Tuesday was opening night of Vancouver International Fashion Week, the event that sees over 20,000 style-minded attendees. This year, we were excited to head to the Chinese Cultural Centre to meet and mingle with some of the industry's up and comers from fashion capitals across the world, find out who should be on our radar, and get inspired to clean out our closets. Here's who caught our eye opening night.
This Canadian born, Italian expat trained under the likes of Michael Kors and Valentino. Their influence shows in her fashion-forward summer 2013 collection, which incorporates a mix of fresh cottons and crisp linens in her elegant blouses, wrap dresses and flowing skirts. The look is sophisticated Euro / beach vibe. Essentially, the kind of clothes you'd want to wear on a beach in Venice. Fake it till you make it, right?
This Melbourne based designer injects an avant-garde spirit into her designs, with positive results. With her Project Runway win in 2012, the 22 year old designer's career is just heating up. Exie combines a variety of textures (think stiff latex and drapey cottons), silhouettes, patterns, and out-there accessories (mesh visors were popular in her 2014 collection) for a collection Gaga would dig. Her inspirations? Sci-fi and films like The Matrix. Keep and eye on this forward-thinking young artist.
Chen has lived and worked in England, China and Montreal and Vancouver, and the multi cultural influence comes through in her work. A self proclaimed fashion artist, Chen's signature style is self described as "classic euro-chic with modern chinoiserie." What does that look like? Elegant and dramatic evening gowns in casual jersey fabrics, bold red pantsuits with sliced open backs, and booty shorts paired with blazers – and Chen actually manages to make booty shorts look elegant.
Castro's loyalty to local artisans in Peru sets him apart from other up and coming designers. Perhaps the most experimental designer showcased on opening night, Castro uses natural fibres like native cotton alpaca and sheeps wool to bring his desins to life. It's clear he's got a thing for the female form – a naked female silhouette kept popping up in his clothes and his introduction video.
According to Vancouver-born designer Stephanie Hung, the Nina Tan woman is feminine and a confident beauty, a busy young working executive who is looking for outfits versatile enough to transform from office chic to evening glamour. In other words, her line caters to your tastes from work to cocktail hour. Think Adele inspired wrap and babydroll dresses and rompers.