Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 17 - Tuesday Shows by Katherine Tessier, Keem and Illusions Lab X Jennifer Reeves Designs

Image by Harry Leonard Imagery
Tuesday, March 21st, offered the first days of shows for the Fall Winter 2017 season at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW).

I always love the first day full of anticipation and have a set routine. I arrive and sort out my seat early, do a quick wander through the backstage to say hi to first designers lining their models up back stage and then take a few moments to connect with the many volunteers both veterans like me and new on the scene. It's a great time.

Next the doors open and the excited audience begins to pour in, all jockeying for the best views. The runway fills with the buzz of people talking about the shows they are looking forward to. Many of us also start to share about what we are wearing in support Vancouver and Canadian designers. There were some taking candids together, but it wasn't the feeding frenzy of previous seasons. There was a more relaxed feel to this evening with many of the images taken on cell phones instead of by the pros.

My outfit this first day was inspired by my hair.  I was feeling the need for a change for several reasons, so asked my amazing stylist Myles Laphen - the creative director at Avant Garde -  to make me edgy this time. To an asymmetrical cut, he added a fabulous black swash on the longer side. I love it. To show it off, I choose to wear all black right down to my nylons and very muted jewellery.  My knit top is from JAC by JC. My big, fabulous wooden bead necklace is by Laura Siegel (purchased at Holt Renfrew's Project H Shop). my Eco bracelet created from recycled bicycle inner tubes is by London based Eco designer Matilda Janosi of Tildart and my purse featuring cork detailing I picked up in Find Finds - Yaletown. It is by Canadian Eco brand, Matt & Nat.
Image by Ed Ng Photography
There are three courtesy notes I would to make for anyone attending more shows this week. Please don't lean forward and hold out your phone or tablet during a runway show in a way that blocks the views of those next to you or behind you.  I saw some really tough situations yesterday. The second is stay in your seat during a show. Don't get up and leave or cross the runway. Lastly keep your voices low.  One show there were several laughing and chatting loudly a few rows back. It's disrespectful to the designers and distracting for the other guests. Want to socialize, just go out to the lobby. Enough said.

Image by Ed Ng Photography

I picked three designers to showcase in today's column that give a hint to the wide range of aesthetics we saw on the runway this day. As well, all Vancouver designers are featured in a separate BUY LOCAL column which I will add to each day.  Today's BUY LOCAL additions are Encima, Mahari Collection and Blushing Boutique Designs. You can check out this column HERE

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Images by Harry Leonard Imagery

If I read Quebec designer Katherine Tessier bio correctly, this is her fourth collection. It is also her second appearance on the runway at VFW. The designer is a graduate of Parsons The New School of Design in New York and has interned at Zimba Collections.She launched her first in October 2014 and had her designs featured in Vogue UK, Glamour UK, the Newspaper of Quebec, Le courrier de Portneuf, MAG2000, Quebec Scope Magazine and Elle Quebec.

Image by Harry Leonard Imagery

This was a clean, tight collection of garments designed to work together to create a wardrobe of looks. The palette was created with three soft colours - white, pastel pink and light grey.  Most pieces were monochrome so that they could be combined in endless ways.  While this doesn't always pop on the runway, it's a gift in the closet.  I loved the fact Tessier chose to end the show with a great closing piece - a coat featuring all three colours in a polka dot fabric. It was a great exclamation point to close her wonderful show on.

Images by Ed Ng Photography

KEEM is a new Irish eco-luxury fashion brand created by designer Denise Thomas. The label is inspired by Keem, Achill Island, a place that offers awesome seascapes and emotional landscapes. Garments are created in natural fibres, certified organic cotton and 100% faux fur ethical luxury and are infused with a rural state of mind – meandering freedom, human discovery and universal perspective. Classic contemporary separates and outerwear are designed for urban living and can be worn regardless of season, trend or gender traditions.

Images by Ed Ng Photography

What I loved about this line is the easy wear aspect. The men's wear was super casual. The women's wear took it up a notch. Still very easy wear, but a little more stylish overall. I could see myself wearing many of these pieces in both daily life, at meetings and while travelling.

Illusions Lab (clothing) X Jennifer Reeves Designs (jewellery)
This collaborative offerings was one of my favourite shows yesterday.  The designer Jeanne Mesecha's garments were unique, one-of-a kind wearable art pieces created through a process of ecological felting. They were created without seams to smoothly contour the body.  These were paired with beautiful jewellery featuring natural gemstones from Australia, Brazil, India, USA, China, Russia, Switzerland and other exotic places - all created by Salt Lake city designer Jennifer Reeves. It was a match made in heaven.

Images by Harry Leonard Imagery

Illusions Lab - Jeanne Mesecha VFW bio

It’s hard to believe that before art has turned into Jeanne’s profession and then into a lifestyle, she had 15 years career as a financial analyst. For all these years while art was her passion and hobby, Jeanne has been practicing many forms of art as painting and stain glasses.

Learning and exploring the felting techniques for last several years gave Jeanne an idea of implementing art approaches in apparel and accessories line. The concept of creating luxury wearable art collections is rooted in the idea that everything we wear can be unique as our personality. The idea that fashion reflects our individuality as a foundation and essential element of dedication to the art of everyday life, lies behind a creation of Illusions Lab brand.

Designer: Jennifer Reeves VFW bio

Jennifer Reeves is a Salt Lake City based gemstone jewelry designer who is brilliant at blending exquisite stones in bold hues with superbly crafted designs. Jennifer’s first artistic love of flower design came to fruition in her native country of Australia where she gained inspiration by collecting organic creations from the earth and arranging natural elements in order to transcend her original aesthetic.

Boulder Opals, known as Australia’s national gemstones are featured prominently in her collection. Along with freshwater pearls, crystals and other rare gemstones hand selected from around the world. The ‘Artistry Meets Sophistication’ collection captures Jennifer’s passion for creating, embodies her love of life manifested through her journey, career and transcends into an exquisite jewelry collection.

Image by Harry Leonard Imagery