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Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 – Vancouver, BC – Tuesday was a night to showcase unique and showstopping collections with experimental fabrics and delicate arcs of colour.
Elegance and timeless beauty set the stage for the second day of Vancouver Fashion Week as the first of three Italian designers showcased their SS20 collections in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Vancouver. Evaro Italia’s exquisite high-end evening wear collection, Tropical dreams, inspired by summers along the Italian countryside, showcased floral silks, ruby red tones echoing the red wines of Italy and gorgeous sequin evening dresses. All of her materials and fabrics are imported directly from Florence, Italy, making this brand the epitome of taste and extravagance. The collection featured a range of beautifully crafted pieces that embodied sophistication and elegance in evening wear contemporary fashion.
Feelomena was next to present their 2020 collection, which was largely inspired by the traditional martial art of Japanese Samurai. Creator Filomena Saltarelli used traditionally male fabrics to create delicate, billowing dresses that mesmerized the crowd. With razor sharp 90 degree cut outs and strategic cinches and straps, Saltarelli plays with the dichotomy of stationary versus non-stop movement, tactical versus gentle. Contrasting minimalism with glamour, glimpses of geometric and fur-heeled shoes peeked out beneath the vast billows of fabric, offering a glimpse at Saltarelli’s breadth of skills. With a clean, dark palette as the beating heart of the brand, layered swaths of navy blues and greys provided a surge of colour that wouldn’t hit the same in any other context than that which is Feelomena.
Working with designers from Anna Fendi to Dolce and Gabbana, Davide Grillo, founded his own brand based on the poetics of craftsmanship and uniqueness of traditional processes. To end the Italian trilogy, Davide Grillo’s ethereal models floated down the runway in long flowy dresses. The models looked like goddesses as classical italian music echoed throughout the room embodying the timeless and classic nature of the brand. The collection was a wash of pastel colors featuring opulent lace and silk fabrics. Grillo’s extensive background in the fashion industry included being selected as a finalist for Vogue Italia and having his collection at various fashion weeks, makes it an absolute honor to see him at Vancouver Fashion week.
Nauni J crafted by local Surrey-based designer Navi Johal brought a striking contrast of metal and satin to the runway. Breathable and bold, Johal provides a breath of fresh air as her clothing features no size labels, only the brand name. Her cocktail dresses and gowns featured varying lengths of dainty chains reminiscent of epaulettes, some dangling longer than the dress itself. The jumpsuits offered plunging V-necks ending in thoughtful, simple cutouts while some of the more intricate pieces featured delicate floral beading, sheer mesh, and scalloped necklines. Some incorporated and reworked varying mixtures of all of the above, proving the ingenuity and creativity that Nauni J is known for.
Local designer, Lesley Senkow, showcased her brand for the first time at Vancouver Fashion Week. As hip electronic beats blared throughout the room, models adorned in modern cropped jackets and unique jumpsuits came sashaying down the runway. Senko’s SS20 collection, was presented against the backdrop of a holographic galaxy reflecting her inspiration of the moon’s gravitational pull on water and the effect on tides. As she mixes abstract patterns with statement pieces, Senkow creates a new definition to neutral classics. A graduate of Blanche Mcdonald school in Vancouver, Senkow adds an edge and flare to modern female contemporary fashion.
Drawing from her background in academic painting, designer Tea Zubović showcased how fine art and fashion tastefully blend together. Based in Sarajevo, Tea Atelier uses high quality textiles like silk and leather to create “hand-painted wearable art”. In classic pink and gold, the collection was inspired by everyday life and art. Dominated by floral patterns, the collection of transparent blouses, satin pants, and oversized belts brought the flowers to life down the runway. Subtle yet strong were the floral scarves that conveyed a sense of intrigue. The true mystery lies in how Zubović effortlessly made the garments into pieces of art.
White Rhino Bags was the epitome of feel-good fashion as creator Claire Carreras showcased her line of vegan leather backpacks, wristlets, and shoulder bags. Models marched down the runway in pure whites and subtle florals, letting the patterns and textures of the bags speak for themselves. With a mission to make cruelty-free fashion affordable, White Rhino Bags started in response to Carreras’ inability to find an ethical leather bag on a musicians budget. So, she did it herself, resulting in an extensive line of dreamy, earth-tone bags to match the earth-friendly line. Mixing together functionality and good looks, White Rhino Bags provides an accessory that can easily transition from the runway to band practice and beyond.
Celine Haddad is a French Lebanese designer whose raison d'etre is to challenge societal norms. Rebellion is a voice of empowerment and inspiration to question tradition. Lilac was the chosen colour for the range of blazers, skirts and see-through tops. The resistance came in the form of utility holsters and belts - nontraditional accessories that represented Haddad’s fight against conformity. An oversized shirt with a cutout back, blazers paired with workout tights, hoodies and shorts - these were Haddad’s imagination of the urban woman.
Mikage Shin’s collection revelled in the pairing of unexpected patterns, forcing everything from shoulder pads and snake print to tassels and plaid to find a space where they’re able to coexist harmoniously. Shin specializes in hidden charms, stashing feathers behind hems and creating subtle continuity with silver accessories ranging from simple sphere earrings to heavy chains. Juxtaposition is the backbone of the collection, walking the line between order and chaos, a liminal space that Shin thrives in.
Next up, local Vancouver designer, Asha Singh, championed sustainability and local sourcing in her label, Ash + Grove. Bedtime Stories progressed through the 12 astrological signs - each look fairytale-like. Purple and yellow gowns told tales of princesses; a white frilly top paired with black tulle pants reminded of an evil villain. Central to those pieces were salvaged denim, creatively reused and reimagined. From an off shoulder top to a jacket, denim was incorporated to the whimsical looks. The signature look was a pair of overalls turned dress using handcrafted tulle ruffles as sleeves and the skirt. Faithful to her zero-waste philosophy, Singh proved style need not be compromised and sustainability is sexy.
French for “seaside,” PLAGE lived up to its name as the swimsuit brand showcased its new-fashioned takes on time-honoured design aspects. With a focus on using minimalist design to garner attention rather than depending on bare skin alone, PLAGE featured suits that were reminiscent of vintage lingerie while simultaneously maintaining an aspect of sophistication. The neutral-toned two-piece suits came in high-necked, long-sleeved, and high-waisted varieties, some boasting shoulder pads while others featured feminine bows. The one-pieces proved fashionable and romper-esque, paired with a simple heel to let the swimsuit hold its own space. Livable, practical, and straight from the runway, PLAGE put a high fashion twist on a summer clothing staple.
The generosity and commitment of our sponsors, suppliers and supporters is more vital than ever. Please help us by acknowledging their support for Vancouver Fashion Week October 2019. Thank you to Redken, Ken kozuki, Jean Paul Gaultier, Hungry Guys, and Sole Vodka Water.
About Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW)
Vancouver Fashion Week is the fastest-growing fashion week in the world and the only industry event that actively seeks out to showcase international award-winning designers from over 25 global fashion capitals. For 33 seasons, VFW has celebrated multiculturalism and up-and-coming designers on their runways. VFW strives to identify undiscovered designers by providing an accessible and internationally-reputable platform. Through international media coverage and cogent buyer connectivity, VFW has provided the exposure to project past designers on to international success.
Photo credit (first image): Filomena Saltarelli, Davide Grillo, Nauni J, Lesley Senkow, and Tea Zubović.
Photo credit (second image): Claire Carreras, Celine Haddad, Mikage Shin, Asha Singh, and PLAGE.