The fourth day of Vancouver Fashion Week was an absolute juxtaposition of design. The Spring/Summer 2018 collection from Evan Clayton celebrated fetish wear in vinyl primary colours with chaps that freed the butt cheek. The models ruled the runway, in very little, while the Icky Blossoms song “Sex to the Devil” blasted at high volume.
Following the dark and highly sexualized display was Atlanta, Georgia designer (and proud Christian) Caroline Ann. The collection was bright and filled with 60’s inspired adornments in shapes such as gold pinwheels and large, iridescent sequins. The dresses were cut in an emphatic A-line; a very wearable look for all body types.
Like Evan Clayton, Parsons School of Design Graduate Taranjit Cheema, of TKC Design Inc., had her models strutting down the catwalk with skin exposed. Cheema showed her line of delicate yet tastefully embellished South Asian-inspired bridal lingerie. However, Cheema’s red body suit is very wearable for an evening on the town; paired with a pair of vintage 501’s, one would have created an alluring yet approachable ensemble.
Mexican designer Monica Xerrano put together a lively collection filled with color and detailing with a definite Latin vibe and very Connecticut-preppy clean lines. The best way to describe her aesthetic is a marriage of Tory Burch and Mexican arts and crafts. At the end of her show, the models froze and raised one fist in the air for solidarity. Whether this was an act of defiance against the Trump-proposed wall dividing the United States and Mexico or a nod to the feminist movement wasn’t clarified. However, a designer taking a firm political stance against oppression of any kind is welcoming and refreshing.
Easily the highlight of the evening was the crop of fresh talent from the fashion design programme at LaSalle College. Danny Jong-Won Lee wowed the audience with 70’s-meets-Monse raw denim looks that were cutting-edge and well-constructed. The venue was heartwarmingly filled with friends and family of the LaSalle designers who boisterously celebrated each student’s triumphant debut.
The show was rounded out by Japanese label Kemono and their Asiatic yet sugary sweet aesthetic that was straight out of a Yayoi Kusama retrospective with its heavy use of the polka dot. Boasting voluminous sleeves and oversized skirts, Kemono’s pieces are not for the wallflower; they command attention, and yet have a Lolita innocence about them.
The night closed with London by way of South Korea designer Inae Sung’s label OLOH. Like Lee, OLOH looked to medium blue denim as the fabric of choice for most of the collection. While not groundbreaking couture, OLOH kept things wearable with lightweight culottes and ruffled cropped jackets.
The night was sexually charged at times and squeaky clean for others. There were nipples and thongs, then ruffles and long skirts minutes later. It made for an adventurous ride and I am anxious to see where each of the labels will go from here with an eye especially kept out for the LaSalle College students. Let’s make Vancouver fashion waves!