Q & A with Fashion Brand Ryan Li


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Ryan Li

Vancouver based fashion designer

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

Our designs are heavily based on shapes and proportions. The underlying message is to empower our customers through a heuristic process. As for myself, I was drawn into the world of fashion at a young age. The vibrant Japanese streetwear culture was my starting point. Once I finished my degree in Business, I attended fashion school and involved myself in various couture and tailoring ateliers to expand my horizons and fulfil my dream.


MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I have always been an enthusiast of art and fashion. You can interpret artwork freely as there is no fixed answer to clarify the meaning. Art and fashion, to me, are very personal and imaginative. I see fashion as an alternative method to display my visions and emotions because I can tailor fashion into an expression of my own.  At the same time, the audience can interpret my work based on their own imagination and experience. 

MM: Can you describe your creative process?


I begin my creative process by researching and brainstorming, this stage usually takes the longest time. Once I have a clear vision about the collection, I begin to sketch  out the ideas and silhouettes. I would say the most creative moment is the fitting sessions. I directly cut and drape fabrics on the models. At the end, it all comes down to modifying and tailoring the garments to create an illusion of my own.

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

I can find inspiration literally anywhere; from an art piece from the 14th century in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to a trash can on Pender Street. Working with my team, and the scenarios that happen in my personal life, are very inspiring too.

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

I ask myself a lot of questions when I begin creating a collection. The most often asked questions are: what’s the story behind the collection? and how does this relate to me and the people who inspire me?

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I had the amazing opportunity to work with Rimpy Sahota, a local designer, for my first ever internship. She taught me the knowledge of business of fashion. I learned a lot by observing her approach to marketing and the way she operates her brand.

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?

It is not easy on a personal level, but it has been an amazing journey. My designs reflect my ideas and experiences with different cultural backgrounds; my works and I are basically one. 

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

I am constantly motivated to create something new and innovative, that’s probably my favourite part of being a designer. Seeing the positive impacts my designs bring to my consumers is very fulfilling as well. My goal of pushing fashion forward drives me to create every single day.

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

Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist, inspired me to integrate menswear and tailoring elements into womenswear.  Personal life experiences also played a huge part in the collection as well. 

Thank you for giving us an insight into your brand Ryan Li.

Check out Ryan Li at: Atelieryanli.com

Q & A with fashion brand Sorockolita

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SOROCKOLITA

Designer Viktoriia Stukalova

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

Creating my brand, I wanted to tell a "fairy tale" about a girl. She is refined and even if she is not associated with the creative profession - in her soul, she is an artist. She is very self-sufficient and always in a hurry. But she puts all of herself into what she does. The most important things for her are quality, space, nature and comfort. I really wanted to dress my girl in natural quality materials that are pleasant to the touch.

It is important to surround ourselves with comfortable clothing because we are always in a hurry. The Sorockolita girl evolves with the brand and can dressed in cozy sweatshirts, soft leggings, elaborate jackets, or stunning embroidered silk dresses.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

My mother and father. During my childhood she would try to instill in me a sense of style and always guided me. In her youth, she designed and made my clothes and at every holiday party I wore the most beautiful dresses from our own personal collection. From my father I learned how to draw and put my ideas on paper. Although the profession was not imposed by my parents and it became my conscious choice - through their artistic influence, it naturally became the only career I wanted to pursue.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

My creative process is quite chaotic, especially the creation of sketches. Usually I can’t put my ideas on paper for weeks and one night, suddenly, I will draw over 100 sketches. Of course not all of them will make it into a final product but I love the process of working out an experimental sample. Next, I work on model and display lines and select materials and accessories. It is a real pleasure.

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

I try to see the beauty in everything, even standing in a traffic jam in Moscow. It can be a movie, literature or even a video game. When travelling for example, you can come back with your energy recharged and ready to create. Nature, architecture, and people - all these things affect my perception and inspire my collections.

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

According to the rules of marketing, I have to ask the question "what problem do I want to solve?" But for me, that isn’t the most important thing. Most often the question I ask myself is, “what do I need at this moment in my life?” As it turns out, my customers and I are always on the same page.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I am always learning something new in fashion. It all started with my profession as costume designer and designer-technician. After that, I took several training courses in fashion marketing, fashion illustrations, and design. The fashion industry is actively changing and learning only through institutions isn’t going to get a designer very far. This is why I always try to learn alongside my team or teach them something new that can improve their skills.

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

In the last few years, more and more young fashion brands have been expanding the creative scene in Russia which has caused the government to support creatives more than before. To have be noticed and invited to showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week is not only a great honour, but also a confirmation that young Russian designers are beginning to attract the attention of the international fashion industry.

Of course! My connection to my native country is a big part of what I do. Our logo is a Magpie. In Slavic mythology, it is a bird that belongs to the witches and enjoys shiny objects. It is a very feminine bird. To me, it is like a mysterious collective image of a woman dressed in black and white colors.

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

A person I hold dear, is closely related to Japanese culture and this has made an impression on me. This collection includes a few elements of Japanese culture but overall is still in brand with Sorockolita’s black and white palette and multifunctionality focus.

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

One of the corsets took so much strength and hard work out of our team that we almost gave up on it. Once it was completed however, we were all so proud of ourselves that it quickly became our favourite! I hope that after the show every one in the audience will find their own favourite FW19 piece.

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion design.

Check out Sorockolita at: Sorockolita


Q & A with fashion brand RadaStyle

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RadaStyle

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

RadaStyle - is a name derived from the word joy (joy in Russian is "radost"). RadaStyle creates designs which plunge you into a state of joy. Style, convenience, and comfort are the main components of the brand. RadaStyle is designed for a confident lady who prefers an individual style.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

The ability to see the world in my own way, the desire to bring this vision into life through the creation of an image and thereby change it in the direction of beauty and style.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

There is a state of mind in which there is a desire to touch colour and form. Images are born in the imagination that can create new states and emotion...

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

A sunny morning, music in the car on the way to work, a conversation with a person, any positive emotion, the surrounding nature, family, children...

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

Who am I creating for? What am I creating? And the main question - would I wear it myself?

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

In practice, studying the demand, observing and analyzing the surrounding reality, feeling and sometimes intuitively creating what people then happily wear.

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

Working as a designer in Belarus has its own specific features and some difficulties, but they are all surmountable.

