Day 3 at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 19

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 – Vancouver, BC – Wednesday was a night with a focus on Canadian designers, from BC to Ontario.

Eight designers from the Vancouver Community College’s Fashion Design & Production Diploma showcased their work to kick off Wednesday’s events. Collections ranged from 60’s inspired menswear to draping southeast Asian linen gowns and tech-focused garments in dark palettes. Each student brought a unique twist to their production, with engaging storylines and explosive soundtracks used throughout. Highlights included a scene straight from the dressing room with Astrid Shapiro, a cinematic display of power and rebirth from Sanaz Azad, and a royal inspired line from Mahnaz Gooya. The works reflected two years of hard work by the cohort, and a strong argument for engaging new fashion designers coming out of Vancouver.

The Atira Women’s Resource Society presented a collection from their EWMA (Enterprising Women Making Art) initiative, which supports women artists and artisans in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The collection turned heads by beginning with multicoloured fur vest pieces and a long flowing aqua gown. Handcrafted accessories showcased the breadth of skills possessed by EWMA members, with various jewellery pieces and a floral and leopard-printed bandana adding depth to looks. Exquisitely woven knits completed a well-varied collection from hardworking artisans in the EWMA’s fourth consecutive year of being featured on the catwalk at Vancouver Fashion Week.

The Nöelziñia line crafted by Ontario based designer Noele Baptista was a striking collection of florals, gentle ruffles and heavy drapes. This rustic assortment was based on the idea of preserving beautiful memories, like flowers pressed between the pages of a treasured book, hence the collections name ‘Fleurs presses’. A violin played in the background while models with flower crowns worn on long, softly curled hair walked the runway in a dream-like trance. The clothing was ethereal and dreamy, the epitome of femininity. Flowers were elegantly pinned on the clothing, punctuating each thoughtfully placed ruffle. A few of the articles were gently frayed at the ends, giving an opulent bohemian feeling. Smooth silk and chiffon with hints of rich velvet created a stunning experience for the audience.

The Su Moda Collection, Ottawa’s first leading modest fashion brand, was created by mother and daughter duo Samra Mohamed & Fathia Mohamed, bringing a powerful eastern influence onto the catwalk. Poised models in long flowing blush tone garments sashayed down the runway to the beat of rich Arabic music. There were stiff materials with intricate golden embroidery merged with pastel tones of silk and linen, which were carefully selected from Dubai, Kuwait and New Delhi creating a beautiful canopy of gorgeous colour and lush fabrics. The models donned luxurious headpieces embellished in eye-catching stones and pearls, with only their eyes visible. Some of their robes were gently tied around their waist, the tassels swaying as they walked, other robes were left open, to flow fiercely behind them. The garments were modest yet eye-catching, creating a breathtaking flow of beautiful pieces of art

Rowes Fashion, a Canadian brand by Rebecca Rowe, showcased a cute and incredibly wearable collection. 'Solid Ground' opened with a short, plaid mini skirt partnered with a lacy, see-through top. It specialized in the pairing of unlikely patterns such as lace, plaid and dark florals throughout. A collection of skirts, cocktail dresses and casual jackets, the collection took simple silhouettes and made them stand-apart through the mix of patterns and small lace detailing on hems and sleeves.

Egyptian designer Nada Marzouk for Authentique transported the audience into an ancient world. 'Divine Adoratrice', inspired by the female-forward Egyptian Dynasty XVIII, fused a number of eye-grabbing details such as silver sequins, midnight sparkles, and graphics that depicted Egyptian architecture. Featuring a number of looks that ranged from day wear to shimmering evening wear, the collection also played with dimensions through juxtaposed hemlines. The line also featured a number of the brand's signature slippers. Despite being inspired by an ancient dynasty, the line was nevertheless accessible to the stylish, modern woman.

Soojinu, a label created by BC-based designer Soojin Woo, drew from Woo's rich Korean heritage to create a unique collection that was inspired by Shamanism. The collection utilized the traditional Shaman colours of red, blue, yellow and green to create a moody and curious showcase. Featuring a range of male and female models, the collection transcended gender roles through placing male models in tight, almost mermaid silhouette skirts in addition to leotards crisscrossed with yellow sequin sashes. Using a variety of materials, such as leather, fur and denim, the beauty and depth of The East was brought to the VFW runway.

