Thursday, September 24, 2009
Kelsey Macintyre, a Marvel College grad, showed a very sophisticated collection. It was perfect for any fashion-forward business woman who favours high waisted trousers and pencil skirts. Her collection was another that used a lot of blacks, greys, and off-whites. She used splashes of green to liven up her collection. McIntyre also showed her Spring 2010 collection which used a pastel colour palette and tons of sheer fabrics. The high-waited theme continued into this show as well. Her line is currently available for purchase at Nokomis.
Laura Dredger used leopard prints, and exaggerated collars to separate herself on the runway and did so quite well. Many of the jackets in her collection were built with a cape. This addition was a modern touch and worked well within her line. After the intermission, real magic happened on the runway.
Lani Van Rooyen showed a collection of stunning gowns with ruffles, lace, corsets and tie-up backs. Most of the dresses were in black and white except for one full skirted gown which was a vibrant red, and an obvious crowd pleaser. My favourite dress was a short white dress with a long almost sheer train which floated behind the model as if it were suspended in the air as the model walked the runway. This collection was also a fan of the backless, or cut-out backed dress. More information about Rooyan is available online on her website http://www.rooycouture.com/.
Jason Matlo finished the show, and after last season's stunning presence he had to deal with a lot of high expectations. My dealing with them, I mean exceeding them. Firstly, Matlo showed his Babe line which is a little bit more credit card friendly. I saw a lot of one shouldered dresses, and solid prints. This part of his collection was sassy, yet simple. When he began to send out the models sporting his Spring 2010 collection, my jaw nearly dropped. With plunging necklines, pencil skirts, and LOTS of sequence, there was surely good reason .Linsay from Canada's Next Top Model also made an appearance in the collection. A few pieced that stuck out in my head were a zebra-print blazer a Tina- Turner inspired short black fully-sequenced garment, and a beautiful silver fully-sequenced floor-length gown. The entire line was simple, sophisticated, and sexy. Evidently, it was for women who like to be noticed; scratch that...who LOVE being noticed. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next! Well that's all folks! Thank you for checking out my blog and keeping up with me as I ventured to all of Edmonton Fashion Week's shows. I really do hope, you have enjoyed it as much as I have. On another note, I’d like to congratulate all of the participating designers and most importantly Edmonton local designers. They've really been making an effort to enhance Edmonton's fashion industry and create events like this one. Designers are vital to the show and they deserve a HUGE thank you. Keep checking back for more fashion updates in the future.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Next, a very pregnant Cherie Cruz sent out her models wearing her neutrally or earthy toned clothing line. Something is to be said for beauty in simplicity. Cruz's line was anything but boring, but the craftsmanship and construction of the clothing was impeccable, and made the line truly stand out regardless of colour.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Another great designer tonight was Elisa Troung with her collection of corsetry Sweet Carousel. The corsets were so tight and well-fitted they looked like body armour. There was a corset for every occasion and fantasy from French maids, to dominatrix, and everything in between. The show felt like 'Moulin Rouge' but with Kat Von D from Miami Ink modelling. A surprising afterthought was announced after the show, mentioning that the models did their own make-up for the event. Way to go ladies!
Mystery Girl by Amber Leask also had a well put together collection. She used a lot of plaids, a lot of colour and a lot of collar. The collars were often emphasized in her modern punk schoolgirl style. One particular detail I was intrigued by was Leask's use of a standard yellow measuring tape as a belt. It was innovative and definitely noticeable. Her line is currently available for purchase at Planet Ze Design Centre off Whyte Avenue.
Natasha Lazarovic showed her Temna Fialka collection again tonight at EFW. The pieces in this collection differed from Saturday night's show. This collection was Indian-inspired and played with a lot of pleating, tiering, and draping. The line was interesting because of its fine details and embellishments. It was truly a beautiful collection.
