Article: Sophie Exton
Canada is cooler than ever at the moment. The new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has tattoos and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were recently checking out bears in British Columbia – the provincial home of Vancouver.
However it was the 28th consecutive season of Vancouver Fashion Week that has us talking. The catwalks were bursting with bright colours, textures, layering and more delicate pieces with a spotlight on nude and pink tones.
Founded by producer, Jamal Abdourahman in 2001, Vancouver Fashion Week just wrapped its 28th seasons and is lauded worldwide as the fastest growing fashion week and the one that actively seeks to showcase international talent alongside its homegrown designers.
Designers from all over the world showed at VFW for the spring/summer season – Canada, America, Venezuela, Germany, France…and a heavy concentration from China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, which means the fashion was underscored with a healthy dose of Asian design codes.
Vancouver is known for its stunning position in the natural world – surrounded by water and mountains; it is a major film hub (Twilight, Juno, Tomorrowland and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes were shot there) and it just happens to be one of the most expensive cities in the world making it a serious crossroads for celebrities and designer fashion, and these were our favourite shows:
Angus Chiang’s futuristic colour-popping designs injected some legitimate fun into the SS17 fashion week. Chiang never disappoints with his eye-catching collections and this season was better than ever. The models were decked out in shades of blues, green, red and pinks. Chiang took us to a fashion carnival using bold stripes, pattern clashing, and strong flares on the trousers.
Established in 2015, Angus Chiang’s designs are inspired by Taiwanese culture. Chiang previously represented Taiwan in a competition with sixteen other designers from the world’s top fashion universities, and went on to win first place.
Marie Latuilerie and Parissa Yasseen
VFW has cleverly partnered with ESMOD Dubai – the gulf arm of the famous French fashion school. Two of their most celebrated emerging designers hit the runway at VFW. Texture and colour were dished out in enormous portions from both designers in oversized wooly jackets embellished with hand beading and faux fur, loose tailoring with exaggerated sleeves, and split-leg gowns carefully adorned with swathes of fabric and ruffles. Both designers got the memo on the colour of the moment: pale pink. VFW has also recently announced that it will continue its partnership with ESMOD. We can’t wait to see what next season brings.
Alex S. Yu
Alex S. Yu returned to Vancouver Fashion Week with another striking collection. This women’s collection was all about shape. The peplum was popular with the designer embedding the feminine element into an array of dresses, skirts and tops. Layering was also key; placing longer shirts and logo t-shirts underneath delicate dresses. Our favourite part of the show? The use of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers action figures as key features of the hair design.
44511234 was a firm favourite of ours last season. Their AW16 collection was bursting with colour and fun. We were just as impressed with their SS17 offering. The colours were stripped back to shades of grey, silver, navy and cream, but with pops of red and plenty of stripes – and in one case a mash-up of muli-colour striped fabrics. Overall the designs felt more refined but just as contemporary. We’re not sure what the large bits of black under the models’ eyes symbolised, but they made for an interesting talking point amongst showgoers.
This season saw Clio Sage really engaging 3D skills. Her spring/summer 2017 collection blended wood, Plexiglas, plastic, and cork with digital and physical assembly techniques to create extraordinarily beautiful wearables. The end product echoed armour or amphibious scales. We can definitely see pieces making their way to a stage on the back of a musician…or at least appearing in a video.
Sage worked with abstract expressionist painter Addis Goldman on the collection and wants to continue working with artists that specialise in traditional painting, jewellery design and 3D printing mediums. She is currently based in Brooklyn and the VFW catwalk was her first appearance outside of New York.
Jamal Abdourahman, producer and founder of VFW, aptly says: “We have grown this event into a large-scale fashion celebration that brings designers, editors, buyers and top media from around the world.”
Apply to show at VFW or to attend next season here: