YONFA- a style free from fuss

Yonfa_Proofing-144.jpg

YONFA

A style free from fuss

Kim Yonghwa presented her captivating new collection at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) for the F/W 2019 Season. The featured brand is simple and elegant. It promotes a style free from fuss whereby fashionable women can fluidly and comfortably step up their everyday style.

True to it’s simple and elegant ethos, YONFA focuses on basic materials such as wool, knit and cotton. The theme colours are black, grey, white, and navy. Due to popularity in the 2018 Vancouver Fashion Week show, Kim Yonghwa has added more outerwear, knits and shirts to the collection.

Yonfa_Proofing-102.jpg

The collection forms the foundation of a woman's wardrobe, each piece is a building block upon which a new look can be created. It is an elegant and simple canvas that can showcase individual style through accessories.

ABOUT DESIGNER

Born and raised in Japan by Korean immigrants, Yonghwa’s work is inspired by this diverse and rich cultural background. Since establishing YONFA in 2016, the label has always celebrated Japanese fashion while employing Korean production methods to create clothing that compliments a woman’s body and lifestyle.

Follow YONFA on social media: yonfa_jp and check out their website: yonfa-fashion.com

Read the full interview here-

Q&A with fashion brand Yonfa

Yonfa_Proofing-030.jpg

Photographs by Wendy J Photography

Interview with Spanish Couture House Yolancris

SS19HC_Yolancris_look_08.jpg

Yolancris

Spanish Haute Couture Brand

Fashion brand Yolancris originated in Barcelona in 2005 and has since grown significantly. In 2008, this fashion house debuted in the Gaudí runway shows in Barcelona and eleven years later they brought their Spring-Summer 2019 ‘Opera Prima’ collection to Paris. Since then, Yolancris has created a big name for itself, and has been showcased by many influential celebrities and artists such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.

The Yolancris show during Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week took place in a beautiful and ornate 18th century building; the Hôtel Le Marois- France Ameriques. We interviewed Yolanda Perez, designer and creative director for Yolancris, to find out more about the inspiration for this jaw-dropping collection and successful brand!

How was your Haute Couture Fashion Week experience?

Overall it was a very positive experience but certainly a test because of the pressure of competing on a platform with huge names like Jean Paul Gaultier, Viktor & Rolf or Zuhair Murad. But the experience has been very good and we are very happy.

This was Yolancris’ first show in Paris. What did this mean to you?

As a designer, doing a fashion show in Paris is always a dream come true. I admire classic creators and artists such as Balenciaga, Christian Dior, and Valentino. To be closer to them in any way is always an honour and an opportunity to learn.

SS19HC_Yolancris_look_17.jpg

What was it like growing up with a mother in the fashion and bridal business? How has it influenced the creation of your brand?

Our mother was head of production for bridal companies for many years and eventually opened her first store in 1985. From the young age of 7, my sister Cristina and I, would spend our time after school collecting needles at my mother’s store. We owe everything to her. She now works for the company and at 68 years of age, never missed a day!

What is it like working in the fashion business together as sisters?

We get along very well. I am the creative director and designer and my sister is in charge of the economic and commercial part of the business so our jobs do not interfere. We have a lot of faith and trust in each other’s work.

As two successful business women in the modern age, what is your advice for aspiring women designers?

I would advise them to learn a job, a craft. Paying for expensive bachelor and graduate degrees is one way to gain experience but it is not essential to dedicate yourself to fashion. You have to learn by doing.

"Walker, there is no path, the path is made by walking”

“Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar”

- Antonio Machado.

SS19HC_Yolancris_look_10.jpg

What does the word ‘craftsmanship’ mean to you in regard to your collection?

It is present in everything we do. We do not design digitally or sketch. We assemble each and every one of the pieces on a mannequin. We are guided by intuition and trial and error. Craftsmanship and proximity are some of the most important values of the brand which we believe translate into our designs. Many of them could not be mass produced. All of our production is made in-house in our workshop in Barcelona since all of the materials and fabrics are bought locally.

What separates this collection from your previous work?

This SS19 Couture collection differs from the others in that I've let explore freely and create without constraints more so than in my other collections.

Barcelona was an inspiration for this collection. In what ways does the influence of a location play an important role when designing a collection?

Everything that surrounds you inspires you. The place where you live certainly does and Barcelona is such a special city that it naturally happened that way. Art is very present in my collections: Art Nouveau, pre-Raphaelites, Surrealism, the light of Sorolla and so on.

SS19HC_Yolancris_look_23.jpg

The show took place in the Hôtel Le Marois- France Ameriques. How did you choose the location?

I saw it in a fashion show of a German brand and it was love at first sight.