I try to be equal to the global experience in the development of the fashion industry, but, of course, there is an influence on our local culture and the people around me.

My home is my fortress and the main thing for me is my family!  

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

Start, the birth of ideas, the feeling of emotions from the created image. What drives me to design? - The great desire to create joy and give it to the world.

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

My inspiration behind my F/W19 collection is my great wish to see the world happy and joyful! In RadaStyle! 

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

The final part of the collection "Image for the red carpet". 

Follow RadaStyle on Instagram: @rada.style

Day 6 at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W19

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019–Vancouver, BC–From sustainable garments to traditional South Asian bridal wear, Saturday was a night of distinctive styles.

Hometown designer Ryan Li kicked off Saturday night’s events in front of a packed house at the David LamHall with ‘Redeem your soul’. Li presented a collection of experimental garments that incorporate elements of menswear and tailoring to create an eye-catching final product. Set to futuristic production, the collection established itself as avant-garde yet functional with a line of crisply cut garments in a metallic burgundy hue, which continued to drive the line alongside an exaggerated houndstooth pattern. The influence of menswear in the women's pieces was evident through structured shoulders and slim but composed silhouettes, with deconstructed sleeves adding depth. Consistent and dark, Li’s experience in atelier’s showed clearly as his collection established a strong tone for the night ahead. A surprise announcement marking Ryan Li as this year’s winner of the Nancy Mak award (a scholarship that recognizes up-and-coming British Columbia based designers awarded by VFW founder Jamal Abdourahman) drew applause from the crowd. Ryan Li will present his collection internationally with Global Fashion Collective.

British Columbia-based brand Sarah Runnalls Collection showcased a timeless contemporary collection under the designer’s own name. Set to a soothing soundtrack, the theme of the collection was apparent from the first look with fabrics in relaxed cuts and a distinct polka-dot pattern beginning the procession.Linear designs on the garments were also found marking the faces of models in a cohesive way. Long dresses with sections of tulle rounded out the latter half of the collection, as palettes remained consistently vibrant and playful throughout. The entire experience proved to be calming and intriguing, as Runnalls’ designs evoked a lazy West Coast spring day. Nothing was lazy about the quality of tailoring however, as the collection was notably well draped and exquisitely detailed.

Polish-based designer Pat Guzik left a strong impression with the presentation of “There were never flowers, there was fire”, a high-fashion inspired line with a deeper message of sustainability. Patterns and prints were inspired by a mixture of Slavic and Asian cultures, including original works by Polish illustrator Mateusz Kolek, and were arranged in unconventional shapes and cuts. The collection is based on using unwanted and damaged textiles to create new forms and this was evident with oversized and belted looks that utilized varied fabrics and silhouettes. Oversized garments were a consistent theme, as large hoodies in black and deep blue were accessorized with orange cinched belts and thick-soled slides. In several cases, excess fabric was hung from the garment in a patchwork fashion, giving due diligence to there purposed theme of the collection. As a whole, the overall effect was jolting without being brash, and showed a unique attention to sustainability in an industry often defined by waste.

Jessica Hu’s brand Jessture debuted a collection that stayed true to its label; ‘Cozy Serenity’ was a display of calming colour palettes and relaxed fits that remained remarkably well cut and formal for contemporary casual womenswear. The garments are meant to evoke ‘the feeling of waking leisurely in the afternoon of a long vacation’ and presented an array of soothing hues of lilac, mint and beige throughout. Most pieces were composed of wool and cotton blends with cinched waists and loosely tied belts providing structure to looks. Key pieces included a loosely cut dark green overcoat with faux fur lapels and wool blended cinch bottom lounge pants that exuded a sense of luxurious relaxation. Jessture brought the evening back to earth with a masterful blend of minimalistic cuts that look easily at place on both the boulevard and living room.

Alexandra Zofcin from US brand The House of AmZ presented ‘Self_ A Reflection’, a spiritual and artistic exploration into the emotions and experiences that make up the creation of the individual. Drawing inspiration from nature, this calm collection was made up of deep earthy tones and delicate natural fibres such as fine silks and organzas. Models graced the runway walking on their tiptoes holding delicate flowers, adding to the calmness exuding from the garments. The eco-conscious collection of dresses and blouses featured wing-cap sleeves, silk charmeuse pockets, woven linen, cream coloured culottes and ribbon straps which airily floated along the runway. The brand interweaves different materials and patterns, most notably seen in a remarkable iridescent skirt with hues of dark green and plum mixed with fresh cream-coloured linen.

Vancouver based brand EVAN CLAYTON filled the room with adrenaline with his new collection ‘LIK EHELL’, which fuses art and fashion to create a political, personal, and artistic expression. Smoke rolled out on the runway as models featured bold garments with a theatrical appeal. The collection drew on references to medieval armour and combat gear, all combined with feminine touches like exposing mesh, soft frills, and brocade designs to create sumptuous daredevil pieces. Deep crimson and somber black dominated the collection, which was further brought to life with intense maroon gems. Garments featured short dresses with shoulder pads, crotchless trousers, and corsets, accessorized with heavy metal belts used as straps, and even a silver sword.

Margot, by Japanese designer Hana Imai, showcases their debut collection of dresses, which was inspiredby women and aims to simplify their everyday outfits and lives. Imai uses calm neutrals and soft cotton fabrics to achieve light and airy simplicity. The prairie style dresses featured a wide style of necklines from deep v-necks to off-the-shoulder, and patterns ranging from plaid to polka dots were further lavished with light ruffles, lace, and puff sleeves. Included was a sophisticated take on the classic sweater dress made from soft tan wool. The hair looks were pieced together with low ponytails tied encased with thick ribbon.The melange of styles harmonized together to create graceful silhouettes, radiating the brand’s goal of simplicity.

Vancouver brand Sunny’s Bridal finished off the night with their dazzling collection ‘The Divine Feminine’.Choreographed to perfection, the show featured five sets of South Asian style lavish dresses, leaving the audience in awe. Each set featured soft silhouettes and colours ranging from fresh pastels and florals, metallics and bold hues, with the final set comprising of all-white, accented with silver sparkles. The luxurious dresses were all embellished with sparkling jewels, catching the light and glimmering as the models sauntered down the runway. Styles included two-piece sets and mermaid and A-line shapes, which were accessorized with detailed tassels, lace, fringes and flowing trains. The extravagant collection was the embodiment of strong women as female anthems played in the background and feminist messages were held on placards.

