Now entering its 16th year and 27th season, Vancouver Fashion Week is one of the fastest growing fashion weeks in the world – creating a stage for talented local and international designers to reach global markets, fashion media and industry buyers. Since 2001, Vancouver Fashion Week has served as the gateway to designers who can’t show in the big events such as London, Paris, Milan and New York, and has helped launch many talents onto the world fashion stage.
Evan Clayton – Canada
Evan Clayton’s Autumn / Winter 2016 collection WORSHIP is a journey through the softer side of his brand. Tailored silhouettes are juxtaposed with dramatic frills and luxurious textiles. Natural materials take centre stage with ethereal silks flowing against rustic denim. Peruvian llama evokes a plush atmosphere, while belvedere cotton and cotton canvas cocoon the wearer in sartorial elegance.
Noe Bernacelli- Peru
Noe Bernacelli’s massive collection of show-stopping runway pieces were influenced by his studies in Milan and Paris before returning to his native country of Peru in hopes to elevate the fashion market. Rich ivories and burgundies graced the collection with accents of neon green and stark black. Gorgeous fringe details and beaded bodices made statements alone, peaked out from under structured tweed coats and meshed into the designer’s namesake shoes and evening bags.
Flora Miranda – UK
Eight raw, creative looks made their way down Vancouver Fashion Week’s runway this season by Flora Miranda. The Austrian fashion designer worked to focus her Fall/Winter16 collection on human senses and virtual reality. Designs relieved of practical consideration and restriction highlighted three dimensional elements. Models both full and partially masked strutted the runway in iridescent materials with tubular details, feathers, draped lace and metal rigid discs.
44511234 – Canada
44511234, designed by one Vancouver man pursuing his passion, stood out as a top presentation to the captivated audience. This all white collection barred sans bridal. Models trickled down the runway barefoot to the natural sounds of falling rain. Texture stood at the forefront as textiles were layered in unexpected lengths and shapes to create voluminous silhouettes.
Ainee Suhaidi – Malaysia
Malaysian designer Ainee Suhaldi beautifully integrated a floral motif Songket, which is an Indonesian textile with hand-woven silk and intricately patterned gold or silver threads into her collection. What opened with a dramatic floor length cape, continued to wow attendees through multiple pieces in the signature fabric. The material made the statement on Ainee’s FW16 runway. The beautifully patterned silk was crafted into unexpected silhouettes like a bomber jacket, blazer dress and structured ballooning maxi skirt.
Lesley Hampton – Canada
Lesley Hampton’s First Nation heritage provided a refreshing take on wearable art and handmade apparel. The show launched with an intimate video of a modern ballerina wearing a design by the designer. Mirrored metallic textiles made segway to the futuristic mermaid inspiration.
Gabrielab – Brazil
A definitive crowd-pleaser, Brazilian based Gabriela Braga presented her collection inspired by the phrase, “like a moth to a flame.” The collection revolves around a vibrant colour chart made with intertwining viscose threads into shapes and cuts that vary from asymmetrical dresses to long symmetrical trench coats. Mixtures of Jacquard and rib knits is bold colours, prints and patterns flitted down the runway almost like pop-art. Accessorized with white fishnet stockings and flat bill caps, this collection screamed urban street style with a bold palette and statement knits.
Eymeric Francois – France
French designer, Eymeric Francois drew cheers from every member of Vancouver Fashion Week’s full audience. The couture collection, titled “A Night in Paris”, featured timeless, elegant pieces that don’t fall victim to trend. Tight corsets and transparent French lace were sculptured on each models figure. Statement skirted trench coats and beaded pinstripe gowns in rich purples, fuschias and black were styled with an element of mystery behind wide-brimmed felt hats and full-length gloves. Meticulous details and ornate trimmings took precident in Eymeric Francois’ entire Fall/Winter collection.
Elephantasia – Canada
Elephantasia, a collaboration between 13 different international designers, blended mission and fashion in their 2016 presentation. Designers carefully crafted one look each influenced by the massive stature and intelligence of the African elephant. Tribal music filled the room as live beats were played by traditional drummers. Sporting white face paint, models walked the runway in a range of grey, black and bone designs. Standout garments included an olive perforated suede flap cocktail dress, a silk kimono dress with tribal elephant graphic and a slate cutout gown with gold-reversed shredded materials laced throughout the bodice.
Akshay Wadhwa – India
Born into a legacy of textiles trade through three generations of experience, Delhi-based designer Akshay Wadhwa was always destined for the fashion industry. His namesake brand taps into vast and rich heritage of the South Asian subcontinent by reinventing contemporary high fashion and incorporating traditional Indian wear with coeval European designs.
Alex S.Yu – Canada
Vancouver based designer Alex S.Yu’s collection reflects the contrasting emotions of the inspirations in the form of contemporary luxury women’s street wear.The collection plays with numerous menswear references and visually restricting tailoring elements such as a high and tight turtleneck or skin tight sleeves. Stark visual contrasts such as exaggerated looseness versus tightness in one piece are used abundantly in the collection to illustrate the very question of, Are we really as free as we think we are?