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VFW: Day Five

Tuesday 25 September 2012
Words Spindle

The final night of Vancouver Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013 played to a full house, showcasing a Project Runway winner, Indian glamour, and a refreshing take on summer menswear.

Known for her win on Project Runway Season 8, New York-based Gretchen Jones strives to create pieces that are sophisticated, modern, and luxurious. A crowd favourite on Sunday night, Jones opened the show with a collection that was equal parts bohemian and architectural. Magenta chiffon heated up pale chartreuse, and deepest black intermingled with splashes of aqua, proving Jones is more than deserving of the cheers and accolades.


Second on the runway, Indian designer Sentimongla Aier mixes tradition with modern elegance. Her intricately beaded gowns were evidence of classic dressmaking prowess and an impeccable flair for detailing. A luminous yellow, single-sleeved gown with delicate ruching and quiet floral embellishment stood as a focal point in Aier’s showing.


The next designer captivated the crowd with her daring and exotic swimwear line. With bobble earrings, bows, and lots of ruffles, flame-haired Mexican designer Sofia Palmero knows how to apply cheeky details to great effect. One-pieces with side cut-outs and wrap-around tops, and bikinis with high-waisted bottoms, had all eyes on the diminutive designer’s vivid collection.


Daniella Villa has a penchant for the geometric line. Her evening wear collection featured deep-v necklines and complimentary peaked bodices. Stunning short dresses in rich satin played with draping and bead detail, while long, fitted-gowns featured broad shoulders for a refined inverted triangle silhouette. The Mexican designer finished her show with a walk down the runway, escorted by a model in a to-die-for black gown with brushed metal belt.


Farida Lalji brings a significant influence of her Muslim faith to her traditional Indian-inspired gowns. Contrasting edging, intricate beadwork, and sweeping sashes illustrate Lalji’s established talent for her craft. The Vancouver designer’s client list includes such notable local celebrities as Sarah McLachlan and former Miss World Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam.


Brazilian designer Solon Diego’s SODDI menswear collection brought vibrant colour and unique tailoring to the catwalk. Male models in crownless straw hats sported brilliant orange, yellow, and red shirts, shorts and trousers. Complemented with off-white pieces, one-sleeved shirts, and what can best be described as “skorts” with tie waists, provided a new spin on mens’ summer wear.


The second to last show, the Y!D.N.A. Collection by Andy Hoan Nguyen, combined edgy with sexy. The Canadian designer, the Grand Prize Winner of The Telio Design Competition in 2010, has mastered the little black dress. Leather panelling, chiffon skirting, and wide back zips, demonstrate Nguyen’s talent for precision construction. Red and gold patchwork trousers and blouses, multi-colour tye-dyed pieces, and a gold leaf military hat added a touch of panache to the collection.


The final show of VFW SS13 was that of George Bezhanishvili, set to dramatic electronic drum and bass. The American designer brought together ethnic diversity and contemporary technique to create his distinctive line of dresses and menswear. In muted earth tones with tiny touches of rich colour, Bezhanishvili’s creations can easily transition between the warm and cool months. The designer’s black, shimmery, kimono-style dress with high slit and floral sash was a perfect finale to a show that exemplified the international distinction of Vancouver Fashion Week.

Words by Spindle’s Vancouver Fashion Week Correspondent Natalie Clark