Tag Archives: vfw2011

My own fashionably late post: Vancouver Fashion Week, part two.

24 Apr

Though the term “fashionably late” was coined before the advent of fashion shows, that expression could easily describe day two of Vancouver Fashion Week. I thought I had arrived just in time for the 6:30 show but soon realized they were running almost two hours behind. The woman decked out in a gorgeous satin yellow blouse next to me quipped, “Did they set the schedule according to Eastern time?”

Lia Pal and her well-dressed gals

The wait, however, was worth it as Seattle-based fashion designer Liuba Palancuic’s first outfit hit the runway. A neutral palette with hints of bright yellow, green and blue comprised her collection. The pieces were mostly structured with high collars, minimal and very wearable.

Melissa Squire and her fun, punky attires

In contrast, the next show featuring Saskatoon designer Melissa Squire was exuberant and flirty. Models sashayed down the catwalk to big band music wearing cute, feminine party dresses. The ensembles were predominantly black but popped with coloured details such as hot pink crinolines, leopard patterns and bronze sequins.

Prom Queenie Luo

As soon as the dreamy instrumental music started to showcase Queenie Luo’s pieces, the audience knew they were in for an ethereal and delicate collection. The show consisted of gorgeous strapless cocktail dresses and formal gowns embellished with feathers, beading, bows, pleats and an abundance of tulle. They were outfits that wouldn’t seem out of place at a wedding or prom – fitting, since the Richmond-based designer is still in high school. Kind of makes me wonder what I was accomplishing at that age.

The highlights of Luo’s collection were definitely the ball gowns. One ensemble paired a full pale pink skirt and tulle draping with a big bow as the top. While most would find it totally unwearable, props to Luo for taking a risk at her first  fashion show.

My favourite of the collection was definitely the black and white gown with a sweetheart neckline that transformed into an all-white dress once the layer of black voile was removed. The two-styles-in-one concept reminded me of Hussein Chalayan’s spring 2007 collection, albeit a little more manual and less experimental. One thing I didn’t like about the show was the makeup. When the first model came out, I seriously thought it was a makeup malfunction. For me, it’s too reminiscent of Nicole Kidman’s face powder problem.

The 50s era with Sarah

If the next two designers’ shows are anything to go by, vibrant orange and metallics will be big for fall. Local designer Sarah Runnalls’ collection is a bit 1950s, gothic and very textured. It featured a few menswear-inspired pieces updated with feminine silhouettes, and panelled ensembles detailed with leather and fur. Her designs can be found at the Ayden Gallery.

Colour-blocking at Pouneh Askarian’s

The last show I saw before I had to bounce was another local designer. Pouneh Askarian’s collection was inspired by a small Iranian tribe who create their own clothes from nature and tend to dye their fabrics in bright colours. The modern-fitted silk outfits were each accessorized with a headpiece that reminded me of Prada’s turbans made popular by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Overall, it was an interesting mix of designers at fashion week – definitely something for every style. VFW showcasing designs for spring/summer 2012 is expected to hit the city in November.

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

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.