Tag Archives: Lingerie

Richmond fashion designers

20 Apr

There are a multitude of reasons to support local designers — whether it’s to build stronger communities, reduce environmental impact or just to avoid wearing the same mass-marketed outfit as someone else. But the most important reason to shop locally should be to bolster the creativity of talented artists. Some of these skilled fashion designers can be found as close as Richmond, at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Fashion Show taking place Thursday, April 24 at the River Rock Show Theatre. Featuring collections from the graduating class of Design, Fashion and Technology, this city is home to a variety of inventive designers.

Cindy Luo

Local lingerie line ANASTASIA specializes in undergarments for petite women. Designed by Cindy Luo, the spring collection is inspired by nostalgia and takes its aesthetic cues from diamonds with the cuts and translucency of each piece. Sensual yet sophisticated, ANASTASIA’s versatility allows its garments to be worn on any occasion — underneath everyday apparel, for special events, or even lounging around at home.

A look from Cindy Luo’s lingerie line ANASTASIA. (Photo by Desmond Mok)

A look from Cindy Luo’s lingerie line ANASTASIA. (Photo by Desmond Mok)

“Each piece is designed with petite women in mind, making sure exact measurements are made to meet their needs,” says Luo.

“Most of the products in the market don’t fit a petite woman where it is supposed to be because of long straps, flimsy bands or big cups that don’t give them any form of support,” she says. “Due to these issues, many women resort to purchasing undergarments that are unflattering for their body shapes. A well-fitting undergarment is key in any woman’s quest to feel sexy and confident. I want to create a product where they can celebrate and embrace what they have underneath.”

Jan Bautista

For another local designer Jan Bautista, the focus is on giving clothes a story and sparking the imagination. Bautista’s move from the Philippines to Canada only strengthened his love for fashion. Exposure to different lifestyles made him realize the importance of craftsmanship and the meaning of true beauty. His menswear line, Maison Beautista, strives to redefine the post-modern dandy gentleman, combining fit and comfort with bold colours and eccentric designs. This season the collection is inspired by art from the Post-Impressionist movement, especially Vincent van Gogh’s Irises painting.

“This particular masterpiece represents the celebration and adoration life deserves despite the congested, materialistic society,” says Bautista. “The designs are influenced by the expressive and vibrant hues of the masterpiece.”

A dapper ensemble from Jan Bautista’s Maison Beautista. (Photo by Gene Figueroa)

A dapper ensemble from Jan Bautista’s Maison Beautista. (Photo by Gene Figueroa)

With his enthusiasm and love for bringing stories to life, Bautista hopes to one day design for the theatre and film industry, where clothes provide a crucial part in entertaining and narrating.

Venus Lai

For those looking for office outfit ideas from a local designer, there’s the HaNa line created by Venus Lai. Inspired by history and different cultures, HaNa differs from the usual business attire with its fashion-forward details. This season the designer was influenced by her cultural roots, updating the traditional Chinese cheongsam dress with a modern silhouette and chic, office-appropriate style.

A dress from Venus Lai’s businesswear line HaNa. (Photo by Matthew Chen)

A dress from Venus Lai’s businesswear line HaNa. (Photo by Matthew Chen)

“My ideal customers are women who work in a professional field and require clothing with an identity,” says Lai. “To showcase themselves in a fashionable sense, but also to wear clothing with a meaning and a story.”

“What I love most about designing is to create aesthetically beautiful clothes, but also showcase the skill and the thought put behind it. Having to produce something from a visual in your head into a 2-D fashion drawing, and then thinking about it technically to draft and design the pattern and make it into a 3-D garment is process I enjoy the most. The whole design process is not easy and can be strenuous and difficult, but the outcome and the accomplishment you feel at the end is all worth it.”

For more on the designers and the KPU Fashion Show, visit www.kpu.ca/theshow2014.

[Article first appeared in the April 16 issue of Richmond Review.]

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Lace me up: A look at Vancouver Fashion Week

16 Apr

Hockey fans aren’t the only ones trying to juggle a jam-packed schedule this week – fashionistas were scrambling to organize their croc-embossed agendas in order to celebrate the city’s 10th anniversary of Vancouver Fashion Week.

With over 30 emerging and established designers showcasing their Fall/Winter 2011 collections, VFW is hailed as the city’s premier fashion event. This year kicked off with an opening gala Tuesday at Sutton Place Hotel where the designers gave the crowd a little taste of their work, each highlighting one piece from their collections.

Sugar and spice…

The fashion shows commenced Wednesday at the Empire Landmark Hotel downtown. Street style photographers would have trouble keeping up with the hordes of stylish individuals entering the lobby through the revolving doors of the hotel on their way downstairs to snag the limited seating.

I got there the first night in time to see the fashion show by Lace Embrace Atelier, a brand specializing in corsets by local designer Melanie Talkington. Much to the delight of the men dragged to the event by their girlfriends, the show opened with a sultry redhead disrobing to reveal a silver satin slip dress. She was met by a male counterpart who helped her into a beautifully embroidered pink and silver corset.

And everything nice

The rest of the show was just as sensual as burlesque music played while models in garters, petticoats, corsets, and dresses that are too gorgeous to just be seen in the bedroom, walked the runway. Now while the idea of a corset usually makes me want to hyperventilate, Talkington’s designs have me reconsidering the garment. Especially when it’s built into a dress like the gold satin piece embellished with dangling beads:

Talkington was the corset designer for Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch and has worked extensively with burlesque artist Dita Von Teese. She opened her first retail store at 219 E. 16th Ave. three years ago in Vancouver.

Stay tuned for a review of fashion shows from day two. In the meantime, tickets are still available for shows on Sunday, which is also the last day of VFW.

All photos courtesy of Benjamin Yong. Click here for the full gallery.