The Best of Vancouver Fashion Week – Final Edition
From LONDON via Milan: NADIA+ZEHRA – The real Pussy Riot!
The slogan says it all –”I WILL FIND YOU AND I WILL FUCK YOU”. The twin London expats Nadia and Zehra AKA ‘sisters terrible’ were said to have found their inspiration in the Addam’s family. The screaming vampire tees opened the show, supported by ‘offensive rap lyrics’, were obviously created to provoke. A mix and match of twisted cartoons, bold slogans and strong images creates a screaming fantasy world definitely not recommended for the faint at heart. It was hard to tell if the models wore anything under those tees. “We used the idea of addiction to create a sexual drunken pill popping collection” said their press release. However, this game was not all about provocation as Nadia and Zehra showed in the later part of their presentation, deftly mixing colours, patterns and prints, mixed with Italian savoir-faire, to create clothes that I believe invent a new vocabulary for today’s fierce urban woman with daring confidence. It was a welcome shock to the system.
From Italy: ARTEES WEAR – The art of the Tee’s
The basic t-shirt takes its “lettres de noblesse” and is now ready to make its grand entrance into the museum! Created in 2012 this label boasts a passion for art, design and graphics and may be seen as a perfect mirror of Italy’s rich artistic history in craftsmanship adapted to contemporary street-wear style. These hand-made Tee’s inspired by sculpture and classic works of the Renaissance, mixed with an intelligent dose of graffiti art and irreverence, are simply to die for!
From Iran: POUNEH ASKARIAN – Zen Fusion
Defining a brand new concept of modern elegance, the discreet charm of Pouneh Askarian’s F/W 2015 collection lies in it’s intelligent play of cultural contrasts refined to their essence for today’s dressing needs. The Iranian born designer, who launched her label in Canada in 2007 and is now based in London, was inspired by Japanese esthetics viewed through eyes of a Persian sensibility. The refined volume and the precision of her styling skills expressed through floor length dresses, precisely cut in their fullness and fluidity, is simply mesmerizing. An air of quiet luxury floats over her design concept, with it’s predominance for stripes and “3D” shapes mixes cultural references to create a quietly glamorous silhouette that references to the timeless sophistication of Audrey Hepburn. Her use of unique pattern making techniques, minimalist cuts in classic shades of black, beige and greys add to the ‘envoutement’.
The result: perhaps the most mature collection during the week, Pouneh Askarian celebrates a return to elegance for a modern woman in tune with her femininity and the powerful effect of quiet seduction.
From Sarajevo: MARKO FEHER – Utilitarian Sado/Maso
Young designer Marko Potkozarac created the label MARKO FEHER in 2013, launching it in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its strong design concept instantly garnered the attention of the media and the fashion world, winning several top European design competitions. Innovation is the name of the game here. This 25-year-old createur with his renaissance hair cut represents a new breed of designers at the crossroads of history and modernism. His creations are certainly powerful, in quasi totalitarian way – his silhouettes obviously inspired by underground military shapes that were at once unsettling, are totally now! His contemporary statement on design is undeniably authoritarian, working from a basic palette of shiny blacks, neutrals and grays, asymmetric juxtapositions of shapes and colours. ”This collection is dedicated to futuristic minimalism,” he said. A ‘funky guerilla’ concept that Marko Potkozarac translates into a men’s and women’s wear collection that mirrors a strange sense of refined fetishism cleverly adapted for everyday wear.
From Mexico: GALALIMON – Tropics de la Pasion!
Fancy a bold color palette? These upbeat proposals from Galalimon may be paradise found on earth during the grim days of our Nordic fall/winter season. With shades of island sunsets, boisterous Carnival hedonism and delicious sorbets, these truly feminine options pay homage to La Cucaracha in subtle and strategically breezy tops cut in delicate mousseline that gently sway in the southern breeze, all worn over body conscious skirts and cigarette pants. These perfectly tailored outfits use colours that are bright, yet never garish, in an effusion of tropical solids in pamplemousse, lime, tangerine, grenadine and chartreuse. Think beach – tailored for the city. It’s irresistibly sexy for resort season 2015.
From South Korea – The new land on the map
It’s the little country that could. With a budding new generation of young designers, Korea offers a kaleidoscope of striking new ideas. Drawing from eternal opposites such as the old and the new, the past and the present, the rigorous and the free spirit, these labels propose remarkably diverse clothing styles and some of the most appealing collections showcased during the F/W 2015 week. Collectively they present new styles and ideas that challenge classic fashion concepts by their truly innovative visions, a true sign that we ARE moving forward.
NIGHT X DAY
Polished, minimalist and subtly elegant, is the motto for designer Juun-Ki Hong for F/W 2015. Launched in 2014, his bold re-working of volumes and shapes brings a modern urban edge to at first glance classics that are a throwback to 40’s silhouettes. In mostly in neutral tones, it pays hommage to the great stylistic cuts of yesteryear’s men’s wardrobe, reviewed with new experimentations in shapes, textures and juxtapositions. In an era of the ‘so-close to the-body’ silhouette Night X Day, with it’s references to contemporary art and youth culture, deftly redefines a new way of dressing by mixing nostalgia with a truly contemporary attitude.
YKS by YONG KYUN SHIN
Complex design combinations and bold details in garment construction are the signature of this young designer. In a radically post-modern way, this fusion collection explores a new grammar of design that is brilliantly put into practice with truly inspired garments. As if inspired by a personal quest for a new syntax in his garments designs, YKS proposes new ideas, filled with surprising ergonomic cuts. Deliberately relaxed and a decidedly cool final look!
Hong Kiyoung’s “About the road” collection travels to unchartered territories to propose a new credo for today’s dressing that intelligently mixes the familiar and the unexpected. Standouts are his camel colored coats in classic tailored cuts worn over his light and dark cigarette pants for men’s wear that project an air of urban intellectual savoir-faire that is truly of today! High mention as well for his women’s trench coats in shiny ‘chocolate bonbon wrap’ fabrics and his splendid Origami/fan golden cocktail dresses.
And on a final note…
Miuccia Prada sent shockwaves in the fashion world in her most recent F/W show for sending a black model down the runway with a ‘small’ afro hairdo. The house of DIOR just selected Rihanna for their new campaign, the first black model in their 75-year history. A recent issue of W magazine titled “Born Beautiful” featured on the cover a beehive of cloned blond lookalikes a la Moss, Daria, Lara…Oh yes, the token ’ethnic’ model is featured inside the publication – of course inside the folded gated page! British Vogue’s March edition cover featured Brit sensation Jordan, their first ethnic model since Naomi Campbell had this honour… decades ago.
At a time when the question of diversity on the runway and in advertising is a burning and divisive question, the models selection in the VFW seems to have beautifully skirted the so called controversial topic. The diversity in faces, ethnicity and body shapes was a strong reminder that in the end beauty IS and always will be a many splendored thing! Did I forget to mention that the shows were hosted by (in)famous local drag queen Simone Says (yes she is ALL BOY” she says)!
Fashion world take notice! Vancouver you are often SO COOL!!!
By Emmanuel St. Juste and Dani Kremeniuk
Photos courtesy VFW