Photos by Filippo Fior / Imaxtree.com

Day 5 at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W19

Friday, March 22nd, 2019–Vancouver, BC–Friday night was a sensation, with a multitude of styles presented by designers hailing from Canada to New Zealand.

Local Vancouver designer Amy Herndon from IZATION STUDIO presented her visionary collection [Popularity Contest], which aims to expose and break down societal norms. Herndon’s line embodies this idea through its experimental composition, technical approach, and urban streetwear influence. The unisex garments transcended gender roles as male models donned the runway wearing ankle-length skirts and females wore baggy hoodies, dark makeup was worn by both. Fabrics that were interlaced with unconventional zippers and quotes like: ”we don’t clique” and “conformation”. Herndon intertwines function and form, combining soft textures and layers to create clean-cuts and boxy, relaxed shapes in hooded sweaters and loose-fitting pants. Most notable was a bright yellow floor-length puffer jacket paired with cobalt blue baggy trousers.

Ay Lelum-The House of Good Design, a line crafted byB.C. based sisters Aunalee and Sophia, presented their enchanting new collection, The K’wuyucun~Grizzly Bear. The sisters drew inspiration from Coast Salish culture and their family story originating from the ethereal GrizzlyBear, which was encapsulated in the pieces by the incorporation of intergenerational Coast Salish art. Garments featured nature-inspired colours, with shades of sage, turquoise and muted yellows, all infused with calming neutral tones. Floor-length column dresses of silky, metallic fabrics danced on the runway, alluding to an image of a flowing river while velvet top sand jackets lined with fur seemed to mimic a bear’s delicate coat. Also featured were draping shawls and hooded capes with embroidered intricate Coast Salish designs. Their showcase of wearable Indigenous art garments was a modern day storytelling of ancient traditions which left the audience in awe.

Emelia’s Swimwear, a Canadian brand by Emelie Hausler, transported the audience to a tropical holiday through their collection of luxury swimwear. Energetic and playful models worked the runway wearing flirtatious bikinis, interacting with each other and taking the spontaneous selfie. Hausler draws colour inspiration from her travels, resulting in diverse shades ranging from earthy tones to vibrant and bright hues which caught the eyes of the audience. The reversible swimwear was interlaced with modest mesh inserts, playful zipper sand feminine belts and braids, keeping each piece a balance between functional and stylish.The show finished with a dazzling finale as the models strutted down the runway for the last time collectively in head-turning bright fuchsia pieces.

The first of a presentation by Apparel Magazine, Bradley Smit’s collection personified the discolouration of glaciers. Through fabric, he imitated nature, starting with soft whites and blues that progress to increasingly darker silhouettes. The collection by the New Zealand based designer featured an array of gowns, floating blouses, and wide pant jumpsuits highlighted by hand-dyed elements of blue. While Smit channelled the ocean, Wairata presented wonderfully floral silk details that decorated dresses reminiscent of 1920s flapper girls, modernized with asymmetrical hemlines. The collection was wonderfully seductive with dresses that exposed the shoulders and included sequin details. The final collection presented by Apparel Magazine, from Aania, showcased a collection of tailored dresses, pants and tops exclusively in deep green, white and classic stripes. The show finale featured an exquisitely feminine, eye-grabbing silk dress.

Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia presented a show that exposed the rich, diverse and beautiful fabrics to be found across Indonesia. NY by Novita Yunus offered three pieces that featured a royal, golden, traditional Indonesian pattern and a sweeping red sash juxtaposed with modern silhouettes in a blazer, v-neck dress, and A-line dress. Bernada communicated Indonesia's rich variety of fabrics through a line generous in material that expertly mixed and matched patterns. The items themselves, while often traditional tunics, vest and skirts, felt stylish and accessible with modern accessories and muted colours.

Faun, by Canadian designer Marisa P. Clark presented a wonderfully wearable collection this evening. A robustly feminine line featuring silk dresses, wide-legged pink pants and a suede jacket, the items stood apart due to a diverse colour palette of pink, teal, red, and blue. Clark added texture and dimension through details such as pearls, gold trim, gloves with fluffy cuffs and the brand’s signature antlers. The line looked sensual and flirty passing down the runway but would easily translate into any young woman’s office and social wardrobe.

HAMON, a Japanese brand created by Kumiko Iwano, showcased innovative and masterful craftsmanship through an extensive line exclusively made from fragments of fabric and materials left over from her last 10 years of production. ‘RE:incarnation’, a collection that spoke to the themes of memory and rebirth, started with a bright, eye-grabbing red dress and moved throughout a rich palette of black, grey and purple to conclude with beautiful white dresses.Most of the items featured one colour but added incredible texture through recycled fabric sewn upon the items in numerous ways, including raw and frayed strips, hemline tassels, patches and folds. Keeping the traditional Kimono silhouette of long jackets and robes with wide sleeves overlong pants or skirts, Iwano’s collection looked effortlessly elegant and, while innovative and creative, perfectly comfortable and wearable

Photos by Filippo Fior / Imaxtree.com

Day 4 at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W19

Thursday, March 21st, 2019 – Vancouver, BC – From gothic blacks to vibrant colours, Thursday was a night to remember with an eclectic mix of styles.

Thursday night kicked off with Taiwan-based Ming Design Studio by Ching-Ming Chen. Her latest collection, ‘Charm.2015,’ is defined by vibrant medleys of colour pieced together in a variety of silhouettes. From peplum skirts to militaristic coats, Ching-Ming has clothed the female form in every way possible. Evoking nostalgia through retro designs, Ching-Ming utilized subtle sheer and cotton fabrics highlighted with velvet accents. Ensembles were completed with natural makeup and white, black, or nude shoes. Many outfits were also paired with petite, brightly-coloured purses suspended at hemline level.

Next was GRANDI by designer Grandy of Vancouver. A returning designer, Grandy presented her bold, crayon-inspired collection entitled ‘Essential Colours’. All ensembles were monochrome, completed by small conical headpieces atop voluminous curled hairstyles. Glossy fitted jumpsuits and dresses in every colour of the rainbow were brought to life with the help of matching metallic lipstick and wide-brimmed shades. Grandy has splashed a collection of wonderfully elementary colours onto wardrobe staples.