The last Spanish designer to attend Haute Couture Fashion Week was in 2009. What is it like to be important Spanish designers at this time?

It's a big step. With everything being so ephemeral nowadays, you need to relativize. There’s work to do the next day.

How do you want your customer to feel when wearing your dresses?

I want her to feel powerful, elegant, and sophisticated. Most importantly, I want her to feel empowered. Femininity is a very subjective concept, but femininity as I understand it, is one of the pillars of my designs.

What are your future hopes and goals for Yolancris?

I started working when I was 16, so I would like to slow down a bit at some point in order to be able to combine work and family. For the time being, we want to keep doing as many new things as possible.

Your dresses have been worn by many influential people. How important is it while growing a brand to have celebrity clients?

Dressing celebrities gives you a lot of notoriety and it is always an honour that the best and most famous singers on the planet wear your clothes. However, we do not prioritise celebrities over any other client. It is as important to us to dress Beyoncé or Lady Gaga as it is to dress any anonymous client. The same effort and love is put into their designs.

SS19HC_Yolancris_look_18.jpg

At what point as designers did you feel you had become a successful brand?

I don’t think you're ever aware of exactly when you're at the top. You feel it, but in a way that makes it hard to grasp. We intend to continue growing and working on Yolancris.

Thank you for telling us about your journey and continuing to inspire young designers!

Check out the website here: Yolancris.

Written by: Abby Droeger & Jessica Haltrecht

Q & A with fashion brand YONFA

YONFA.jpg

YONFA

Japanese fashion brand

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

I was born and raised in Japan by Korean immigrants. My diverse cultural background led me to develop a strong sense of Japanese fashion and an appreciation for Korean production methods. It has been three years since I established my own brand, YONFA, in 2016. YONFA’s target consumers are mature women who love fashion and are open to trying new things and changing their everyday style.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

Like any designer, it started with wanting to make clothes that I love. I have loved fashion since I was a little girl. Growing up, I began experimenting with fashion and mixing pieces from fast fashion brands and luxury brands to create my own style.

One thing I always wished I could find was a brand that was affordable but that had the qualities of a luxury brand. One that would inspire confidence in women. Now that I’m designing my own clothes, this desire for affordable confidence inspires my creations. I hope my brand will be a breath of fresh air in the fashion industry!

YONFA3.jpg

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

The most important thing while I am designing, is to think about what kind of clothes I would personally want to wear. Mature women do not like clothes unless they fit them well, can be used in different ways, and are durable. I always think of their needs first and after that, find a balance between casualness and quality.

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

I get most of my inspiration from day to day occurrences such as looking up the sky when I wake up, eating meals, and seeing art in museums or listening to music.

MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

What would I want to wear? What kinds of materials would I want to have? What colours would I like to see? I consider my own taste while I design.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

From my previous job at a clothing store, I learned customer service, visual merchandising, operations, and how to train staff. After that, I went back to school as a fashion business major and gained even more knowledge.

YONFA4.jpg

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Japan? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

I am very proud to be one of the many fashion designers in the world. In Japan especially, the standard for fashion is high so it is truly an honour. I also think the use of social networks has been a huge impact for me and expanded the reach of my brand.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

My favourite part is when I put all of my ideas together and get positive feedback from customers. They love my collections and that motivates me!

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion design. We can't wait to see YONFA show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the F/W19 season.

Check out YONFA at: YONFA

Q & A with Fashion Brand HAMON

L1000531_00000.jpg

HAMON

Japanese fashion brand

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

The impressed feeling reverberates. Like a drop of water falling on the water will continue to expand with a beautiful arc. Both inside and outside.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I felt interested because fashion reflects the spirituality of a person.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

I visualize various conscious thoughts and emotions that I feel on a daily basis and I turn them into clothes.

IMG_0974.jpg

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

I find inspiration within myself. I am constantly trying to see things from a different perspective.

MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

Questions of individuality and diversity. Thoughts and emotions come from the same place. Don’t they? View yourself from different points of view. Lastly, do I have to make it or do I want to make it?

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I am learning from various individuals I have met through my work. Everyone gives me advice and shares their opinion from their point of view. I am really interested in hearing everyone else’s perspective.

IMG_0844.jpg

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Japan? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

I started making clothes by myself. As most people know, Japan has a very unique culture. I design without intention. I think that overthinking the design process interferes with creativity. Through clothes, I connect with different individuals in society.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

Being able to bring an idea to life.

MM: What is the inspiration behind your F/W19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

Regeneration. The leftover fabric after making clothes, fragments of woven fabric being repurposed. This collection celebrates accidents and the inevitability of life by focusing on the power of your mind to create.

IMG_0963.jpg

MM: What is your favourite piece from the new collection?

The Two Sided Dress (pictured above).

