VFW F/W 2015 BUZZ! Days 2 & 3: Casual, Bondage & Bespoke

Over two days, Vancouver Fashion Week presented 21 designers which represented a wide range of ages (youngest designer is 15 years old), diverse styles and technical skills and  attendees ate up every look that came down the runway.

Following is a recap of the strongest designers and the collections (in no particular order) presented.

Local designer Connally McDougall presented her latest collection entitled ‘Elysium’ which was inspired by Gustav Klimt’s painting ‘Wasserschlangen.’ Working with a select palette of cool colours and ethically sourced fabrics, Connally created casual sophisticated looks for both men and women. With the addition of luxury eyewear from The Optical Boutique and delicate jewellery, this was one of the audience favourites so far.

Connally Collage 2

Connally Collage 1

Victoria based Alex S. Yu launched his debut collection at VFW S/S 2015 as winner of NICHE Magazine’s Emerging Designer competition. His latest collection entitled ‘The Sweet Sixteen’ will appeal to tween and teen girls who are obsessed with the colour pink, synthetic fabrics (neoprene, faux fur, vinyl) and did not come of age in the 1980s. The stand-out in the collection was the re-interpretation of the ‘Canadian tuxedo’ as a raincoat!

Alex Yu Collage 1

Last season Grandi’s Atelier debuted the exquisite ‘Granada Collection’ that showcased Grandy’s trademark expert tailoring, sleek fabrics and impeccable styling. This bespoke Fall/Winter collection entitled ‘Hieland Flouer’ introduced a dark red tartan and faux fur trim into her beautiful body hugging silhouettes.

VFW-FW15-SamStringer-2-4

The audience snapped to attention when Seoul based designer Yong Kyun Shin when his YKS collection came down the runway. Yong feels that his label is known for its craftsmanship and use of new materials which appeals to 20 to 40 year old women who are looking for a strong professional look. Interesting. I really need to ask him which profession he is referencing! The pieces were intense, amazing and gloriously unique in leather, pleather and wool.

YKS Collage 1

Peruvian designer Magaly Guillen presented her tubular knitwear and while the pieces clearly impressed with sculptural shapes and citrus colours, we were left wondering where does this designer go from here once the novelty wears off? Magaly’s vision and creativity would definitely lend itself to costuming for theatre and film.

Magaly Collage 1

Adam Bungag and Andy Zeng are two of the four LaSalle College students who were presenting that used the 1920s for inspiration for their collections.

Adam was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s strong lines and his collection was crisp, clean and quite stunning with modern fabrics including neoprene, mesh and laser cut finishing.

LaSalle Bungag

Andy’s inspiration was the strength of the post World War I woman. His designs portrayed clean silhouettes with dropped waists in a monochromatic palette. For me the stand-out pieces had the quirky addition of a sequined EKG at the hip. The whole collection was quite lovely and very marketable.

LaSalle Zeng Collage

ENCIMA was launched in 2014 by Vancouver’s Faiz and Suzy Lalani. Using comfortable fabrics – knits, terry fabric and cottons – these oversized unisex pieces convey comfort and warmth and based on applause, the west coast crowd definitely is keen to support this line.

Encima Collage 1

Encima Collage 2

Sara Armstrong‘s trans-seasonal collection is inspired by her father and his Scottish heritage. Many of the pieces are gender neutral and made with local alpaca wool, starch cottons, rough leather, heavy Melton wools and raw silks. The pieces are tactile and functional. This collection closed the night and, as VFW’s founder Jamal Abdourahman said, definitely owned the runway!

IMG_1788Armstrong Collage 2

Armstrong Collage 1

It is impossible to have so much talent in one enclosed space without there being an explosion of creativity. This bi-annual event showcases unique looks and spectacular details. Here is a selection of hats, eyeglasses, piercings and hair styles that caught our attention and imagination.

Accessories Collage 1

What is a fashion week without personalities and local flavour? Here is a selection of candid shots featuring some of Vancouver’s fashion and style icons. How many do you recognize?

Candids Collage

Check back with Vancity Buzz next week for the VFW F/W 2015 wrap-up article!

(This article by Helen Siwak was originally published at VancityBuzz.com)

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