After a week of creative, energetic and inspiring shows, the final designers of the week were ready to close Vancouver Fashion Week with as much enthusiasm and drama as the opening shows.
First to showcase her collection was Project Runways 8th Season winner, Gretchen Jones. Using natural materials, she presented a stunning line of romantic, fluid dresses that complemented the feminine form beneath. Soft hues and tones were contrasted with a hot pink piece and black and white striped leggings. Gretchen is an emerging designer who effortlessly showed why she is one to watch. I spoke to Gretchen after her show and found her to be an intelligent, inspiring woman in addition to being the creative hand behind her incredible line!
Sentimongla Aier created a show-stopping line of bejeweled gowns inspired by her Indian background. Dazzling gowns, inspired by the drapes and shape of the sari were more obviously inspired by her heritage. A blue, floor length gown encrusted with sparkling stones moved beautifully with the model and could be imagined twirling round on a professional ballroom floor.
Mexican designer Sofia Palmero gave us a glimpse of her couture swimwear line. Palmero employed vibrant colour blocking and frills to create swimwear that any girl could stylish lounge around in by a poolside. High waist briefs in a range of colours and patterns including a chevron print were animated under the runway lights.
Her collection, first took to the runway on Friday night and after high demand, Ping was announced as the next designer, filling in at short notice for a designer who unfortunately couldn’t make it. The audience erupted with warm applause on hearing the announcement and sat back to enjoy Ping’s eloquent tailoring and mix of tough and delicate fabrics.
Daniela Villa was the next designer programmed to take to the runway. Named by Elle Mexico as one of fifteen designers to watch, Daniela showed us exactly why. Her collection of evening dresses in deep colours and luxurious materials could have easily been on a red carpet as well as the runway. Structuring added a tough element to the flowing skirts. The iconic piece was a full length, sequined dress with a deep V at the front and back. A breathtaking example of dressmaking.
Vancouver’s Farida Lalji from Indian decent and African origin mastered the art of weaving the very different influences of two types of cultural fashions together. Fusing African tribal dress and prints with traditional shapes, colours and sparkles that evoke the glamour of Bollywood, Farida has created a unique collection. Sheer fabrics of the Indian inspired dresses exposed the African zebra print beneath. Traditional Indian saris in African prints were draped over the models, exposing a glamorous, Bollywood worthy sequined top beneath. Farida’s artistic genius and fashion skill seamlessly fused these two cultural fashions. (As soon as photos are available I will post)
SODDI by Solon Diego was the first all menswear collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week. Creating pieces that were feminine in shape and design, such as one shouldered tops and the male version of the playsuit, Diego turned male/female fashion concepts on its head. Jackets that resembled gowns also made a statement in Solon's show.
The penultimate designer was Andy Hoan Nguyen with Y!D.N.A. Collection. Recognized early on in his career Andy has won coveted awards and continues to shine with his SS13 collection. Summarized as dark and dramatic his line fuses leather mixed with softer fabrics. His collection took on an almost Superhero element featuring a model dressed in a body piece and a cape.
The final designer of the day and of the week was the USA’s George Bezhanishvili whose designs were welcomed to the runway with a standing ovation. George is an established designer who also leans towards assembling looks that use strong and fragile fabrics to create a new opulent style. His pieces were reliant on animal prints and leather for a dramatic look. A beautiful purple dress with butterfly detail on the back was a highlight of his show.
This wraps up my coverage, participation and experience of Vancouver Fashion Week SS13. I hope you've enjoyed the insight into the coming lines of these very talented emerging designers!
A huge thank you to the Vancouver Fashion Week Official Photographers, Peter Jensen, Dale Rolling, Ed Ng and Eugene, for the incredible photos as seen above!