How-to: Radiant Skin for Big Events

I am a self professed skincare addict. So, while I’m planning my outfit for any big events, I’m always planning how to put my best face forward and set a good base for my makeup. Not sure how to get your skin camera ready in time? Fear not, I’ve got a list of tips and tricks that are guaranteed to give you the get-up-and-glow you need for the night!


Start Early

The thing about the delicate skin on your face is that it won’t usually take to a new routine immediately and, like a stubborn teenager, it may fight you a bit before it accepts that you’re trying to help it. With that in mind, don’t leave the dramatic changes until the night before an event. Take the time to start slowly introducing new products and routines weeks before the event, and always patch test before covering your whole face in something you’ve never used before.

If you’re planning on trying a new product or treatment in preparation for Strike Midnight (or any other event), do it at least a week before, to account for the possibility of an adverse reaction or redness/irritation that may occur. I always think that red is a great colour for lipstick, but not so much for my whole face.

Giving yourself a good cushion of time to slowly work up to the main event will help you avoid stressing your skin with too many treatments at once, which can end up backfiring and sending any facial problems into overdrive.


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Keep Up the Good Work

The event is fast approaching, so what’s next? First of all, give yourself a pat on your back for sitting through all of that. You have more patience than I do, and I salute you. After all that effort, you’ll want to make sure you keep reaping the rewards all the way up to Strike Midnight. A couple of days before the event, double down on your skincare routine, which should include cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising. Avoid foaming cleansers or products with sulfates, which strip away your skin’s natural moisture barrier and contribute to a dull complexion, undoing all your hard work.

You can help avoid breakouts by washing all your sheets, pillowcases, towels, and anything else that regularly comes in contact with your face and runs the risk of getting oily or covered in bacteria. If you do end up getting a couple of face demons, don’t panic. Just dab some tea tree oil on them and leave them overnight. By morning, they should be tamed!

This is also a good time to pluck or wax, so that you won’t have too much stubble by the time of the event, but you also won’t have any remaining bumps or irritation.


Treat Yourself the Night Before

Here comes the fun part. Now you just get to kick back and treat yourself to your very own at home spa treatments! Assuming you’ve followed the advice given above, your skin should already be in good shape for the following day. All that’s left now is to make sure it stays that way, by giving it a little extra boost.

I personally love doing a face mask or two before a night out. I find that my skin looks best the day after I do one, so that makes the night before an event the perfect time to put on a mask. I like to double up on my masks, to make the most of the benefits they provide depending on what the different areas of my face needs. For example, I have the worst pores in the world, so I usually apply a charcoal mask on my T-Zone (cheeks, nose, and between eyebrows). But, since charcoal masks can be drying and the rest of my face is really sensitive, I generally use a more soothing lavender based mask everywhere else, to combat redness and dry spots. It’s also a good idea to apply your mask right after showering, after the steam has prepped your face for you.

If you’re like me, you probably like to indulge in some junk food while treating yourself to a face mask. But, hard though it may be, I would recommend you set aside the salty snacks, which can contribute to water retention and bloating and leave you with puffy eyes in the morning.

Finally, after you’ve removed your face mask, make sure to follow up with a toner to lock in the goodness from your masks. After all that, have any early bedtime! You’ll wake up fresh faced and ready to party until midnight. Now, glow forth and conquer!

5 Fall Must-Haves from Local Shops

Fall is just around the corner, so it's probably time to get started on your fall wardrobe. Not sure where to start? We've curated a selection of great pieces from local businesses to kickstart your autumnal attire, and get you excited for the season. And if you like what you see, you'll know exactly where to find it! Simply add a mug of cider, and you're all set for the chilly months ahead. 


1. Makeup

Every great outfit needs great makeup to complete the look. We're loving the fall collection from Elate Cosmetics, and (bonus!) their whole line is toxin and cruelty free! Warm, rich colours like these bring the cozy you need on a cold and rainy day, and compliment a wide variety of skintones.

2. Dress

Cozy, minimal, and oh so sleek, this little number from Pink Martini (carried at Migration boutique) has it all. A simple but chic dress like this can be worn day or night, making it the perfect basic piece for a fall wardrobe. The neutral shade can be kept laid back with similar accessories, or work as the perfect backdrop for bolder ones.