Lisa Aviva, by US based designer Lisa A. Bleviss, commanded the runway with an intensely accessible yet modestly sensual collection. A size 10 + brand, Bleviss’ collection was a celebration of curves. It presented a selection of elongating dresses and skirts that floated down the runway in muted yet sophisticated colours of army green, camel, and blues. The collection offered fitted yet flattering pieces that did not hide but celebrated a fully figured form. The collection ended on a high with two knit, heel length, cinched at the waist ponchos in reddish pink and rust with dashes of blue, maroon and green. A true testament to careful, creative and innovative craftsmanship, Lisa Aviva made a line that not only looked good on plus sized women but, in fact, looked better on a full form than any size zero counterpart.

Mabu49, a New York based brand created by Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, celebrated the designer’s rich African heritage though inspired yet modern pieces. The ‘THAWASA’ collection, meaning Light of the New Moon in Zulu, was named after and inspired by the journey to becoming a traditional healer. While ancient in its inspiration, the collection was nevertheless relevant and youthful with a line of wide-legged, high waisted pants, triangular rompers, and long tunics paired with white sneakers. Simple in colour and deliberately wearable, the collection was nevertheless unique due to its innovative silhouettes, artistic cut-outs, and dramatic necklines.

Sorockolita, by Russian designer Viktoriya Stukalova, mastered the aesthetics of Gothic subculture to create a memorable collection that was simultaneously show stopping yet also featured incredibly wearable pieces. A fine craftswoman, Stukalova incorporated the name of her collection, ‘Black Wing’, into the items with fascinating yet subtle accents such as leather cut outs on blazers that resembled a feathered wing or soft Luneville embroidery. Transporting the audience to the dawn of Gothic culture, the Victorian period, the collection brought back the corset, bodice and ruffled neck juxtaposed with skinny leather pants and stilettos to keep the looks modern and accessible. The collection was exclusively black and white yet nevertheless textured through its mastery of multiple materials such as wool, leather, silk, and cotton. ‘Black Wing’ made Gothic fashionable, sexy, and powerful.

Australian designer Francesca Alexander presented CONTINUUM from her brand Frank & Virginia as the night drew on, making a statement with a collection defined by drape and layering with tight-to-figure profiles. Pieces were consistently marked by splashes of vibrant colour that brought an energy to the runway that would prove difficult to emulate. Long skirts and jumpsuits were long and flowing with asymmetrical cuts. Pockets, folds and belts added depth and functionality to the line, and several pieces near the end of the order added a provocative feel with sheer fabrics and tightly cut forms. CONTINUUM was well tailored, vigorous and sexy, and injected a jolt of energy into the Thursday night crowd.

Hometown designer and recent Blanche Macdonald graduate GEROME completed the evening with an electrifying show of streetwear-inspired looks for men and women. The collection featured a wide range of materials and influences- from ice white leather pants matched with fluorescent orange turtlenecks to oversized corduroy puffer jacket and matching brown pants. The soundtrack featured Vancouver-based rap group So Loki and was explosive and visceral, driving models to walk forcefully down the runway. Influences came directly from hip-hop culture with samples of 70’s cuts and futuristic concepts. Although the show was incredibly varied, it stayed true to GEROME’s sense of style, and he earned a standing ovation from the crowd as he danced with his models at the outset of the show.

Filippo Fior / Imaxtree.com

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 / Imaxtree.com.

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.

Opening Night at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W 19

Monday, March 18th, 2019 – Vancouver, BC – the Opening gala night was a night to highlight the local talents from Vancouver complemented with a few from further afield.

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OPENING REMARKS

Community Manager Sarah Murray kicks off the show

On the first night of FW19, attendees were privy to the Designer Preview. The sampling was fun and innovative with a range of designers on full display. From ethereal and feminine silhouettes, bold vibrant colours, and eye catching print and texture combinations, the Designer Preview had a bit of everything. With such varied pieces, intrigue and excitement were felt throughout the crowd with anticipation bubbling around collections yet to come throughout the week.

To kick off the night, La Salle celebrated their 10 year anniversary of showing at Vancouver Fashion Week, with three promising designers presenting collections in the theme of Taboo. Shaghayegh Tafreshi’s collection evoked striking geometric patterns, with the use of contrasting materials in lace and synthetic highlighting the intersection between Western and Persian design and her background in architecture. Venezuelan fashion designer Valentina Valor’s work was focused on gender fluidity, but more importantly confidence in the self with strong and provocative figures that inspire poise in the wearer through opaque materials and belted features. Prisco completed La Salle’s showing with another genderless collection that utilized flowing silhouettes with tones in a calming palette, while focusing on the use of natural fabrics.

Japanese designer Emi Jingu showed off the endless artistic possibilities of balloons with her collection ‘Unlimited’. Jingu pushes artistic boundaries as she effortlessly coordinates a metallic palette of grey, bronze and gold tones while intricately layering balloons of different dimensions in such a way to create elegant couture silhouettes. Jingu’s dresses featured peplum-styles, slim bodices, and flared skirts, highlighting her extraordinary talents. The eccentric garments were complemented with sleek hairstyles, glossy makeup with ashy tones, and stilettos to encompass the chic futuristic style.

YONFA, a collection from Japanese designer Kim Yonghwa, was the embodiment of accessible, comfortable elegance to end the evening. In her collection, Yonghwa played with dimensions, offering a range of oversized jackets, crisp calf-length white shirts and sweaters cut at unique yet flattering angles. Yonghwa’s commitment to basic materials, such as wool and cotton, worked in harmony with her flattering silhouettes and elementary palette of white, navy, black and tan, to create looks free from fuss that express comfort, elegance and accessible style.

For Vancouver, opening night was full of excitement and intricate pieces.

Photos by IMAXtree.

Q & A with Fashion Brand Mel Elegance

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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.

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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!

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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: melissayin.co

Q & A with fashion brand Margot

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MARGOT

Japanese Brand

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

Hana Imai, designer for Margot, is a Japanese model for A-Plus, a Japanese entertainment production company. She has appeared on various TV shows, magazines, and fashion show events, not only as a model, but also as a designer for MARK STYLER since 2013. After 5 years practicing as a designer, she will launch her own brand “Margot” this spring, March 1st, 2019.

