I saw yesterday deserved to be given press, so I am hoping each of the media in attendance will make different picks so they all receive the spotlight they deserve. I have decided to feature four here.  I am adding two to my BUY LOCAL column - Aiki District and One Delirious Dream. Then I will be doing individual articles next week on Sunny's Bridal and Lesley Hampton. Enjoy!

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"LA born, London resident Nancy Johnston founded Tengri in 2014 with a mission to spearhead change for good in the global luxury fashion in dustry. An Asian-American with a penchant for travel and adventure, Nancy’s first hand experience of living with nomadic herder families in the Khangai region of Mongolia inspired her to found the House of Tengri, a collective movement built by people unwilling to settle for the status quo...Tengri is a lifestyle brand and noble yarn specialist, featuring ready-to-wear and bespoke collections which instill elements of eastern and western influences, made from Tengri’s Khangai Noble Yarns®...Tengri’s yak fibres are sourced directly from cooperatives representing 4,500 herder families in Mongolia’s Khangai mountains, and spun into yarns in Yorkshire. Khangaiyak are indigenous to Mongolia and live sustainably in the ecosystem...Tengri garments are designed and made with the highest level of craftsmanship for discerning and conscientious global citizens." - from the designer's VFW bio

Images by Dale Rollings 

I love it when fashion and social consciousness comes together and Tengri is a perfect example. The pictures do not do this line justice. The nature fibres used to created these pieces - knitwear and wovens - have an understated luxurious look that stands out from garments created from synthetic fibres.  They will also have a longevity that a man-made fibre cannot and offer warm on those cold winter days. I have heard these fabrics have become of interest to those creating high end suiting. The earthy palette was perfect to set off the natural yarns and make each piece a versatile addition to any closet. This is one brand I will definitely be following.

Joseph Ribkoff

Images by Dale Rollings 
"Since 1957 Joseph Ribkoff has been successfully designing collections for women around the world who lead busy lifestyles. The company and collections have been constantly evolving to meet the multidimensional needs of today’s women. Joseph Ribkoff stands out as one of the leading designers in Canadian fashion industry for nearly 60 years and over 64 international markets. Almost all clothing is designed and created in Canada." - from the designer's VFW bio.

Images by Dale Rollings 

There is nothing like experience in the industry and Joseph Ribkoff is a perfect example. Proportions are appealing, fabrics choices great and shapes strong. And the way the designer chose to create the silhouettes made them both fresh and wearable by a wide range of women.  Of all the pieces I saw, the one that I would most love to have in my closet was the first down the runway at the top left. That blue jacket has my name all over it. A great show.

Daphne Wong

Images by Dale Rollings 

Born in Malaysia, designer Daphne Wong completed a BA in Fashion at Curtin University of Technology in Perth where she now resides. In 2015, her conceptual grad collection received the X-Press Fashion Award. Since graduating, the designer has continued to hone her craft with a goal " breakthrough the traditional pattern block and strikes to bring in a new trend of exclusive pattern making into the commercial fashion industry for the peoples’ everyday wear."

Images by Dale Rollings 

This collection had a super clean look.  With only one or 2 exceptions, the fabrics were all matte finish to place the emphasis on the structural elements.  Shapes were very architectural. White was the building block for most with colour blocking accents in orange and deep blue.  It's hard to see in these small images, but a few looks had volume created through 3D shapes design drafting. Well done.

Cooper Hotcooture

Luxembourg designer Sacha Cooper discovered his love of fashion early on and after high school went on to study at first at  ESMOD in Munich and then at the Akademie für Mode & Design) in Duesseldorf. However, upon graduating, the journey to becoming a designer proved difficult. In 2012 it all changed when he participated in a charity fashion show with his collection ‘Heartache.' Many awards have followed. Cooper Hotcooture offers subtle sexiness, affordable wearable couture and more importantly, unique designs that are handmade in Luxembourg.

Images by Dale Rollings 

I loved the designer's great fabric choices and palette. He played with silhouettes in a way that combined fun, ease of wear and elegance - a triple threat all women love to embrace.  There was a great mix of separates and dresses and the individual garments all combined to make a perfectly complete wardrobe that would take you from casual chic to an evening out.  I think my personal favourite over all was the blue dress with the hem high in front and low in back on the left in the photo strip below.  Perfection.

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