3. Jewellery

Rich, deep gems and bright golds bring to mind the dark colours that adorn the leaves and trees. Decorate your fingers in the same style, with these dainty but dark rings from Little Gold.

4. Clutch

We're obsessed with this beauty from Ruth & Nelly Vintage! Handmade and lovely like your favourite cozy quilt, it doesn't get more autumnal than this gorgeous needlework. The red poppies are beautiful year round, but even more so when paired with the forest greens of fall.

5. jacket

How could we make a post about fall clothing without including a classic, gorgeous leather moto jacket? It's a staple in just about every closet for a reason; the structure and silhouette go with pretty much everything, from jeans and a t-shirt to a sparkly cocktail dress. This Mackage jacket from Meraki boutique is just begging for you to take it home.

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Everything You Need to Know About Open Casting Calls

Casting calls can be intimidating, whether it's your first or hundredth time going to one. So if you're not sure what to expect, or you just want to brush up on what to be prepared for, we've broken it down to make it a little less stressful.



When you're styling yourself for a casting call, make "less is more" your mantra. If you love wearing bold, bright colours and experimenting with makeup different trends in your day to day life, more power to you! But from a designer or casting director's point of view, they'll be looking for what you provide as a blank canvas who they can style as needed. For that reason, stick to minimal makeup that will enhance your features without distracting from them or going over the top. The idea is to give the potential client an idea of what they could do with your face, with no preconceived notions distracting from their vision. The same principle goes for hairstyling; keep it simple, and let your face do the talking. Wear your hair back, if possible, or at least off your face. Overall, make sure to show up well groomed in all aspects.


Basically the same idea. You want to be remembered for what you bring to the table, not the unusual outfit you were wearing. The client will want to be able to get an idea of how their clothes would look and fit on you, so you should wear something flattering and form fitting, but not skintight. Some good options for girls are a pair of mid or high rise skinny jeans, tank tops, leggings, or form fitting dresses. Guys can wear skinny jeans and a fitted tee or tank. Stick to neutral colours that don't distract from your face, and avoid branding and prints. For female models, good heels are essential. It's extremely important that the client is able to see how you walk in heels, as they're a staple for most runway shows or shoots.



For the most part, castings are usually pretty straight forward. You'll most likely be asked to demonstrate your walk (if it's for a runway show) and take a few test shots for later consideration. Make sure you bring your comp card, as well as any additional information or supplies mentioned in the briefing or casting call description. As a rule of thumb, it's always good to show up slightly ahead of time. This not only shows that you respect the designer or director's time, but it also may help you be seen sooner rather than later. Attitude is also extremely important, as with any job. Be polite, cheerful (but professional), and listen to any directions that you're given. Basically, treat it like a job interview. No employer wants to hire someone who doesn't seem like they're giving 100%, and the same goes for designers and casting directors. And finally, have fun! Don't be afraid to show your personality and make yourself stand out from the crowd. At the end of the day, you want to be memorable.


Interview w/ Sarah Runnalls

Long time no see, Victoria! Did you miss us? We're back and gearing up for new and exciting things here at VicFW. So if you missed our launch event, don't worry! Keep an eye on our social media for announcements on what's coming next, but until then, we have an exclusive interview with designer Sarah Runnalls to keep you going.


Sarah's collection was one of the standouts of the launch event, and has continued to garner attention long after the show has ended. At the event, there was a lot of chatter about the clothing she presented. We were delighted to hear that, according to Sarah, “I've gotten only really positive feedback from my spring line. It's the first collection I've done in a few years so it's really nice to be doing what I love and have people's support and interest in my work.” She has continued to see the positivity resulting from her hard work, saying “I've had several people ask to collaborate since the show for editorials and different types of shoots.” And, there's definitely no shortage of creative minds in and around Victoria for her to work with, as Sarah herself has noted. “I was surprised to see how many people there are in the fashion industry here in Victoria” she continues “whether it be designers or photographers or models, there are a bunch of people interested in fashion and it's nice to see we have that community here.”