Cherie Howard, and Kassy Theisen also showed their collections this evening and both did a wonderful job. Howard's line was quite gothic in my opinion and very racy with all the sheer fabrics and sky-high slits. Theisen's emphasized shine in her collection, using a lot of silks, and what looked like a taffeta-type material.
www.edmontonjournal.com/EFW has updated it's photo galleries and now everyone can SEE the collections and garments I've been writing about for the past 6 days! Definitely check out the Joeffer Coac gallery, Fantasy hair and make-up gallery, and Michael Kaye's gown gallery!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Phoenix Renewal Spa also put on a little make-up show of their own, and thought they would include a lesson in skin care, and skin cancer while they were at it. This production was aimed to show the progression of skin cancer until the patient dies. The show was entitled 'Dying for Beauty'.
(Left: This was stage 4 of the progression, and it is evident that the model has been tanning excessively and is well on her way to full-fledged skin cancer)
(Below: Model Agnieszka Wajda-Plytta is stage 6 of 7 of the progression of skin cancer, she has legions and cancerous moles on her face. The last stage after this was death.)
Below is a picture of Agnieszka and I after theshow (note the detail of makeup that was layered onto her skin).
I love that Phoenix Renewal Spa took this opportunity to show their talent with make-up as well as spread the word about proper skin care that has the potential to save lives. It was a wonderfully thought out concept and the models did the show plenty of justice.
Overall, the night was a success, even with the small 50-some person crowd. Tomorrow evening will be back to traditional runway with clothing designers like Shahidah's Posta Couture, and Amber Leask's Mystery Girl.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Immediately after a gentleman named Blouty (pronounced Bloo-TAY) showed his collection. He was given this opportunity through iHuman. This is an organization that works with high-risk youth and gets them involved in the arts and assists them with daily life skills development. The collection shown had a very urban hip-hop type theme. Denim, neon and metallic fabrics were among the most memorable pieces, along with some graphic tees and barely-there skirts. The entire collection flowed together and was extremely well presented on the runway. I'd like to point out that this is yet another way that Edmonton Fashion Week supports local talent regardless of what background that talent comes from.
Eveline Charles Academy was first of four salons to strut their hairstyling skills for the audience. They entitled their show 'Love Gone Wrong'. I got the full storyline from one of the models after the show; the story starts with the first set of models who walked to light lovey-dovey music, and were meant to portray the happiness that comes with love and perfection. The most common style in this set was the heavy bangs and an abundance of bobs. The last two models in this first set were then about to leave the runway together (arm-in-arm) when the music quickly changes and the 'best friend' of the female model walks out and separates them because the male model was actually her boyfriend (As I'm writing this I realize how much this sounds like either a soap opera or a high school catfight). Anyways, at this point the music changes, the haircuts become harsher, the eye make-up gets heavier, and the hopeless romantic turns into a superbitch. This set of models walked with more attitude and the hair was styled to match. The final set of models represented the situation where the bad boyfriend tries to get back with the ex-girlfriend who caught him cheating. The entire showcase flowed amazingly, and the hair looked awesome. There was a lot of dark hair colours, a lot of bangs, and a lot of volume - perfectly suited for the Fall/Winter season.
Marvel College then presented their styles and, similar to Eveline Charles, the models had edgy punk styling, but the cuts were a lot softer. There was tons of asymmetrical styles, frizzy curls and crimps, and a few splashes of colour. I also noticed quite a bit of braids and twists in this showcase.
Next - and my personal favourite of the night - was Salon Montage. Their show was presented as a circus show in four different acts. The first act was a ring master and his jungle cats. The girls who represented the wild animals in fact had wild hair with a lot of frizz and brushed out curls. Act 2 started off with a man shaking his booty up and down the runway and had the entire crowd buzzing with laughter and cat calls. The girls who walked the runway in this act were like Barbie doll clowns or marionettes. Tons of volume and curls again in this show and a particular style that used fuzzy pom pom balls that are often used in craft projects pinned on one side of the models head. Her hair was swept all to one side, and was a big beautiful mess of brushed out curls. I am legitimately going to try this look on myself in the very near future. Act 3 used a lot of the same styles but the girls portrayed acrobats and did a little dancer number with hula-hoops before the start of the final act. The final act was like a masquerade ball or burlesque dancers with once again the frizzed-out curls loosely pinned for some effortlessly chic updo’s. I absolutely loved the way this show was put together, and would see it again in a heartbeat.
Blue Gemini then began their presentation and followed suit with a showing of a lot of curls, braids, faux hawks. Two models were partially styled on the stage while the other models put on the show. It was great to see how the styles were put together and experimented with.