Gracing the runway for both the Atira Women’s Resource Society and Rowes Fashion shows, Kidist, an 18-year-old from Toronto, lived her dreams by modelling at Vancouver Fashion Week. Through the Make-A-Wish foundation, Kidist, who is living with an immune deficiency, was able to have her absolute one true wish, to be a fashion model, come true at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Photo credit: Filippo Fior /

Day 2 at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W19

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 – Vancouver, BC – Tuesday was a night to showcase unique and show stopping collections with experimental fabrics and plays on scale.

The second day of Vancouver Fashion Week opened with ‘Celestial’, a resort-wear collection by Melissa Yin of Mel Elegance. Melissa is Chinese-Canadian and brings a multicultural aesthetic and minimalist comfort to luxury resort-wear. Inspired by a summer spent in Alaska Delaney National Park, Melissa’s designs are defined by flowing silhouettes and warm floral patterns in silk and linen. The sounds and sights of Alaskan wildlife are reflected through colour and detail in a collection that transitions steadily from black and floral ruffles to white lace. Rounding out the tone of the show were floor-length dresses in soft pinks and bright reds. Thoroughly accessorized, outfits were completed with bright blue and pink straw beach bags.

Next was Tyler Alan Jacobs of the TAJ House of Talents. A member of the Squamish First Nation, Jacobs creates traditional Coast Salish wear integrated with modern fabrics and cuts. His collection moved through form-hugging black and gold pieces to flowing cape silhouettes in black and cherry. Looks were completed with ombre yellow-red face markings and berry-red lips. Tyler highlighted his work with traditional First Nations motifs beaded ornately on dresses and skirts. The show concluded in dramatic fashion, as the final model strode down the runway and untied her motif-accented red cape, approaching the cameras with the textile around her waist.

Much like last season, Profanity by LillzKillz lived up to its name. The scandalous collection by BC based, 21 year old designer featured a range of diverse models who descended on the runway in attire unlike anything else seen so far. Drawing from the fashion culture of extreme snow sports, items included park rat oversized hoodies juxtaposed with tight mini dresses that, on one occasion, exposed the entire back and backside of the model. LillzKillz maintained no regard for gender roles, placing models in a mix of different pieces. An electric palette of bright orange, yellow and a graphic design that harkened back to 90s snowboarding culture fought for attention with an array of opaque, puffy and stark white fur fabrics. The result was eccentric and, need we say it, profane.

Camilla & Castillo, a sexually charged line from Venezuelan designer Camilla Castillo, featured an array of fitted pieces that celebrated the forms and curves of the female figure. The collection played with geometric compositions through multi-level hems and crisscrossing linear designs. Metallic accessories, studs and careful cut-outs created a line that is multi-dimensional and contradictory. The overall effect was to turn simple silhouettes, such as the pencil skirt and crop top, into pieces that are sexy, statement, and runway ready.

The Radastyle collection, by Belarusian designer Tatsiana Sychova, was the epitome of timeless, beautiful elegance. 'Orbit of Time' utilized classic, flattering silhouettes in sensual fabrics that stood apart with a mastery of fine details. Stunning floating dresses in silk and satin glided down the runway abated by eye catching necklines, ruffled sleeves, detailed waistlines and hemlines generously cut on the bias. The collection was coherent, elegant, and modest all while being breathtakingly sensual.

Japanese designer Michiko Ueda presented her brand GLAZE KOHL’s second collection, which displayed Michiko’s 20 years of experience as the proprietor of a vintage shop in Osaka, Japan. This collection was inspired by the colour of Japanese spring, with Michiko showing a mastery of woollen and velvet material. The pieces suggested a refined persona while still retaining playfulness, using soft silhouettes and muted palettes. A cheerful and barefooted model underscored this message, leading attendees to break into applause for the well-tenured designer who should be well-watched for any further additions to her brand.

