Vancouver Fashion Week kicked off Tuesday night, and the runway flowed with eveningwear and empress gowns as the Italian Chamber of Commerce hosted opening night at the Westin Bayshore.
Showcasing Italy’s emerging designers were Il Karato’s jewellery collection, Elena Vera Stella’s eveningwear and Giusari White Revolution’s wedding gowns and denim line.
Strapless and long-flowing gowns ruled the show, from princess silhouettes to layered chiffon and shimmering accents of silver and gold. Contrasting textures like lace and faux fur, cinched waists and jewel-encrusted bustiers were seen in the Elena Vera Stella and White Revolution collections.
“We have a number of established designers presenting this year,” says Jamal Abdourahman, the producer of Vancouver Fashion Week. “International designers from emerging to established are showing this season and it will be a diverse group of designers.”
Each evening will be themed and the line-up this season includes eco-friendly, contemporary, aboriginal and street wear. Tonight will feature a show with all South Asian models and Friday has a segment called Night in Taipei, with the debut of Taiwanese-born, Vancouver-raised Angela Chen’s highly anticipated Orange label collection.
“For this season, my whole collection is based on black and white,” says Chen. “It’s my black and white group. It’s a very clean-cut collection. It’s all about silhouette, the flowiness of the fabric — the shape of the fabric.”
“I went to the fabric store and I saw the black-and-white striped fabric and I just loved it, and I basically designed my line around it. It’s just really me. The whole collection is really what I would wear.”
Having spent many years in the cities of Vancouver, New York and Taiwan, Chen says all three places have an influence on her understated designs.
The show will feature 13 outfits — her first complete collection.
“My aesthetic is minimalism with a little bit of a feminine touch to it,” she says. “I think my clothing is very Zen. The subtle details, the shapes — everything is just really quiet.”
She says women these days take good care of themselves, allowing them to have a range of fashion choices. She says her contemporary designs are simply, for modern women.
“It’s for all women who feel comfortable and confident wearing them.”
Acclaimed Canadian designer Paul Hardy will be showing his spring/summer 2010 collection on Saturday, inspired by the juxtaposition of the masculine and feminine. Layered, draping and unshapely silhouettes are paired with sharply tailored garments this season.