Ricci Hair Co. was last to present and was by far the most avant-garde showcase of the night. Their collection of styles was called Villains. To me the intentionally expressionless models, who had their entire faces and necks painted black, looked like sad defeated villains, especially with the slow music and pace of the models. The hair mixed huge volume with sleek elements and avoided symmetry like it was the plague. Another guest sitting near me during the show mentioned that this showcase was by far his favourite of the night.
The night ended with an arial ballet routine performed by Meghan Watson of Firefly Theatre which thoroughly impressed whatever audience that remained.
Tomorrow's show should be just as exciting with the Fantasy Hair and Make-up competitions and a perfect extension of today's showcases. I look forward to it!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
“If you want to create an industry in a town that there isn’t really an industry you’ve got to start at the beginning which is creating some designers,” Said Fernandes. “Designers were graduating from school and there was no place for them to show their collections.”
The contest began about five years ago and has given winners over $5000 worth of prizes in hopes of moving them closer to their goals of becoming renowned fashion designers.
Every show a winner is given $500 cash, a scholarship to Marvel College, a make-up and hair artist for a photo shoot of their collection for up to 10 models, and an Edmonton fashion week presentation to show a full 10-peice collection at the following show.
Past winners have gone on to create a line of clothing, open up boutiques, or to continue their design education.
The variety in today's shows was immense. In fact, today alone I’ve seen butterfly prints, floral prints, lace, paisley prints, every colour possible, and even Nazila Couture's signature Indian-inspired looks. Once again, the designers showed a lot of creativity and skill tonight and they deserve Edmonton’s praise for their hard work.
Carla Miranda started the show off strong with a small collection of loose-fitting garments in a very warm colour palette. Each piece was accessorized with gold chains and platform gladiator stilettos. The collection was full of lustre and definitely did not disappoint. Also, there were a few pieces with similar low, or cutaway backs that were present in last evening's college showcase.
Lisa-Marie Sciroli's line Hotsy Totsy came on next with a total of 20 girls wearing fabulous cocktail dresses great for any occasion apart from one risky number that showed a little too much butt for my liking. Most of the dresses used a fitted bodice style on top and volume in the skirt. The colour palette was much cooler in this collection as it used some deep purples, reds, and blues. Once again, a lot of shine was incorporated by using silks and satins in the design. Overall, I thought the dresses were very well put together, and there was a dress to suit every figure. I was alone with this opinion though; the crowd around me couldn't stop chatting about their favourite pieces from this line all night.
Andeo Hats and Sabrina Butterfly paired up and presented a very modest runway show with an interesting concept. The girls looked like they were fresh off the boat (so-to-speak) luggage still in hand after a long trip from England to America in the 1930's. The silhouettes were timeless and the colours used like black, grey maroon, and even a pale lime green will never go out of style. All the garments looked soft and appeared to be warm, but only time and our Edmontonian winters will determine their ability to hold in heat for the next 5-6 months. The hats followed the same sort of theme, and also included a few bows and feathers.
(*Here is a blog post I found written by Sabrina about her first runway experience at EFW... pretty neat!)
My Secret by Rebecka Pichoch stormed the runway immediately after and was the polar opposite of Sabrina Butterfly's designs. The best way to describe her collection was a hot mess. There were quite a few backless numbers and a bit of play with patterns and colour. The amount of fray (intentional... I hope) became distracting at points and left me wondering with some pieces were actually designed to have such an abundance of loose threads hanging out in various places. At the same time, this added to the sort-of grunge appeal that the collection had in my opinion.
Nazila Couture then opened their show with a Bollywood dance routine which I think we all can appreciate more thanks to the production of Slumdog Millionaire and So You Think You Can Dance. I have to say the two young girls who walked out onto the runway to join the Bollywood dancer who wearing traditional Indian swag must have felt like little Princess Jasmines. The show continued with some fun BCBG outfits, including an amazing grey metallic maxi dress cinched at the waist with an embellished gold belt. The show also included some tailored suits which accentuated a woman’s natural curves, along with a few traditional Indian gowns which breathed tons of colour into the show.