17-year-old Vancouver-based designer Ming Lim from CRAZYYABAI closed off Tuesday’s events with a memorable showing of her collection ‘Sophrosyne’ exploring the idea of self-peace. This work is said to have surfaced from a period of self-realization and growth in Ming’s life, and features avant-garde looks that grab the attention of the viewer and convey a captivating message about the designer. Fantasy imagery is consistent throughout the line. Transparent materials stitched next to flowing legwear leave the model equally concealed and revealed, suggesting a feeling of veiled confusion. A mural-like printed train with an image of a heart being held by a weeping figure closed out a truly provocative show by the remarkable young designer.

Q & A with Fashion Brand Mel Elegance


Mel Elegance

Vancouver based brand

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

Mel Elegance is for resort apparel, looking for comfort and minimalism.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion?

When I was about 5 years old, my mom made a backpack for me using scrap fabric. Ever since then, being a Fashion Designer became my dream.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

Inspiration followed by drawing, editing, more editing, pattern making, and lastly, sample making.

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

Travelling, reading magazines, reading books, watching movies, reading poetry.

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

I ask myself if the piece is chic and if it is balanced.


MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

Fashion to me, is more like a hobby. Every collection I design, I focus solely on my inspiration and characters.

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?

Working as a designer in Canada, especially in Vancouver, is really hard. Every time I design a collection I can’t find the right supplies!

Yes, the culture affected me a lot.  As a Chinese Canadian, East meet West Culture has made my designs lean more towards Western style informal wear, but with intricate Eastern-inspired details. 

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

For me, making samples is like being able to create a Miracle. From idea to reality.  I often struggle to find the clothes that I want to wear so being able to make them makes it easy!


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

My F/W 2019 collection is called: Celestial. The inspiration came from my summer travels to Alaska in Delaney national park. I saw an array of beautiful colors from flowers and the sounds of wildlife were so pleasing to hear! The glaciers peacefully close by, seemed to be smiling back at me.

MM: What is your favourite part of your new collection?

The color palette.

Glacier’s white, vibrant floral colours, and the wildlife’s distinctive grey.

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

It’s hard to tell. I like every piece from this collection. If I had to choose, the asymmetrical silk skirt would be my favorite because I designed it specifically for myself. I am short so I designed this skirt to make me feel taller and it does just that!

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

Check out Melissa Yin at:

Q & A with fashion brand Yas Gonzalez

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

The name of my brand is Yas Gonzalez (my name). My collections are a reflection of my travels, experiences, my love of art and music. My custom pieces are a reflection of my client’s wishes made exclusively for them.


MM: Can you describe your creative process? 

I draw my inspiration from many different things. Predominately, I am inspired by culture, and people. When something touches me, I immediately start sketching. I transfer the idea to paper and that’s how I begin.

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

I am a people-person. People move me; their voices, their stories, their adventures. My family and friends inspire me, my son, my peers. I take from that on a daily basis and it fuels me to create based on emotion. Similar to how a painter or writer create- it’s from real life for me.

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

What does this evoke? Is this going to stir any emotion? Will this make someone feel something? Be it happy, nostalgic, sexy, fashion is expression.

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

My work has evolved as I have evolved. With my personal growth and travels to the experience I have gained through the years learning and constantly honing my craft. I am never afraid to listen or to learn. That has helped me grow as a designer.

MM: How do you find working as a designer in the US? 

I am fortunate to live out my dream ‘job’ in a country that allows me so. I have been afforded incredible opportunities and I am very grateful for that. 

Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? 

Absolutely! I live in a place that people all over the globe come to visit, for vacation. I am surrounded by diversity, beauty, beaches, palm trees. It’s impossible for me not to be inspired by my surroundings daily. 

Do you feel connected to your home? 

The old adage is forever true: “home is where the heart is”. I love Miami, it’s an incredible place. But my beginnings, my roots I can never forget. By bringing my early memories to life, it’s a way for me to pay homage to “home”.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design? 

I was attracted to fashion from an early age. The exciting part was learning how to create my own pieces, channel the inspiration. 


MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I went to the Miami University of Art & Design and completely submersed myself into the industry from an early age.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? 