“Margot” is a brand that empowers all women by supporting their inner beauty and self-love. Our aim is to bring out the hidden attractions and charm that every woman has.

Our first collection will be an all dress line-up which one can wear on a wide range of occasions, from casual days to formal events.

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 MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

When I was working as a Gal (a Japanese subculture) model, I found myself very interested in clothing and fashion culture and I found the confidence to start my own brand. I have a lot of experience that I have accumulated over the past 5 years working as a designer and it was time for me to put it to use to grow my personal brand.

 MM: Can you describe your creative process?

I believe that everyone has concerns or problems with their body and fashion so I wanted to help them by designing clothes. The reason I am designing a dress collection, is to simplify everyday outfits so women have more time to focus on their beauty and self-love.

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

Social media is a big part of my life and it is a great way to research modern women’s needs and information. That is where I get most of my inspiration.

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

What clothes do I want to wear myself? What clothes make me happy?

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

Through my background working with several designers.

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 thankful and proud of myself for being able to work as a designer for the past years in the respectful Japanese culture. Giving hospitality to others is a big part of our culture, which I love. I want “Margot” to be the brand to help the empower women through the clothing we create.

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

When I see the clothes I designed with love on people walking down the street or on social media, I feel excited and experience a happiness that I have never felt before.  

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

Our theme for this collection is women and everything they symbolize.

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

I don’t have a particular favourite because I put so much effort and love into every piece that I love them all! I can’t wait to show our new collection.

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

Check out Margot on Instagram.

Q & A with illustrator Karlie Rosin

We sat down with Illustrator Karlie Rosin to chat about her career in special effects, content creation, and fashion illustration. Karlie will be working with Vancouver Fashion Week for to create live illustrations of some of the most captivating designs!

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Karlie Rosin

Fashion Illustrator

MM: Hi Karlie, tell us a bit about yourself and your background as an Illustrator.

Hello!

To start off, I’m originally from Montreal, I now live in Vancouver, Canada. I’m trained in traditional art, illustration & design, as well as Matte Painting for the VFX Industry. I studied traditional art ever since my mom put me in classes after seeing me draw a recognizable Lisa Simpson at 4 years old. I continued these classes and also went to college to study Illustration & Design, and then to University in Computer Graphic Design for Visual Effects, specializing in matte painting & environment design. After art school, I became a freelance illustrator and worked on various types of creative projects, which I would do part time. Meanwhile, I also started my career as a digital matte painter in the visual effects industry. Since then, I’ve worked on blockbuster movies such as Godzilla 2, Justice League, The Mummy, and Suicide Squad to name a few.

This exciting career experience taught me to work quickly and under pressure, and learn the skills necessary to build a business. It helped me expand my ability to be versatile and blend traditional and digital mediums to create the best quality work. I currently work as a freelancer taking on commercial illustration and painting contracts, and once in a while I will still take on another movie contract to do matte painting as this is also a passion of mine!

MM: As an artist, what draws you to fashion illustration in particular?

I have always loved fashion and used to work as a makeup artist. I really enjoyed working on creative photoshoots and high fashion runway makeup. I think fashion illustration taps into the feminine side of my art and I really enjoy blending imagery of the body and fabrics with different silhouettes and fabric movement. I see myself as capturing the moment, kind of like a photographer, but with my own perception and my own creative flair added to it through illustration. It also reminds me of figure drawing which I absolutely love doing. So, live sketching at fashion shows really helps with focusing on the main shapes and gestures of the look. Starting with a sketch and absorbing the energy from the show (lights, crowd, music, etc) then, going home and creating a final rendered illustration from that creative energy is one of my favourite things to do.

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MM: What was it like - transitioning from working in special effects in film to starting your own business?

Starting your own business is always a challenge, but it’s very exciting! I’ve always worked freelance, so it felt natural to start my own business in Vancouver. The hard part was moving here and not knowing anyone- starting a whole new business from scratch and building up a reputation and clients here. I am still taking on visual effects contracts though because I am really passionate about my work and career as a matte painter. These are similar contracts to what I take on as a freelance illustrator but the main difference is that I have to do the work in-house because of the high security involved with blockbuster movies. I do appreciate having the flexibility of which contracts I chose to work on and the mix of going in an office and also working from home creates a good balance for me.

MM: What do you think it is about Vancouver that brings out the creative spirit for young entrepreneurs?

I think we live in such a beautiful city that everyone inevitably has their muse. For me, personally, it’s the mountains and the beach in the same place. All you have to do is look up to find inspiration. I am 100% inspired by the nature in Vancouver and I’m sure that this plays a huge role in bringing out creativity in the community.

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MM: What do you have planned for 2019? - We hear you're launching a creative agency!

The beauty of freelancing is that you never know what you will be taking on next! But I am definitely excited about this year. I’m currently working on a movie that will come out in September doing matte paintings, and I have a set of 48 fashion illustrations that will be licensed out to a greeting card company which is launching in spring!

And yes, I will be launching an Agency! I have noticed an incredibly high engagement rate when I use motion graphics in my images as well as for my clients and this is definitely a growing trend, along with illustrated content for digital marketing in general. Image Fatale Creative Agency will focus on creating mesmerizing content that differs from traditional photography. This will include illustrations, mixed media, photo manipulations and moving images. You can visit imagefataleagency.com or instagram @imagefataleagency for more info. Stay tuned!

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MM: Last but not least, what are you most looking forward to for this F/W19 season at VFW?

I can’t wait to see the talent on the runway this year! I am definitely excited to attend, do some live sketching as mentioned above, and create some of my own artwork from that inspiration. I love illustrating for Vancouver Fashion Week and can’t wait to be doing it again this season. Discovering new talented designers as well as meeting people in the industry is energizing and I am looking forward to all of it!

Thank you for telling us about your journey into fashion illustration. We can't wait to see your illustrations for the Vancouver Fashion Week F/W19 season and hear more about Image Fatale Agency!

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You can find Karlie on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or on her website www.karlierosin.com.

Global Fashion Collective at New York Fashion Week Recap

Global Fashion Collective showcased at New York Fashion Week for FW19, presenting 3 distinct runway shows. First up, 2 collective shows with 6 unique brands, bringing expressive colour palettes, artistic fabric manipulations, and vintage influences to the runway.