Wanted was the next collection to walk the runway. This line used solid colours, and gold accents to draw in focus. Every colour from green to tan to orange to pink was used in this collection alone.
Joeffer Caoc from Toronto was the last to show his collection today, and perhaps was the most modest of all the collections shown all evening. His collection included metallic jackets, tailored calf-length dress pants, and draped jersey dresses. Most of the jackets, and skirts fell past the knees left a lot to the imagination. His line was centred around simplicity and managed to be effortlessly chic. The only pieces I probably won’t see being worn around were the ones made out of a plastic-type material and sounded kind-of like a walking around wearing a garbage bag. Beautiful pieces, but they made horrible sounds. Caoc’s line is available at My Filosophy located on Whyte Avenue.
So, keep your eyes out for these trends in upcoming shows:
- Gold: Gold chains, gold fabrics, gold accents, etc... I’ve seen it all already and the question of its prominence in this season’s EFW has yet to be determined.
- Shine: Whether it is a metallic jacket or the use of silks and satins EFW is lusting over lustre.
- Backless: I’m thrilled to see this style popping up 2 nights in a row now, and I have a strong suspicion that its presence will continue in the coming week.
Be sure to check out www.edmontonjournal.com/EFW for other articles related to Edmonton Fashion Week and galleries from the week’s events.
As always, let me know if you have been noticing any other repeating trends at EFW this season!
Friday, September 18, 2009
- Purple. It seemed to be the colour of the night as about 5 designers included it in their collection's colour palettes. It looked beautiful on the runway and stood out.
- Low/Cut-out Backs. (They're bringing sexy BACK). Perhaps the designers ran out of fabric, or gave up, but I loved it nonetheless. This is not a new trend, but it still looks great. There were about 7 dresses and tops which emphasized the beauty of a woman's backside.
- Paisley. The pattern that never dies, came back again. I saw it in at least 2 collections, and it actually looked good. Personally, I'm not a huge fan, but the pieces looked cute and even feminine.
- Silks and Satins. Every fashion magazine has noted that shine is "in", and I think these designers got the message. These fabrics had a huge presence on the runway, and made some big impressions on the crowd.
Some other trends that were repeated over the night were big bows, and the colour gold.
I'd like to point out a few designers which I really enjoyed, and would definitely enjoy seeing again. Frank Yen Kan Lan for instance had an amazing collection. The colours he used like deep reds, and oranges were perfect for the Fall/Winter season and his whole concept was tied together by an equestrian theme as the girls rocked the runway carrying whips. The collection was extremely wearable, and beautifully detailed.
Another impressive collection was Gabriela Cruz's collection GABI. She used a black, white, and royal blue colour palette and added an edge to her designs through zippers, fray, and PVC - a vinyl-type fabric. One dress in particular is impossible to forget; it was a beautiful white tiered dress cinched at the waist by a thick black belt and a shiny zipper at the back of the dress completed the look.
And who could forget Sid Neigum's collection. It was the final collection of the night and it also happened to be the edgiest. It was evident that Neigum had a vision and concept for this collection and carried it out very well. Although the collection isn't totally a ready-to-wear one, it was aimed to have a gothic appeal. There was an abundance of astrologic signs, and asymmetric patterns that almost resembled optical illusions. He stuck with the basics colours of black and white but the clothing was anything but basic. For example, a one-piece checkered jumpsuit which was not designed for the timid; it was the epitome of peacocking, and it was brilliant.
For pictures from Edmonton Fashion Week's opening night check www.edmontonjournal.com/EFW They will be posting photos and galleries all week!
What did you think of Opening Night? Any favourite pieces?
Let me know!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tonight is the official first night of Edmonton Fashion Week at the TransAlta Barns just off Whyte ave. The show will focus on Marvel College Designers like Gabriella Cruz, and Jon Neigum. I think it will be interesting to see where fashion is heading for the upcoming season from viewpoints these college designers. Best of luck to them!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Some of the things I'm really looking forward to:
- Jason Matlo's new lower-priced line called Babe which will be shown on the final night of Edmonton Fashion Week Thursday September 24. After his impressive show in April during fashion week, I'm not expecting any sort of disappointments.
