This season’s local highlights
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
If you hear the words “Vancouver Fashion Week” and they don’t automatically ring a bell—don’t worry, you’re not alone. As a city, Vancouver is more known for our tech and tourism industries than for being a pinnacle of world clothing fads. However, that is not to say that Vancouver is unconcerned with global trends and designers—and Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to some.
VFW took place from September 17 to 23. It is usually run biannually, once to cover the Fall/Winter season and again to cover the Spring/Summer season. These shows are not run during their respective seasons but rather tend to act as previews for an upcoming season—meaning this previous VFW presented the Spring/Summer season for 2019. I know, it’s a bit confusing, but fashion likes to be innovative and sometimes complicated.
If we push aside the fashion education category—catwalks presented by various colleges—we are still left with a healthy list of intriguing designers. This isn’t to say that fashion education is not worthy, but the shows presented by these institutions usually act a showcase, so individual designers are not as highlighted and are usually restricted by a theme decided by VFW or the institution itself. With that being said, unfortunately there isn’t enough time for me to list all of the very unique and globally renowned artists that had presented at VFW—so I will be focusing on our local talent.
Profanity by LillzKillz
Designer Lillea Goian—otherwise known as LillzKillz—is only 20 but has already been featured in many publications like Nylon and Vogue. Her bright, eclectic mix of street style shook the catwalk on September 18, presenting a fun but polarizing view on fashion and youth culture. Profanity is dedicated to showing us visions of inclusivity, androgyny, limitless possibilities, and rejection of social rules and norms. It juxtaposes bright colours and loud patterns with themes of bondage and reintroduces us to the rave subculture of the ’90s and early ’00s.
Sarah Runnalls Collection
Sarah Runnalls—a locally taught designer hailing from Victoria—offers us a label dedicated to tailoring and sculptural silhouettes. This label is perfect for consumers looking for high-quality, timeless pieces that focus less on fads and more on investment. With cuts made to flatter most figures, as well as simplistic colour and fabric choices, the Sarah Runnalls Collection is something that is very obviously Vancouver-inspired. You can see the humble opulence of our fair city in every hem and carefully designed layer. Simple—yet crafted in elegance.
MGHN by Meghan Buckley
Androgynous and childlike, Meghan Buckley’s label MGHN is definitely not for the average fashion lover. The designs are primarily unisex—as per the label’s intent—however, this season Buckley’s designs also appear infantile. It presents a confusing message of comfort, with a conglomeration of shapelessness and stiff fabrics. The clothes are massively oversized—which is en trende for streetwear designers—but repetitive in nature. I remain unsure if this collection was as thoroughly thought-out as Buckley’s previous ones but still am impressed by her construction and cohesiveness.
Ay Lelum by The Good House of Design
Family-run label Ay Lelum is a cooperative work between sisters Aunalee Boyd-Good and Sophia Seward-Good, following mentorship by their mother, Sandra Moorhouse-Good, and featuring artwork by their brother, Coast Salish artist W. Joel Good, along with their father, traditional Coast Salish artist William Good. Their showing at VFW was one of my favourites, featuring beautiful, First Nations-inspired patterns unique to their design house and elegant cuts for the sophisticated wearer. Hailing from Nanaimo, this label will definitely be one to watch for an exceptionally Canadian view of fashion.
Life Support for Lifeless Lots by Hannah Eriksson
Focusing more on conceptual, wearable art, self-titled label Hannah Eriksson presents their second collection to VFW, called “Life Support for Lifeless Lots.” Though depressingly titled, the garments shown are actually incredible in their construction and fantastical in their approach. Through use of odd layers, visible hardware, and seemingly-random cut-outs and hems, Hannah Eriksson has managed to create a visually stunning collection, though it is somewhat impractical for everyday wear.
Not Dead Yet by Adam-Lin Bungag
Designer Adam-Lin Bungag describes this label with an aim “to deconstruct and divulge the unspoken narratives of finding identity in relation to the constructs of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality.” Apparently this translates to an impressive use of unconventional fabric and materials with ’60s and ’80s futurism undertones. Wearable pieces featuring plastic and rubber are in full-force with this label—which I find fascinating. As if to offset this decision to feature such strange textiles, the cuts and construction of the clothes are simple and easy to wear.