Photos by: Jonathan Lapada

First up, Canadian brand FAUN by Marisa P. Clark, brought a collection of elegance and subtlety to the runway, as an ode to the timeless, sophistication of New York City Style, referencing icons Audrey Hepburn and Blair Waldorf. Rich jewel toned fabrics, with elegant necklines and fluttering hems, effortlessly complemented intricate handcrafted pieces, such as pearl bralettes and opera glasses. Models carrying bunches of Baby’s Breath flowers stayed true to FAUN’s signature whimsical, feminine style.

Photo by: Jonathan Lapada

Photo by: Jonathan Lapada

A highlight piece - a colour blocked suede jacket in pink with yellow contrast.

Photos by: Jonathan Lapada

Thick structured leather, glistening silks, and opaque organza gave texture to an artistic collection by Canadian designer Kirsten Ley. ‘NAISSANCE’, representing the birth, or ‘rebirth,’ of her label as an official Parisian fashion house gave life to classical French couture techniques while maintaining modern, avant-garde silhouettes. The colour palette featured deep metallic blue with Ley’s signature crisp oxblood softened by whimsical sheer creams, manifesting the emotional dichotomy of a fragmented human psyche.

PHOTO BY: JONATHAN LAPADA

PHOTO BY: JONATHAN LAPADA

Kirsten’s signature sculpting technique can be seen in a deep purple leather skirt worn with an asymmetric top with layered, gathered organza. Iridescent fabrics add shadow and light, evoking a romantic escapism for the viewer.

Photos by: Jonathan Lapada

With a fresh take on tradition, Chinese brand ERXI X MRHUA MRSHUA presented a quirky unisex collection for FW19, with the cutest mini model leading the show. ‘Silk Road, Beijing Beijing’. told a story with ornate embroidery of traditional Chinese New Year symbols, and a vibrant colour palette of lemon yellow, silver, red and candy pink. Striking patent boots, bobble hat caps, exaggerated ruffles, and quilted fabrics added a modern and unique twist. Designer NiuNiu Chou’s statement eccentricity at its finest.

Photo by: Jonathan Lapada

Photo by: Jonathan Lapada

Photos by: Jonathan Lapada

To close the show, Canadian brand M.E. presented a collection of unique femininity in a selective black & white colour palette. Designer Michelle Elizabeth was inspired by Fashion in its highest state as the ability to present oneself, as a consciously constructed representation of who we are. A full length off-the-shoulder dress with an opaque layer over a digital print with the words ‘Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’ made a statement. Silky fabrics with inky prints in beige tied the collection together, with silver hook and eye fastenings at the neckline and cuffs beautifully catching the light.

Photo by: Jonathan Lapada

Photo by: Jonathan Lapada

A highlight look was a black long-length winter coat with white edging to panels, fitting beautifully at the waist in a flattering cut.

Global Fashion Collective II

The second presentation of Global Fashion Collective put the spotlight on exquisite elegant tailoring; the designers bringing forth an haute couture feel to the runway with careful craftsmanship and vintage influences.

Photos by: Giovanni Giannoni

Designer Tong Li for China based brand HIGHTLI was inspired by the video game ‘The Legend of Zelda’ in creating her FW19 collection ‘Melody’. The designs work as a ‘composed song’ that coordinate relevant yet differentiated elements in an unconventional manner. A caramel coloured silk shirt with flared cuffs, and high-waisted pants that cinched in the waist, gave a structured feminine look. Fabrics in herringbone, checks, and dogtooth added texture, and a cozy bold red fur coat created volume with oversized sleeves.

photo by: Giovanni Giannoni

photo by: Giovanni Giannoni

A deep burgundy cage-like structured button up cape worn over a silver silk two-piece with bird-cage motif formed a key look.

Photos by: Giovanni Giannoni

Chinese brand Queenie Zoe by Bomin Kim was inspired by Samiljeol (Independence Movement Day in Korea) and the start of modernization for Korean women. Creative director Bomin Kim has designed a series of gowns in a bold, feminine style. With references to traditional late 19th century silhouettes, elaborate empire line dresses with ruffled tiered godets and leg of mutton sleeves gave a sense of grandeur. Fur trims and large flouncy bows adorned the collection, and a velvet dress with exaggerated pointed collar brought beautiful contrast in black and white.

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The finale look incorporated a traditional Hanbok style dress with large oversized sleeves and patchwork fabrics.

About Global Fashion Collective (GFC)

Global Fashion Collective is a platform supporting creative designers from all around the world. The collective produces runway showcases in different fashion capitals with the aim to accelerate the designer’s global development, increase their international media visibility, and open new markets. By presenting its designers in front of international media and buyers globally, Global Fashion Collective is an expansion of Vancouver Fashion Week.

Stay tuned for our next post on SUNCUN, the 3rd GFC showcase at NYFW this season.

Q & A with Fashion Brand Emelia's Swimwear

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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 Wanli

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

My brand name is Wanli, that means we would design for any shapes and any age, let them make pretty and fashionable.

For me , I am a pretty young lady in our age, I am 63 years old, but I am fashionable, classic, lively and cheerful, that really like my design’s style.


MM: Can you describe your creative process?

I am a modeling teacher for 20 years, everytime I help the designer to complete the show , I always catch sight of the design that how can make it better. So I get mind to make the garments by myself.


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

Yes, more in my modeling teacher job. And apart of from my Royal family.



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

Is that a collection suits for the common people? Is that practical?

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

No, that is since I taught modeling class. Many students wanted to wear better garments.

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

I was born in Beijing, my royal family’s culture/ Beijing as a capital of China that surroundings affected my design aesthetic. My design often connected to my hometown.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I helped many shows to choose the model, therefore I could know how standard of professional design , I feel I would do well also.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

From many business shows and events.

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

Designer like an artist, that could make the garments like an artwork. And kind like this artworks people can wear it to anywhere, to show anybody, to have sparked people good feeling, I think this is cool.

For my design that can make people looks nicer whether they are shape good or whatever.

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

National extraction  and royal culture in Beijing. National extraction, the inspiration is from traditional Chinese dramatic culture patterns. The color of the garments is red for the royal Chinese.

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

Check Wanli ‘s website http://wanli.multimediapress.cn/.

