Vancouver Fashion Week F/W18 - VCC Fashion Grad Exhibit 2018

Runway images by Harry Leonard Imagery and J Collen Jones (as marked)


When I stepped into the fashion world in the summer of 2007, I really was clueless. But fortunately my early connections were good ones.  One of the first fashion shows I attended was the Vancouver Community College (VCC) grad fashion show called Fiat Mode - a much anticipated show that has been exciting audiences for 30 years. 

I still remember how inspired I was after the show. As I headed for home, I promised myself I would make an effort to attend all fashion design grad shows I was able to, and would offer media support to as many young designers as I could. I still hold to that promise today.

Here I am 11 years later and the VCC grad showcase has grown from a separate show to become a regular part of the Vancouver Fashion Week line-up. What a wonderful opportunity for these new-to-the-scene talents to get a chance to present their work not just in front of friends and family, but on a wider fashion week stage with audience members who may or may not love what they see.

This format lets them experience the chaotic energy of a backstage not set up just for their convenience.  They learn how to deal with hair and make-up teams who are working feverishly for a large number of designers as well how to coordinate their section with the VFW runway choreographer. And the feedback they get will come from not just friendly faces, but the audience and media at large.

This season we saw the work of 4 very talented graduates offering a wide variety of aesthetics. They showcased collections with from 5 to 11 looks, depending on the designer. Each offered a strong, totally unique line-up and every garment showcased strong tailoring skills. A fifth student is listed below who did not participate in the runway show, so I have included 2 editorial images of her work.


Off World Rebels by James Jurome

The collection mixes vintage silhouettes and simple textiles with surface design details to create a futuristic, sci-fi, rebel with a nod to the modern vintage man. Using a neutral and drab textile palette as a base allows bright screen prints to pop and to give the appearance of floating on the textile surface.

James Jurome is a new menswear designer who originates from Kelowna, Canada. He chooses to use hemp fabric in support of a sustainable future, and plans to work with textile mills and factories which support fair wages and ethical treatment of garment workers and the environment.

TÒU by Stella Chu

Stella was inspired by the photos and videos she took while travelling in the summer. while looking at the natural scenery, landscapes, architecture, textures and portraits she captured, she started to write down all the Chinese characters that inspired her.

Chinese characters have a complex form. The beautify of Chinese characters is that one character may have different meanings.  By looking up the definition of the characters, breaking down each character into components and realizing how each character is formed, she picked "TÒU" to be the inspiration for the season.  The original meaning of "TÒU" is "wander through the world." It also has the extended meanings of transparent, clear, to penetrate, to pass through, to show, to reveal, fully, completely, and to leak out.

Folded Abstractions by Nico Gruzling

The fashion industry is undergoing revolutionary change as new technologies for design, manufacturing and marketing change the way we work, and or capacity to create. Nico's artistic vision embraces technology, using it to create distinctive fabrications resulting in one-of-a-kind garments with clever, utilitarian details.She uses materials that have been transformed in unexpected ways, using knit fabrics, borrowing elements from techniques including collage, laser cutting, and digital printing. Her designs aim to bring appreciation to the everyday; using custom sizing and unique construction to transform the routine of daily dress.

Folded Abstractions is a Fall/Winter 2018 collection. The collection takes inspiration from the art of Louise Bourgeois exploring ideas of feminism and transformation and reflects on them through work informed by the paper art of Origami.

Circus Circus by Kathryn Potter

It has become acceptable for chain stores to brazenly copy designers' collections as soon as they set foot on the runway. For Kathryn's graduation show, she has examined this concept by pirating her own luxury women's wear collection, Circus Circus.

Circus Circus is a menagerie of entertainment, playful illusion and electrified drama that has a dark, mysterious side. Characters from the Victorian circus are brought to life by mixing the unexpected, extreme dark to lights, forming colour clashes.  Drawing on her past experience in designing show stopping bridal and evening wear, she has taken traditional garments and reimagined them in street wear fabrics. Couture fabrics and high end features are combined with modern knits in lounge wear styles for a fresh look.

For her pirated collection, she has taken key design elements and fabrics from Circus Circus and toned them down for more accessible, simplified versions for the mass market.

Art Photo Clothing by Gisela Cindy Sulistyaningrum

This designer did not show a collection on the runway. 

Gisela Cindy is a student who has a highly attuned passion for social media, photography and styling. The idea of building her portfolio through Instagram has had the biggest impact on her career.

For her, it has become her journal to show people what interests her in fashion and photography. As an influencer, every post is leading to another where the theme is built.

For more information on the fashion program at Vancouver Community College, please visit their website at or email the fashion Program Coordinator Sarah Murray at