The Models of Victoria Fashion Week

BY EMMA NEWTON @EMM.BELLISH

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

BY EMMA NEWTON @EMM.BELLISH

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

BY EMMA NEWTON @EMM.BELLISH

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

BY EMMA NEWTON @EMM.BELLISH

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.

 

Wearable Fashion on the Victoria Fashion Week Runway

At VicFW, we're proud to be presenting a diverse runway. Part of that diversity is including not only high fashion clothing, but also local ready-to-wear labels. We want you to get excited about the spectacular clothes you see, and then get even more excited to actually be able to wear them! The designers in this article all have totally unique styles and approaches to fashion, but what they have in common is garments that can easily transition from runway to daily wear.

An array of dresses by Ola Dubois

An array of dresses by Ola Dubois

Our first designer knows the world of Victoria boutiques inside and out. Having owned Paradise Boutique from 2004 to 2016, Dani Dubois has been immersed in the world of fashion for years. Her mother, Annie, has designed Paradise's swimsuit line since Dani was 12 years old, and made clothing for her and her sisters growing up. But it wasn't until the sale of Paradise Boutique that Dani's “side passion product”, Ola Dubois, became her main focus. Since then it has blossomed into a full time job, with sustainability and individuality being the driving forces behind the line. Dani looks towards to the future of a sustainable fashion industry, while being inspired by the retro aesthetic of the 50's, 60's, and 70's, creating unique and one of a kind pieces that, in her own words, make you feel a little more “you” when you wear them.

Local and direct trade clothing from Migration Boutique

Local and direct trade clothing from Migration Boutique

Also well known in the Victoria fashion scene is Migration Boutique (formerly Lotus), a collective of local and international designers, with a focus on ethically produced and locally made goods. The brainchild of owner Sara Patterson, Migration provides unique gifts ranging from food to clothing, and everything in between! As well as the ever growing list of artisans whose goods find their home in the store, Migration also has their own in house line of direct-trade clothing and home goods, born from Sara's love of travel and design, which gives her the opportunity to find and befriend talented artisans from all across the globe to produce her collection, for the ethically minded buyer. Their portion of the show will feature Canadian designers such as Bronsino, Pink Martini, We Are Stories, Cokluch, Oyuna, and of course their own line, as well as LA based Joah Brown.

Nikki Babie clothing is versatile and comfortable.

Nikki Babie clothing is versatile and comfortable.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Nikki Babie line, designed by its namesake, which is as versatile as the woman who created it. Nikki Babie started her training at Ontario's Sheridan College design program, before continuing her education at Ryerson University and learning under Master Cutter and Grading Pattern Maker, Aime Arcand. But her education didn't stop there. Nikki is constantly striving to excel in all aspects of the fashion industry including design, retail, and of course being a customer herself. As multifaceted as its creator, Nikki's collection is comprised of garments that are ideal for travel wear. Each piece can be styled up to 20 ways, and is created to “arrange” themselves in the most flattering way for the wearer's body. The main fibre used in line's construction is bamboo rayon, ideal for travel due to its light weight and easy to maintain nature.

Experimental Couture Hits the Runway at #VicFW

BY EMMA NEWTON @EMM.BELLISH

When you think of west coast style, you probably think easy, laid back, and casual. Lots of Lululemon, lots of Blundstones, and lots of beach cover ups. But the truth is that we have so much more to offer besides that! At Victoria Fashion Week, we're excited to be including an experimental, avant garde fashion element to our runway. Our next two designers are bringing chic, couture pieces that are designed on the west coast, for the west coast. Breathtakingly innovative but still totally accessible, these are collections that you definitely won't want to miss.

Sarah Runnalls Collection

Sarah Runnalls Collection

Originally from our hometown of Victoria, Sarah Runnalls is currently based out of Vancouver. Her love of fashion pushed her to attend the Blanche McDonald Centre for Fashion, where she has since graduated with the Special Achievement in Design Award. Since then, she has continued to hone her skill as a designer and seamstress, being featured in several publications and showing collections at Vancouver Fashion Week for three consecutive seasons, before showcasing her latest collection at our very own Victoria Fashion Week. Her handmade pieces stand out on the runway with sleek, structured silhouettes which are strong while still maintaining a delicate air of femininity. Sarah's Spring/Summer 2017 collection incorporates contrasting natural fibre textiles such as lush silks and wool crepe, in sophisticated muted tones.

Teresa Lindsay Couture

Teresa Lindsay Couture

Also bringing couture to the runway is Teresa Lindsay, the creator of the GeoFashion line and, more recently, Tribute Trousers. Though she has been designing since the age of 12, Teresa was more recently honoured with the 2016's Unlimited Woman of Style Award. Her garments are designed to fit and flatter every woman, regardless of size, and without sacrificing style. Her unique approach to design is all about the fabric, creating effortlessly flowing gowns which are made with as little fabric waste as possible, and pants which are meticulously tailored to be the perfect fit for any woman. Her Spring/Summer 2017 collection entitled “Risk” uses silks, cotton bamboo, and shimmering blends to create a line of gowns which are all about elegant, tasteful seduction, and feminine movement.

Sustainable Fashion at the Launch of Victoria Fashion Week

BY EMMA NEWTON @EMM.BELLISH

Here in Victoria, we're lucky to have a brilliant and flourishing community of designers and artisans. And as if that wasn't enough, we're even luckier to have designers who care about sustainability, and use their creativity to come up with new ways to create garments that are eco-friendly, without sacrificing style.

Trista Smith's Reclamation Collection | Photographer: Vince Hemmingson | Model: Tyna Kottova | MUA: Cinthia Torres

Trista Smith's Reclamation Collection | Photographer: Vince Hemmingson | Model: Tyna Kottova | MUA: Cinthia Torres

One such designer is Trista Smith. Though she had always had a love of fashion, being the self described “weird kid with the patches and strategic rips in her jeans in the early 90's before it was cool”, it wasn't until 2010 that Trista decided to leave her job as a nurse to focus on spending time at home. And, with that time at home, Trista's love of fashion was renewed by her sewing machine and an article on sustainable fashion and textile waste in the garment industry. Armed with that knowledge and her existing passion for clothing, she set out to create Reclamation, her own line of upcycled children's wear. After receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews, she has since branched out to include pieces for adults as well. Her line is sure to deliver the quintessential Vancouver Island style, with easy and effortless fashion that won't leave behind a negative impact on our precious environment.

Fabric selection at the Makehouse

Fabric selection at the Makehouse

Or maybe you love the idea of eco-friendly fashion, but you're more of the do-it-yourself type. If so, The Makehouse has got you covered. Jenny Ambrose and her team are here to inspire you with a collection of pieces that look great on the runway, and can also be created through one of The Makehouse's own garment construction courses, bringing the runway to you in the most interactive way possible. Their goal is to encourage Victorians to rethink their wardrobes, by repurposing old garments and handmaking new ones, thereby reducing garment waste. The line they'll be showing features modern prints with vintage silhouettes, all made with bamboo, one of the most sustainable clothing fibers currently available. As well as their courses, The Makehouse also boasts a retail space, open studio for garment construction, and other services for the DIY fashionista. Everything you need, in one space.

Along with these two contributors, we'll also be featuring many others in the weeks to come. Make sure to check back, and get the insider scoop on all our talented designers!