Q & A with fashion brand 6-D Sebastian Masuda

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

「6-D Sebastian Masuda」 is the new fashion brand which artist, Masuda Sebastian, launched. The name derives from Six dimension and Six sense. This time I would like to display again what I would like to express through fashion by exhibiting the items of the shop "6% DOKIDOKI" that I opened at Harajuku in Tokyo when I was 25 years old.

 

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

First of all, I document messages that I would like to express when I create pieces. This is my process of creation which I shape keywords that I picked visually.

 

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

I get inspirations that is based on the news (global situation and global issues) which is currently happening, and what do we need for this generation?

 

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

 Collection theme of this time is ”Reboot the Kawaii”. I made a collection based on the idea that what is fashion as protecting the spirits of "Kawaii" which is the context of my creation. It is also an attempt to restart what was sent to the world as a result of my work again with my own hand.


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

Till now I had a store as existence to receive and transmit the flow and energy which was born from the street in Tokyo, but I switched to capture fashion as "art as a body "  by setting up a fashion brand with my name again.

 

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?

Since I started "6% DOKIDOKI" in 1995, my career as a fashion designer started. A feeling of air atmosphere  that allows others to live freely in the city of Harajuku in Tokyo, and street fashion that is unprecedented in the world.It is a fundamental indispensable element to create my pieces(art of production).

 

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

The most interesting part is material. My art work creates colors using materials that exist in the world that I have found in various clothing and toy markets in the world. However, I decide on the main material that matches the theme in fashion design and start designing to do. We have just launched the brand, but we will try to create that material itself and develop new materials in the future as well.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?

I started my store (6% DOKIDOKI) as a place of expression, I was unknowing at first. For the first time in terms of shop management, I learnt fashion business and management by practice through various experiences with crossover intersecting streets.


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

 「Design」 is visualizing messages for me.  It is my job to design what kind of place someone goes with their clothes, what kind of stimulation it gives them around, and someone's consciousness can be changed by communications from the clothes as my point of origin.



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

This collection has the purpose of restarting the image and recognition of the current state of "Kawaii" that is going to be consumed as a surface trend by third party intervention. The Japanese culture "Kawaii" which is the context of my work often precedes superficial images such as ,gaudiness, bizarre and childishness, and the problems of "diversity" and "individuality" recently taken. It is not well known that you have big hints to unravel the word. I define Kawaii = my microcosm. A strong will to protect your favorite things that everyone does not want to disturb, and a mind to allow other people 's microcosm (personality),What I express this time is to protect faith as the basis of such "Kawaii"

Thank you 6-D Sebastian Masuda for telling us about your brand. We can't wait to see your show at Vancouver Fashion Week for the SS19 season.

Follow 6-D Sebastian Masuda on Instagram @6d_tokyo and check out the website.

Q & A with Fashion Brand Anelia-Art

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


My name is Anelia Basson. I was born in South Africa, came to Canada in 1991 and soon became a Canadian citizen. Anelia-Art began in Chilliwack BC, but I see it's potential globally. The fabric becomes my canvas for creating wearable pieces of art. My garments have a simpler structure that create a flow while wearing them, so that you feel confident and comfortable. My goal is to help people find freedom in the colours of each unique piece of art.


MM: Can you describe your creative process?

I begin with the fabric pattern, allowing the moment to influence me. Whether it be my paintings, photography, or digital design, finding the difference that evokes emotion is always the most interesting pattern to me. I combine all three mediums, or free hand draw the pattern digitally to design the initial pattern, and then print it onto the fabrics. Freedom surrounds the core of the actual piece designs, recreating the sensations of my favourite locations in the sun.


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


To create, I must be challenged into a different mindset than the conscious mind follows day to day. Surrounding myself with multitudes of other (and my own) pieces of art throughout my house and garden gives me the freedom of creativity. I am a firm believer that nature is art; the beauty in the natural world is the main drive in my work. We are lucky to live in such a rich
area of the world here in British Columbia… My aim is to protect it, by reminding others to be more aware of the beauty around us.


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


Creating a collection for me does not rely on the season or the fads of fashion, but instead, based on creating timeless pieces of art. It’s important that my collections stay true to my inspirations and strong creative feelings. Being aware of the state of our planet’s environment encompasses me while I create my collections. Major protection and rehabilitation is needed. The fashion industry can be quite harsh on the earth, so I really have to ask myself if my fabric is naturally sustainable, making as little impact as possible. Every human needs to be conscious of the impact we make; otherwise the future of our planet will look very grey…

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


Anelia-Art started a few years ago, beginning with pillows, tablecloths and reupholstering antique furniture with my designed fabric. After I received many favourable and inspiring comments about my designs, I then branched out to a limited amount of dresses. Since I have dogs at home, the dog jackets came out of simply wanting my pups to be warm and comfortable, to be safely seen at night, while also being fashionable! The swimwear was inevitable as the summer months came, and that was where my ideas wanted to bloom. Every season, I add new designs to Anelia-Art, with all new fabric patterns as well. To show off a collection of mine on the runway has been one of my biggest dreams, since I have always been so enamoured with fashion. There were a few local shows for Anelia-Art held in art galleries and on Hornby Island, but VFW will be the first
major show.  


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?


Having the opportunity to be a designer here in Canada is a privilege in itself - let alone the chance to show my work here with Vancouver Fashion Week! I am deeply connected to Canada, and that is visible through my work. Anelia-Art is all proudly made locally! Growing up in Africa has really shaped me as a person, and in particular, the connection to and respect for tribal cultures. Now living in the Fraser Valley for 25+ years, the indigenous culture reflects on a portion of my paintings and art designs. A few of my fabrics are representative of the beauty of indigenous culture, through each of those prints, a story to be told. The surroundings of Canada, and B.C specifically, inspire me to appreciate, and engulf myself in our world's natural beauty.


MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?


Fashion has always played a huge role in my life. Wearing eye-catching, comfortable, colourful clothes is what makes me feel confident! There is a reason for the most beautiful plants and animals always having such vibrant tones and patterns! I decided to design my own patterns to reflect free flowing structure, vibrancy, and above all, comfort.

MM: How did you learn the business of fashion?