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion design. We can't wait to see HAMON show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the F/W19 season.

Check out HAMON at: HAMON Clothes

Q & A with Fashion Brand Emelia's Swimwear

Emilia's swimwear draft 1.jpg

Emelia’s Swimwear

Toronto based fashion brand

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

I’ve always considered myself to be a ‘Follower of Sunshine™’, and the Followers of Sunshine™ are who I create my swimwear for. My brand focuses on quality, comfort, function, and of course, style with an emphasis on environmental stewardship. 

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I was travelling to many beach destinations and I found that there was a lack of  high quality, functional, and cute swimwear. I wanted to create a bathing suit that would be all of these things and also last for many swimwear seasons to come. 

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

My creative process is always different.  I am continuously asking other women and men what they would like to see or have in a swimsuit. 

unnamed-3.png

MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

What makes one feel beautiful? What makes one feel confident? What’s going to make others turn their head when they see someone in Emelie’s Swimwear? What activities is one going to want to do while in swimwear? 

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I am self taught and studied other designers and felt that many aspects of the bathing suit could be approved upon without sacrificing cost. 

unnamed-2.png

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Canada? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

In Ontario our summers are short but the time is well spent with outdoor activities and soaking up as much sun as possible. I take this into consideration when designing swimwear as I want my pieces to be practical and functional for the many summer actives but I also want them to be comfortable and stylish. I live in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, I truly love it and feel very much connected to my home. However, as a Follower of Sunshine™, I find a little bit of ‘home’ wherever I travel. 

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

My favourite part of being a designer is the satisfying feeling of seeing women in my swimwear and seeing how their inner confidence and beauty truly shines. Helping make women look and feel good is what drives me. 

MM: What is the inspiration behind your F/W19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

Health and wellness has become a big part of today’s society and is my inspiration for my F/W19 collection. Introducing daring reds and confident blues represents the attitude behind the new collection. 

unnamed.png

MM: What is your favourite piece from the new collection?

If I had to pick just one, I would say my new ‘Marcella’ mesh onesie. The back detailing is so flattering and is very beautiful. 

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion design. We can't wait to see Emelia’s Swimwear show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the F/W19 season.

Check out Emelia’s Swimwear at: emeliasswimwear.com

Q & A with fashion brand THE MONGOLIANCHOPPSSS

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences? 

We are operating THE MONGOLIANCHOPPSSS by 2 designers, KIMIHIKO ANDO & KENTA YAMAMOTO. We started the production of ZINE in 2011, then we officially began the dressmaking with seasons theme from 2014. Our design is based on the  expressing our impressions 「Having fun」 with the” pride of being Japanese”.

 

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

We normally starts the process of dressmaking from small talks. Images of dressmaking that we would like to make next is coming up with talking so many random things. We reconcile those images into one image, seeking words for next seasons, then we make collections which is based on the words at the end.

 

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

We are inspired by 「spontaneous affairs in a daily life」 such as commuter trains and small talks, getting inspirations except for fashion stuff happens a lot to us. When it comes to our designs, we get inspirations by used clothes many times. We look around thrift shops in the U.S. and Japanese recycle shops in japan periodically in order to look for another stimulus.

 

MM: What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you begin creating a collection?

When we start making collections, we sometimes ask to myself whether 「Are we actually having fun」 during productions, so our concept for collection is we can’t entertain other people, if we don’t enjoy it on our own.

 

MM: How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

We don’t evolve, but our passion is swelling up in progress.

 

MM: How do you find working as a designer in Japan? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

We were born in Japan and living as Japanese, so we don’t think any specific or special things as designers  who active in Japan.

 

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

Passion.

 

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

Both of us graduated at the apparel academy. Even though we had experienced as shop clerks, we established our brand with no idea about branding. We are getting helped by a variety of people,  managing our brand and speculating ideas day by day on our own so as to keep our operation appropriately.

 

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

We put our heart and feelings as a design of clothes and we can get empathy and opinions from those who wear them and we can do it indirectly.

Fashion has the opportunity to be touched by everyone, it is the privilege of the designer that is involved in it, I think that it will lead to rewarding as well.

 

MM: What is the inspiration behind your S/S19 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

It is a personal part of Japanese people.

For example, a humble posture and a serious posture. . .

 

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion design. We can't wait to see THE MONGOLIANCHOPPSSS show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the SS19 season.

Follow THE MONGOLIANCHOPPSSS on Instagram @themongolianchoppsss and check out the website http://themongolianchoppsss.com/.

FASHIONCLASH Festival 2018- Fashion My Religion!

Taking place over the weekend of 15 - 17 June 2018 in Maastricht, the Netherlands, the 10-year anniversary edition of the international and interdisciplinary FASHIONCLASH Festival in Maastricht featured more than 100 designers and artists from all over the world.