My favorite part is seeing someone happy wearing something I created. 

What drives you to design? 

I am fueled by creativity. I need to channel the creativity I feel I was blessed with.  

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

This collection was inspired by things that impacted me, places that influenced me as a young girl. I went back to my home country and what I “saw”, what I “relived’ is now wearable via this collection that’s a cheerful, and inspirational showcase of color.

Thank you YAS GONZALEZ for sharing your fabulous collection. We can't wait to see your show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the SS19 season.

Follow YAS GONZALEZ on Instagram @YAS GONZALEZOFFICIAL and check out the website here.

Q & A with Fashion Brand JNORIG


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

JNORIG was born in 2017 with my first collection, Spring/Summer 2018 “Two Opposite Worlds”, and the name JNORIG is a joint of the J of Javier and NORIG is my last name Giron read from right to left. My brand is the set of ideas and concepts to which I feel connected and passionate, starting with my love for architecture, especially Brutalism and Modular architecture, which is the career that I wanted to study at first. I opted for something more artistic because of my other facet and the background that I have in my family of dressmakers.

Moving from Colombia, where I was born, to Germany at the age of 12 had a great impact on the way I look at the world. The contrasts, the differences between cultures, anthropology and social behavior created in me a curiosity to know more, to travel to new places and stimulated me to keep learning, a drive I still have today in my personal life but also reflected in my work.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

My creative process starts with a simple idea, which can be a silhouette, a finish or a fabric. Then I move on to the concept and search for references to give that idea a story. With the concept defined I start to draw the collection. I go and search for fabrics and colours to finally design and create a prototype. 

geometry / minimalism / clean

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

I have a clean, graphic and sporty aesthetic. In all my collections these elements can be found creating a play on minimalist and geometry. But the inspiration always changes.

The collections that we have presented up until now have all merged cultures. The silhouettes that I like and inspire me to create interesting and at the same time commercial garments.

As I mentioned before, my curiosity to know different cultures, study their behaviour, their clothing and overall how the human being has developed, is a source that I will continue to use as inspiration.

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

Spain is a country in which the textile industry has not yet disappeared and this is an advantage when looking for resources. I think culture affects my design in every spect, not only Spanish  culture but every culture of the work. I feel connected to Spain on an emotional level, I feel at home surrounded by the beautiful city, beaches, food and culture Barcelona has to offer.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I have fond memories of being surrounded by family. My grandmother worked as a tailor and at a very young age I was exposed to pattern making, frequently walking on top of and around patterns in the house. JNORIG embraces this artisan background through both the inner workings of the brand and me as it’s creator. My mother left Latin America to seek out new opportunities and adventures; this restless desire was passed on and sparked in me an interest to study design in different places to absorb different cultural and artistic influences.

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

In my opinion the best thing about designing for men is that I can create things that are not as explored yet as they are in womenswear. For example men nowadays dare to wear garments that used to be classified as feminine, such as skirts or crop tops. I think we live in a time where I can give men the opportunity to express himself without going too far. There is still room for innovation. And of course it’s great I can design things that I personally want or am looking for but can’t find in stores, which is cool! I think every designer feels passion in creating 'things', making ideas come true and telling a story or a point of view. 

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

In keeping with our last two collections, SS19 “Complex Minimalism” refreshes the idea of merging two opposite cultures. Our idea is to break with social, political and religious boundaries in the technological era in which we live. On this occasion we chose to express this by merging the simplicity of Amish lifestyle and the complexity of Indian Tribes, who both live life depending on only limited resources. Prints, embroideries and silhouettes have been inspired by the Rabaris, while our black, white and red color story is influenced by the way their men and women dress. On the other side, we have maintained an Amish-like simplicity throughout garments. Classic Amish suspenders inspired the resurgence of straps that are seen throughout this collection, and the typical hand-made Amish blankets are the insight behind black and white patterns. Our pieces challenge preconceived notions about what typical sportswear, and menswear looks like.

Thank you Javier for this insight into your label JNORIG. We can't wait to see your show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the SS19 season.

Follow JNORIG on Instagram @jnorig and check out the website