Being a self-taught artist and designer, I realised the best way to learn, was to throw myself in the deep end. When I moved to Canada in 1991, I started a children’s clothing line with two South African friends, called Ye-Bo, which introduced me to hand creating fabrics. Although my partners moved back to Africa and I began a family, I never gave up on my aspirations on being a fashion designer. Always surrounding myself with the business of art, I finally found my way back into my roots. From there, I think my abilities as an artist, particularly my strong sense of colour, has been my greatest asset in creating unique,
colourful fabrics that transform into statement pieces.


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


Having the freedom of creativity is what drives me through this life. I love to form my own identity, accepting myself as I differ from others. What moves me to design is my passion for what I do, and the constant influences that inspire me - whether it be art, tribal culture, or beautiful places.


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


This collection encompasses my journey so far…  As I explore different parts of the world for its remarkable cultures, creatures, and surroundings!  With each garment comes the expression of standing out with colour, yet still feeling free.
The swimwear collection particularly emulates the movements underneath the ocean… My journey into another world…

 

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

Follow Anelia-Art on Instagram @anelia.art  and check out the website www.aneliabasson.com.

Retro, Revived at Vancouver Fashion Week

A personal favourite period in fashion history is the 1960s. The big hair, vivid colours, and vibrant patterns, these hallmark traits of the 60s were present in my favourite looks at Vancouver Fashion Week.

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Viktoria Tisza used the iconic volumized hair of the 60s to match this figure-enhancing look. 

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Pariah used bold eccentric patterns and pop art, which gained popularity in the 60s. There was playfulness to Barbara Riordan's looks, and a winged eye further enhanced the retro feel. I love the A-line mini skirts in this collection.

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Mazarine’s line was also playfully feminine, and made use of bright colours. Her collection was filled with bright vibrant pieces that worked together to create a new take on a retro look. The look above shows Mazarine’s high-waisted shorts and halter top which give vintage appeal.

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Japanese designer Nozomi Kuwahara debuted a monochrome yellow look accented with an eccentric neon yellow headband. The variety of yellows and modern styling brought nostalgic 60s vibes to the collection.

Nostalgia was something I felt at fashion week, thinking about bygone eras in fashion. I love to see how the designers of today rework 60s colours and silhouettes into something new.

Images by @tristenwilliams

Art x Fashion, Yuner Shao at Vancouver Fashion Week

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Yuner Shao created a highly expressive, avant-garde collection this season at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Who doesn’t love a loud textile? Shao created super artistic and colourful fabrics. Using digital and screen printing techniques to layer drawings and shapes on top of each other, the final fabrics came together to be truly aesthetically pleasing. The illustrations in bright yellows, blues, and reds, along with the black and white made each piece quite abstract. It would have been incredible just to see the artwork on a canvas, but to see these graphics placed on silhouettes was absolutely jaw-dropping. Watching this New York fashion designer's show really felt like I was at an art exhibit.

The looks had a lot going on; with a mixture of different primary colours, materials, shapes, patterns, and layered graphic prints. However, it was not overwhelming and everything meshed together impeccably well.

With large patch pockets, bold buttons, loose belts, lines, circles, drawings and words printed, one could only imagine the designs on paper. Each look matched effortlessly with the colour scheme with graphic prints placed throughout which made a cohesive line and a strong statement.

The loose and oversized clothing portrayed the designer’s youthful intention. She drew the graphics to show perspectives of the ‘Chinese Dream’ and to create anti-propaganda. This gives her line meaning and creates a discussion, which is what any designer can hope for.

These pieces were thought about inside-out, pun intended, as the insides of the jackets and pants also included illustrations. The shoes sported graphic prints as well proving the effort and attention to detail Shao has put into each look; it is truly compelling.

Shao's work was particularly special because I could see how her menswear looks could not only be worn on the runway but adapted for everyday outfits as well. Overall, this show was a stand-out in fashion week. The experimental and original designs Shao has created, left a memorable impression and now all eyes are on what she is going to devise next. 

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Written by  Jessica Haltrecht (@jeshalt)

Images by Arun Nevader for Getty Images

Fall Outfit Inspiration from Vancouver Fashion Week

This season at Vancouver Fashion Week there was an incredibly diverse set of looks and a range of styles. Although runway fashion is bold and screams cool, it is not always something that you can feel comfortable wearing to work or out with friends. I’m here to tell you differently, you don’t always need to be so daring to rock a runway look in your everyday life. Here’s my Ready to Wear guide taken from this year’s fashion week- I have included brands and my favourite looks for runway steals that you can wear on a day-to-day basis!

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Alex S. Yu

Alex S. Yu explores colour panelling in his FW 18 collection. It's easy to replicate this runway style without going overboard. This babydoll dress is one of my favourites from the line, and I love how he paired it with a striped turtleneck underneath. His use of complementary colours, such as the pink and red worked well together.

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Not For You

If you are into cool streetstyle, this brand is for you.

This jacket screams “Look At Me”. I love the irony in that the look is so pared down and simple and yet this contrasts the obvious call for attention.

You could wear this jacket for everyday wear, a perfect example of how runway wear doesn't need to be over the top.

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Not Dead Yet

I love the vertical line of the long zipper on the pants and the oversized white button up that drapes and hangs. There is something compelling to this developed but simple look. I recommend this as a new style choice, as I'm sure you have a white shirt ready in your closet!

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Eaux Troubles

Incorporating bright colours into my wardrobe in the fall brightens up gloomy weather. This red jacket from Eaux Troubles is one of my favorite styles fresh off the runway. In an oversized sizing, pairing it with a tighter dress underneath works well for a flattering fit. Additionally I appreciate how the designer styled it with a dress of more muted tones, making the red jacket really pop.

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Alicia Perillo

Alicia Perillo showcased sophisticated and chic designs you could easily slip on without feeling too outrageous or overdone. Her clothing is beautifully stitched, and elegant with deep colours, such as mustards and dark purples. Overall, her line inspires confidence and allows the wearer to feel comfortable whilst making a statement. I always use accessories as an easy, affordable option to make an outfit appear more high fashion, and her fur ball earrings are just perfect for this!

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To recap, this season's wish list was full of bright pops of colour, oversized outfits, simplistic grunge looks, and beautifully crafted gowns. I devoured  all that Vancouver fashion week had to offer this year, and greatly appreciated how accessible it was for those that may be intimidated by runway fashion.