- Make-up competitions. People always seem to forget that make-up, and beauty play a huge role in our daily lives, and often encourage what clothes we put on. I love seeing the eccentric make-up that if I ever tried to pull-off at school, I would presumably fail miserably.
- Sessa Wearables. Tressa Heckbert and whatever team she works with have come up with some great concepts in the past. I'm excited to see what this show will bring.
Recessions have been known to increase people’s desire to drink, decrease people’s desire for sex, but have not really affected Edmontonian’s desire to shop.
While some high end designers like Chanel, and Lela Rose are cutting back on staff and models, a dip in sales is barely noticed by business owners here in Edmonton.
Edmonton-born Jessica Halabi has been selling her custom designs online for about a year now and has not noticed a huge difference in sales or in the interest for her products. She is pleased with amount of interest people are showing in her work in a city that is not known for its fashion industry.
“In Edmonton we are only known for oil and gas so fashion is not at all popular here,” said Halabi. “It’s important for me to make a statement and to get out there and to have people realize that fashion can be known in Edmonton.”
Halabi earned the title of best Emerging Designer in 2007 during Edmonton Fashion Week, and has since started a custom clothing line simply named “Jessica Halabi Fashions”.
Currently, a custom designed and tailored jean jacket with unique detailing may cost just over $125 while a tailored woollen winter jacket can cost upwards of $400.
Though her work is only available online at the moment, her future plans include retailing her clothing in stores across Canada and eventually opening up a boutique which will exclusively sell this line.
Historically, fashion during periods of economic hardship becomes more conservative. Colours like black and grey become more popular and hem-lines drop. According to www.fashion-templates.com, during the “Roaring Twenties” women known as flappers wore short colourful dresses, but after the stock market crash which propelled the Great Depression, skirts and dresses dropped down to the ankles.
Fashion historian Julia Petrov from the University of Alberta said that during the Great Depression women cut down their spending out of necessity, and during the war, some women were forced by government to ration their money.
She added that because this was the situation decades ago does not mean the same thing will happen again.
“The last time there was a Great Depression, the fashion industry worked very differently than it does today,” said Petrov. “More production was based in North America and Europe, and more people had the resources to make their own clothes. In our new global corporate economy the results of an economic downturn might be unexpected and far-reaching.”
Today, terms like “recession-chic” and “recessionista” are popping up in fashion magazines and blogs everywhere. Even French cosmetic company Bourjois began promoting the brand’s cheapest mascara and lip glosses as “the Recessionista Collection,” an antidote to gloom.
Vogue Magazine has most recently reported that Doo Ri announced plans to launch a second, less expensive line for the Autumn/Fall season of 2009. This action is similar to Donna Karen’s second line, DKNY, which was revealed shortly after the stock market crash in 1987 – also aimed at middle class women who cannot afford the original line’s items.
Twenty-two year old Katrina Webber labels herself as a bargain hunter, but still manages to spend about $300 per month on clothing. She doesn’t plan on changing her spending habits with the looming economic downturn either.
She says that because of all the sales which are trying to make up for the lack of interest right now she is buying more clothes than usual. However Webber agrees that that people may definitely make the decision to splurge on a beautiful black dress as opposed to a beautiful neon orange dress.
“Black is timeless and always in style so there is more sense spending your money on a little black dress especially when there isn’t a lot of money to spend in the beginning.”
People won’t forfeit looking good because of situations like these, but they will find way to spend less, Webber added.
“I don’t think that the image of high fashion will be sacrificed just because people will not have the extra dollars to spend on high quality designer names,” said Webber. “These people may still dress a sort of “high-fashion” minus the sky-high price tags and diamond bracelets. Maybe people will rely on inexpensive accessories to enhance their wardrobe. “
Webber says that the best places to find inexpensive clothing and accessories are places like Winners, H&M, and – most importantly – Value Village.
“If you have a good two hours, loads of patience, and enjoy sifting through incredibly large racks you can definitely find hidden gems in the place,” said Webber. “I once purchased a beautiful leather jacket for only $20 and I still wear it around today.”
And while Webber’s closet is slowly forcing its way to other parts of her room because of the sheer volume of dresses, jackets and T-shirts which have accumulated over the years, she doesn’t expect her collection to stop growing; nor do our local designers expect to stop designing.