Vancouver Fashion Week FW 17 - Saturday Shows by Misi Afrique, MAAK, Pierrot-Emma Viedma and Gatsby Lady London

Image by Harry Leonard Imagery
Saturday at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) was as high energy as it comes.  I worked on VFW writeups in the morning, then attended another event in the early afternoon before I came, so a little tired. Having that amazing energy swirling all night made all the difference. Then there was the great line-up of shows - a mix of local and international, ready to wear and ethnic inspired, glittery gatsby and ready-to-wear. No two collections were alike. The smile suffered a bit - not as natural - the the heart was beating happily.

My outfit this evening honoured three amazing women I have had the privilege to interview several times over my career. They are strong, intelligent, creative and gifted entrepreneurs who have given back to upcoming generation through mentorship. My beautiful black/white print silk kimono was by Patricia Fieldwalker, a Vancouverite who has rocked the international lingerie world for over 35 years. Then there were my incredible black/white graphic heels by U.S. designer Ruthie Davis. They were higher than I was used to, but it was well worth the effort. My feet have never received more attention. Lastly were my leather look/knit leggings by the one and only RozeMerie Cuevas of JAC by JC whose label has exploded to into the Asian market a few years ago.

Completing my look, I gave a nod to two young women who are just hitting their creative strides. First is my fairy earring by Rachelle Adamchuk of  Alkymiya Gallery. Then the final touch was a black/white polka dot mini bag I received at Nicolette Lang-Andersen's 2016 launch of her NLA Style label - a wonderful new line of women's wear you can check out at Fine Finds in Yaletown. I think my necklace is a local designer as well, but I purchased it so many years ago I no longer remember.

With such a strong and varied line-up last night, it was again really difficult to choose just a few designers to feature.  However, I think the four I have chosen really showcase the variety we saw on the runway. That's when fashion shines for me. There is no right or wrong, no one way we should all look.  I want a big kaleidoscope of options. In a perfect world my clothing budget would be large enough that I could indulge in a sampling of everything.

I do have a separate article coming on London designer Jose Hendo.  As well, Vancouver designers Sara Armstrong and Kim Legler will be added to my BUY LOCAL column. Enjoy!

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Misi Afrique

Images by Ed Ng Photography

 "Misi Afrique was unveiled in July 27, 2013 in a state-of-the-art fashion show. Our tag line, 'Africa in your closet!', is aimed at bringing Africa into everyone’s closet in style, quality and bright colors. Misi Afrique is a ready-to-wear or custom made clothing line that uses rich African fabrics to design trendy and chic clothes for everyday women, men and children. Our objective is to deliver high quality and stylish clothing to its global customers. We design clothes for all occasions including work, parties or for everyday because no matter the event, we dress you up to make a statement. Our goal is that 'Everyone, everywhere wears Misi Afrique to every occasion, every time'." - from the designer VFW bio
Images by Ed Ng Photography

I have a huge affinity for both African fashion and African fabrics, so looked forward to this show with great anticipation.  The element of ethnic prints could be seen, but many garments had looks that were modernized and combined with non-traditional fabrics. One I particularly liked was in the top photo strip on the right.  A shift dress out of a traditional print peaks out from underneath a full length black lace overlay.  This look really popped on the runway for me. The show ended with the beaming designer not only taking her bows, but doing a few celebratory dance moves. I loved it.


Images by Dale Rollings 

"This particular collection, Dark Stones, centres on individuality and attitude. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ – Dark Stones is a collection designed by MAAK to give the wearer the confidence to face their fears and be themselves. Its dark tones and sassy edge inspires the wearer to be independent and vivacious. Its textures represent the overcoming of life obstacles one may experience." - from the designer's VFW bio

Images by Dale Rollings 

MAAK is a sustainable label by designer Charne Esterhuizen launched just this year in Canberra, Australia. The collection we saw on the runway was, except for the final look, a great selection of ready-to-wear. A muted palette, good fabric choices and a varied mix and match selection of separates offered something for everyone's closet. The surprise was the final look.  It was a dress created from 3D printed butterflies - not something everyone could pull off but a great final note to make us all sit up in our seats.

Pierrot by Emma Viedma

Images by Ed Ng Photography
 I was very taken by this show by Paraguayan designer Emma Viedman, but found nothing on the VFW website. However, in a quick internet search I found the designer's Facebook page. Google translate along with some help from Julia Mariuska Hodgins have helped me to sort it out. Hopefully this is correct. "PIERROT is a Paraguayan female clothing offering two line -  pret a porter and haute couture. The label is inspired by an created with the goal of blending indigenous design and art which compliment each other beautifully.  The designer's passion and inspiration for collections are found within these elements.  Pierrot is more than just garments, each is truly a unique work of art."

Images by Ed Ng Photography

Everything about this show came together beautifully - the music, the stylist, the wonderful colour palette that alternated between vivid offerings and natural tones, the mix of prints, textures and woven leather.  I felt like I was walking through a tropical forest looking at trees, greenery, flowers, birds and animals. In fact, I would love to sit through this show a second time as there were just too many elements to take it all in at once. Pierrot was a wonderful way to end the evening, leaving us all with a smile on our faces. 

Images by Ed Ng Photography

This is designer Rojda Hoda's third appearance at VFW and her show is always a crowd favourite. Part of it is the FUN nature of the show. Part of it is the era the clothing, hair and makeup are inspired by. Another part is the Gatsby era style music the models walk to. Last but not least is designer's choice to showcase the same dress on a variety of models - UK size 0 to 30 and petite to tall. They look fabulous on every body time.  

Images by Ed Ng Photography

Because I have written on Gatsby Lady London several times, I'm going to just let the beautiful runway photographs tell the story this time.  Congrats Rojda Hoda on another amazing show!

Images by Ed Ng Photography


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