So amongst all of these other creative people, what makes Sarah's garments stand out? For starters, everything is painstakingly handmade by Sarah herself, making each piece of clothing perfect down to the last detail. And with the clean lines and minimalist silhouettes that make up Sarah's collection, there's really no room for error. As with her spring/summer collection, we can expect a continuation of this aesthetic from her next showing. “Fall/winter is my favourite season to design for” says Sarah “so I've got some interesting plans for it. I'm going to stick with my minimalistic silhouettes but go heavy with textures and application.” Her delicate yet architectural style won over the hearts of VicFW attendees, so her next collection is sure to be another hit. But don't just take our word for it, head over to Sarah's Instagram (sarahrunnallscollection) to see for yourself. Or, keep an eye out for the launch of the website that's currently in the works, since she has “mostly been working on the online side of [her] business, getting a proper website up and running and stuff like that.“


We are really looking forward to seeing what Sarah Runnalls comes up with next, after the killer show she put on at the VicFW launch. Her fresh, modern take on design is sure to impress, and we'll be keeping a close watch on what she debuts this fall. Do you have a favourite piece from her collection? Or maybe you're just dying to own one of her designs? Sarah's pieces are available to purchase from her Etsy storefront, srunnallscollection.


The Models of Victoria Fashion Week


You've already heard all about our amazing designers, so you're no doubt excited for our upcoming runway show. And we couldn't have a runway without models! We've brought together a fantastic, diverse group of guys and girls to present the clothing and make the show truly memorable. But our models are more than just pretty faces (though they're definitely that too), so we'd like you to get to know the process behind getting runway ready, and to find out a little more about some of our models.

Models Tyna Kottova, Lexi Redman and Katherine Slingsby at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Models Tyna Kottova, Lexi Redman and Katherine Slingsby at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Speaking of pretty faces, one step in getting ready for the big night is taking care of your skin in the weeks ahead of the show. Many of our models are using products from Lush to pamper their skin (Ocean Salt has been a favourite), and toxin-free cosmetics from one of our sponsors, Elate Cosmetics. As well as using products from Elate, one of our models, Emily Mann, takes care of her skin by promptly removing any makeup as soon as she gets home, to give her skin a chance to breathe and replenish itself.

Models Geneva Frampton, Sunny Duggal and Alicia Maclaren at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Models Geneva Frampton, Sunny Duggal and Alicia Maclaren at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Equally as important as a model's face is his or her walk, and it's one of the things we really looked for when booking for the show. Since not everyone is born with a strut like Karlie Kloss, model Melissa Smith (@canadiancurlista) has been improving on her already great walk by watching videos on how to amp up her stride. As well as this, she's been working on giving face in preparation for the launch event. But luckily, she's already had plenty of practice after being featured in one of our promo photos leading up to the event, as well as acting as a stand in for a TV show.

Models Sophia Dishaw, Hannah Morrison and Vanessa Prescott at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

Models Sophia Dishaw, Hannah Morrison and Vanessa Prescott at the Victoria Fashion Week VIP Launch Party. Photo by Gregory Forsberg.

If you'd like to catch either Emily or Melissa, make sure to get your launch event tickets fast! Emily will be walking for Paradise boutique, Covet +Keep, and Sarah Runnalls, while Melissa will be walking for Ola Dubois, Nikki Babie, Teresa Lindsay, and Leisure.

VicFW Designer Spotlight: Dee Ellis


Clothier, trained chef, and blacksmith, Dee Ellis is a designer who literally has cutting edge style. Dee creates fashionable chef's garments as well as artisan kitchen knives, and of course his fashion label, Dellis, that he'll be presenting at VFW. Though this is his first runway show, he's already built an impressive portfolio of versatile pieces that are perfect for the modern man, including some garments which can transition into women's wear. As an up and coming designer, Dee will definitely be one to watch, and we know you'll be just as impressed with his collection as we are. So, we sat down with him to find out more about what we can expect to see from his debut show.

Model: Joseph Ephraim  |  Designer: Dee Ellis|  Photography: Al Smith

Model: Joseph Ephraim  |  Designer: Dee Ellis|  Photography: Al Smith

1. What makes you stand out as a designer?

With this fashion show, the most obvious difference is that I think I might be the only male designer and with a masculine menswear line. I've designed some women's clothes before but menswear is my strength. I use almost exclusively black fabrics and I think people will definitely be able to attribute my designs to my own personal style when they see me. I love experimenting with layering different lengths of black from shirts to the jacket.

2. Since this is your first show, what are you most looking forward to about it?

I'm looking forward to seeing my designs come to life and how they look on actual people! The experience is going to be great, as well as the feedback.

