Two creative International Design showcases

On Thursday the 8th February at New York Fashion Week, an eclectic mix of emerging designers from across the globe were brought together to form a collective with real impact. Global Fashion Collective (GFC) a project by Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW), presented two creative and stimulating showcases at Industria NYC, 775 Washington Street, a large whitewashed studio filled with light nestled in the Meatpacking District.

GFC began proceedings with the ‘Prêt-à-porter’ show, a refined ready-to-wear presentation with trendsetting new collections for the F/W 18 season, highlighting wearable and high-end takes on shape, fabric, and colour.

First up, FICTION TOKYO, a brand by Japanese designer Monaca Nishi. A seductive saxophone medley played out as models clad in black bunny-ear masks paced the runway. Monaca took a retro spin for her collection ‘Favorite Heroine’ drawing inspiration from the lead of a childhood movie. A fun and feminine feel was given prominence with high-waisted leather shorts, flared sleeves, and silky fabrics. A subtle colour palette with soft pinks, khaki, grey, burgundy, and yellow was mixed. A stand-out look: soft knitted flared pants paired with a cropped fluffy sweater in pale pink with black crinkled bodice.

Vancouver designer Melissa Yin showcased flattering cuts with her leather-based brand, presenting ‘Nine to Five’- a collection of fashion-forward pieces to take you from day to night. Bright lipstick red leather was contrasted with cream and black shades in fitted silhouettes. An elegant full-length black dress with short-capped sleeves and a cinched-in waist formed a striking look. An inspiring attention to detail was shown with silver star-shaped zippers and rhinestone trim which beautifully caught the light.

Next in the line-up was Caroline Ann, a U.S designer from Atlanta, who draws inspiration from fond childhood memories. The concepts of time and nostalgia have informed the clothes, exploring summer days spent at the beach. A collection geared towards the mild winters of the southern US with a fun touch of summer, we saw a vibrant palette of jewel pink, bold blue, and orange in light loose dresses and two pieces. Clever cutting and layering allows for pops of bright colour meshed with muted greys and an accent of print. Soft ruffles are inspired by the natural texture of sand dunes after being blown in the wind, and embellishments to suggest the sparkle of crushed up seashells are strategically placed throughout.

Japanese brand WILDFRÄULEIN71 put forward a unisex collection inspired by the strong but transient beauty of a woman with a courageous man by her side. Designer Roop Shimura brought a more artisanal feel to the collective show, looking into the conceptual relationship between energy and form. An eclectic mix of colour and texture, layered outfits were pieced together with matte and shiny textures in autumnal shades. A highlight was a yellow knitted button up dress paired with a belted red check jacket; a green pageboy hat completed the look. Painted glass art pieces were carried by the models, who at the end of the runway, pointed to the sky, and announced their names and where they are from. An expressive presentation to close the show.

The second showcase of Global Fashion Collective presented the work of progressive cutting-edge designers. Their experimental F/W 18 collections create powerful messages by the influence of personal and artistic expression. ‘Conceptual Artistry’ is an avant-garde selection of conceptual work with an haute couture feel.

Canadian designer Kirsten Ley’s eponymous label features designs carefully crafted with a deep consciousness embracing the natural female form. The artistic collection NERŌ explores the concept of abandoning the fear of death and yearning for the afterlife. NERŌ highlights the exquisite and undeniable dichotomy of beauty and destruction with hard and soft surfaces in the collection’s textiles. A dark feminine energy was expressed with deep greens and inky blacks. The interplay between sculptured leather pieces and ruffled textile manipulations was balanced with fitted midi skirts and straight leg pants. A long length jacket with zip-up fitted leather bodice and sizeable fur sleeves made a bold statement.

German designer Kim Tiziana Rottmüller’s signature is provocation in a feminine but playful way. The collection BITTERSWEET is a fusion of the concepts ‘Prison’ and ‘Barbie’. The designs are an artistic interpretation of a person wishing to break free from mental constriction, looking to the invisible prisons that exist only in people's minds. Volume and shape have influenced the designs, with oversized cylinders adorning the sleeves and an iron skirt to represent 'the cage'. A collection with impact, there was dramatic contrast in the large solid shapes and soft knitted textures. A minimal colour combination of black and pale pink symbolizes the aspects bitter and sweet.

To end the show with a bang, the sound of military drums blasted through the space. NiuNiu Chou of Chinese brand MRHUA MRSHUA presented a feast for the eyes with the ‘Vintage Soldier’ collection, a Military styled colour collision with Pop Art fabric dyeing. Fitted tailored pieces adorned with lace, tassels, and embroidery, featured unique patterns and vibrant clashing colours. Gold buckles, plaited aiguillette rope, and toy soldier hats invoked feelings of playfulness. A salute to psychedelic soldiers, a strong collection with brilliant visual appeal.

Photos by Arun Nevader/Getty Images for Global Fashion Collective.

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