FASHIONCLASH Festival 2018_Lonneke van der Palen, concept Das Leben Am Haverkamp.gif

The festival was composed within a 3-day program, and the route?- an inspiring pilgrimage along 26 locations with expositions, theatre and dance performances and talks and contributions by Didem Tali, Dalia Vann, Das Leben am Haverkamp, Elise Crutzen, Sem Shayne, Anton Fayle, KEVIN.MURPHY and many more. We love the festival's colourful cake branding, how creative!

Theme: Fashion My Religion!
The overarching theme of the festival 'Fashion My Religion!' boldly dove into one of the most current themes of the moment; religion. Specifically, the relation between religion and gender, hair style and clothing. FASHIONCLASH challenged participants and visitors to research, highlight or break existing religious traditions and taboos by way of using fashion. A call to activism that hopefully inspires a new generation of fashion- makers and lovers to fulfil their role as meaningful as they can.

From this perspective designers are shaping the future of the shape of things to come. What is the role of our cultural heritage in a constantly changing world? How are new generation designers dealing with their cultural heritage (ancestry and traditions) in a globalised world where everything seems to be at reach?
 

The meeting between fashion and religion isn’t a new one. Religious idioms and luxury have been used for decades by many within fashion. Sometimes just for ethical motives, other times with a dose of criticism. With ‘Fashion My Religion’ we are placing the audience and the designer in an interesting area of tension; fashion versus religion or cutting-edge versus tradition. We take a closer look at cultural expressions of personal, modern meaning and more traditional ones. We place historical absolutes opposite from modern-day fluid truths by really going in on social matters such as, feminism and human rights. Through (fashion) design we dissect the ever-changing awareness around the relationship we have with our environment and come up with new stories and approaches to ‘fashion and religion’.

For more information about the festival and participants visit fashionclash.nl

Stay tuned for more- we will take you through our favourite fashion collections from the festival!

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Allison Nicole Designs

Intricate fabrics, bespoke fittings, and enhancing the female form, we talk to U.S designer Allison Berger ahead of her Vancouver Fashion Week showcase.

20171102-01-0331 (1).jpg

MM: Can you explain your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

Allison Berger: Allison Nicole Designs specializes in bridal, evening, and red-carpet gowns with an elegant yet ethereal aesthetic. I love to create breath-taking pieces for everyone to enjoy.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

Allison Berger: I launched my namesake collection, Allison Nicole Designs, in spring 2017, but my love for sewing and design sparked at a very young age as I saw all the beautiful creations my grandmother made. I received my first sewing machine at the age of 12, and immediately knew that I wanted to pursue her a career in the fashion industry.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

Allison Berger: I learned the business of fashion through working alongside other successful apparel design businesses, as well as earning my degree in Apparel and Merchandising/ Apparel Design and Production from Colorado State University.

20171102-01-0362 (1).jpg

MM: Where do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?

Allison Berger: I find inspiration from everywhere and everything, especially from nature.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

Allison Berger: My creative process is about transferring my ideas to paper and then actually constructing the piece. Most of my creative process starts with the intricate fabrics. From there, they transform into beautiful delicate pieces, with lots of love along the way.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

Allison Berger: My favourite part of being a designer is having the opportunity to create something beautiful. I love seeing the finished product and also seeing the feeling the clients get when they wear my pieces.

https://www.allisonnicoledesigns.com/MM: You also work with alterations, how does this process work?

Allison Berger: We believe that your clothes should fit you perfectly, especially because no one is built exactly the same. We have the client come in, and we have at least one fitting with them. At the fitting(s) we pin and mark where things need to be altered. We have as many fittings as needed to make sure the fit is perfect. For clients who can't come into the studio, we work with them to find the best option.
 
MM: Can you describe the design identity being based in Maryland? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

Allison Berger: I am currently working as a designer in Denver, Colorado. The culture and surroundings have absolutely affected my design aesthetic. The people here and the vibes seem very chill and down to earth. Not to mention, I am surrounded by beautiful scenery including the mountains, the beautiful rolling plains, and fields of flowers.

MM: What is the inspiration behind your F/W18 collection?

Allison Berger: This collection was inspired by the female form. We used soft, flowing silks and satins that gently caress and accentuate the body, and adorned each garment with our signature, intricate florals. The muted off-white, blush, pink, and nude palette hints at nature, while complementing free-flowing silhouettes enhanced with delicate lace, embroidery, embellishments and tulle tiers.

Thank you Allison for your in-depth insights into your design work. We are looking forward to seeing your new collection on the Vancouver Fashion Week runway next week!

www.allisonnicoledesigns.com

@allison_nicole_designs