Model: Joseph Ephraim  |  Designer: Dee Ellis|  Photography: Al Smith

Model: Joseph Ephraim  |  Designer: Dee Ellis|  Photography: Al Smith

3. What do you draw inspiration from?

I like to think of how work wear can be reimagined into everyday wear, and how regular clothes can be made unique by creating them in unpredictable sizes or lengths.

4. What type of person do you design for, if any in particular?

I design for myself, to be honest. "If I wouldn't wear it, I'm not going to make it."

Modern & Luxurious High Fashion at #VicFW


Modern, high fashion garments have been a staple on the runways of Fashion Week events across the globe, especially in recent years. These are styles that are a step above casual wear, but are still wearable enough to transition into the wardrobe of the working professional or well-dressed fashion lover. With an ever increasing demand for these pieces, our next designers have risen to the challenge of providing them. And not only have they designed these high fashion looks, they've also constructed them right here in British Columbia, making use of exquisite textiles and meticulous tailoring.

This flowing, luxurious dress was designed by Leisure right here in Victoria.

This flowing, luxurious dress was designed by Leisure right here in Victoria.

Manufactured right here in Victoria, Leisure embodies the elegantly streamlined, contemporary look of the modern woman. With designs that are hand crafted and painstakingly fitted, their garments are a fresh and versatile take on classic pieces which can find their home on any runway, or in any wardrobe. Their use of subtle prints, timeless colours, and high quality textiles adds the finishing touches to their thoughtfully constructed line of women's wear. Leisure's Spring/Summer 2017 collection includes dresses of all lengths, ranging from formal to casual, as well as tops and jackets. Their line is accented with delicate buttons, pleating, and feminine bows.

Luxury meets style and comfort with Oxford, designed and fabricated in YYJ.

Luxury meets style and comfort with Oxford, designed and fabricated in YYJ.

Oxford is for your not-so-basic basics. Their signature unisex line presents garments which focus on classic construction that lets the fabrics (natural fibres including Japanese cottons and Italian leathers, among others) shine through. Also a part of their line is minimalist jewelry made with semi-precious materials, as well as leather goods, all of which are made locally in British Columbia. Oxford's aesthetic is clean, modern lines, impeccable fit, and effortless cool. This will be reflected in the collection they bring to the Victoria Fashion Week runway, with beautifully made and perfectly styled clothing and accessories that are just begging to join your wardrobe.

Handcrafted Jewelry at VicFW


Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but honestly, isn't all jewelry? We here at Victoria Fashion Week certainly think so, which is why we'll be featuring talented local jewelers as well as clothing labels. These collections are meticulously designed and crafted, with concepts that are sure to make them stand out on the runway. So without further ado, we'd like to introduce you to the designers who you'll be giving your next paycheck to.

Covet + Keep

Covet + Keep

Covet + Keep is a line of jewelry that's more than just an accessory to your outfit; it will be the focal point of your outfit. Designed by Elea Plastino, each handmade piece features a word or a phrase written in braille, made from sterling silver, brass, steel, or white bronze. The inspiration behind this unique concept came from a situation that is just as unconventional. It all started on an elevator- Elea was having a bad day, and she was looking at the Braille on the buttons and in that moment realized that she could express the message that she desperately wanted to express without having to say a word. It wasn't until years later, after working as a fashion editor overseas and eventually moving back to Victoria, where she lost an unfulfilling job as a bookkeeper, that Elea decided to chase her happiness from that point forth. She revisited that moment in the elevator, and Covet + Keep was born. Elea will be showing her newest collection, The Other “F” Word, Feminism, which is a mix of edgy and softer pieces inspired by girl power, the feminist movement, and the need to reclaim words that are often used against us as women.

Shannon Munro

Shannon Munro

Also here to add the finishing touches to your ensemble is Shannon Munro, with delicate jewelry inspired by the natural beauty of the west coast, romance, and mystery. Each piece is unique and handcrafted, with small inconsistencies that add a personal touch and ensure that every item is as unique as the wearer it's meant for. Made and conceptualized in her home studio in Victoria, Shannon's love affair with the city is evident in the floral motifs and delicately curved shapes in her designs, and the laid back but elegant feel that is shared by the jewelry and the city both. Shannon uses high end metals throughout her collection, as well as vibrant gems in some pieces. Whether you need a statement necklace to pair with a cocktail dress, or a subtle ring for daily wear, you're sure to find the right piece in the Shannon Munro line.