VFW: Day Two

The second day of Vancouver Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 runway shows began with inspiring student work from Vancouver’s Lasalle College, transitioned into a whole lot of sparkle, and closed with a Ugandan success story.

The first time slot of the night went to Tara Starr from Lasalle College and her Mislaid Pieces collection. Like beautiful shipwreck survivors lost in the deep, Starr’s models with windblown curls drifted along the runway in crisp white cotton dresses with bleeding blue and yellow watercolour detailing. Thin ropes tied waify waists, and feathers added natural texture along intentional rips and tears.

Sportswear designer, Ivan Yiu presented second with his line of sleeveless and hooded running jackets, shorts, and sporty dresses, in a palette of white, sky blue, mustard, and magenta. Also a Lasalle student, Yiu demonstrated his talent for complex tailoring, most notably on a jacket with curved front zip and tuxedo tails.

The third Lasalle student to take the runway was Ai Ohyama and her pastel coloured Tartelette collection for junior girls age 5-11. Pint-sized pixies in pink, yellow and mint party dresses, and little misses in mauve shifts with polka dots warmed the hearts of the crowd, and roused a few chuckles with their sassy walks.

Fourth for the night was Lasalle College’s presentation of Metro Dresses, in collaboration with Metro News. The brilliantly orchestrated pieces, created entirely from Metro newspapers demonstrated just how much of an artform fashion design really is. Ruffles, flounces, halters, hair pieces, and clutch purses splashed the daily headlines in precision construction.

Byron Abad was fifth in line with Synikal. Sexy and feminine, the Lasalle student’s collection showcased assymmetric chiffon hemlines, ruffles, wide leg trousers, and bandeau bikinis. A cream-coloured, flowy, floor-length cover-up with green satin panelling was a highlight, transporting us all to a Cuban pool-side cabana – margarita in hand.

Next to show, emerging designer Andrea Isabelle De Ocampo at just 17 has a promising career ahead of her. Boxy blouses with tie waists, oversized collars, and bib fronts, dominated the Canadian designer’s collection. De Ocampo employed gold organza, grey taffeta, and black lace to flesh out a niche look for her debut collection.

The brainchild of Canadian designers Elika Mojtabaei and Afsaneh Visseh, elik + afsi is a culmination of diverse backgrounds and an affinity for creating playful clothing. Clad in royal blue, pale yellow, and deep orange, models tred the runway displaying simple, functional everyday pieces with fun patchwork application.

Next up: sparkle and sprinkles. Sound enticing? Toronto designer Ginger Martini sure had the crowd craving more. Models with their hair twisted into bows, started the show by strutting out with cupcakes in hand for lucky front row guests, setting the sweetness level on high. Dazzling onlookers in sparkly cocktail dresses, skirts, jackets, and shorts, the girls got cheeky with come-hither glances and party-girl kisses.

Arshia Khan’s Cruise Control collection graced the catwalk as the 10th show for the evening. Looking as though they had just stepped out of a speeding 1970s convertible, hair blown out in wild frizz, Khan’s models donned an array of summer dresses in leopard print, exotic patterns, and lace. A black lace-up top and sequined hot pants, brought disco back for a second, while a one-sleeved brown polka dot mini dress yearned for its missing flower child.

Second last to show on Thursday night was local designer Kristi Lee and her Qube collection. In a display of prairie girl chic, the models with their hair natural and loose, sported a varied selection of sunny summer styles, including a battenburg lace skirt, mauve peplum dress and loose bandeau tops with buttons down the back. A sweet a-line mini skirt with lace top and dusty pink hood illustrated Qube’s laid-back Vancouver aesthetic.

The final designer for the night was the much anticipated Ugandan designer Kasozi and his Kas Wear Urban Indigenous collection. The name exemplifies this stunning show to perfection. Tribal printed pants and skirts danced with impeccably tailored men’s and women’s blazers, while angled cuts and peaked shoulders contrasted modern edge with Kasozi’s humble African origins. Touches of blood red accented the indigenous patterns, matching the lips of the models. A scalloped, ruffled-edge orange and blue printed dress was a show stopper, while male models sported reversible jackets, graphic print hoodies and at times, bare feet. Kasozi closed his show with a triumphant walk down the runway to great cheers and a standing ovation – well deserved for a man at his first show outside Africa, who started his fashion career as a young boy with a dream and a single issue of Vogue.

Reporting by Spindle’s Vancouver Fashion Week Correspondent Natalie Clark