VANCOUVER FASHION WEEK SS16 OPENING
WE INTERVIEW FASHION DESIGNERS LUI IAROCHESKI AND SHEN YAO AHEAD OF THEIR SHOWS
Photography by Ed Ng
Under the bright lights of Vancouver’s China Town, commenced an equally vibrant showcase; Vancouver Fashion Week 2015. The growing exhibit of Canadian and international fashion designers will run until October 4th. This year’s focus is on Social Media, involving the guests with an online profiling of the event through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Vancouver fashion week is set to be an international spectacle of fashion for both the organizers and this year’s designers.
The opening show’s Presenter introduces the guests to this year’s event and after a delightful musical performance by some young and extremely talented Piano players, it’s time for the main act: The Fashion. The lights go down, the music starts. Vancouver Fashion Week 2015 has begun.
The SS16 Designer Preview runway, one by one, plays host to the beautiful and bespoke creations of the Week’s 111 designers from over 25 international destinations. A night of sensory indulgence was promised and was delivered in the form of a fresh, exhilarating Fashion show. A vast spectrum of colours, textures and fabrics tell a variety of stories celebrating different cultures and lifestyles the world over and guarantee a magnificent exhibition of world class fashion and design in the runway shows to follow. From contemporary street wear, to avant-garde gowns, to swimwear and ready-to-wear garments, there was a wonderfully diverse display of designs, building yet more anticipation for the coming days.
Interview with Designer Lui Iarocheski
How did it come about for you to showcase at VFW?
"I’ve always known about the VFW reputation on opening the doors for new designers and its reputation as one of the most inspiring and growing fashion weeks. After presenting my menswear graduation collection at two fashion events – one in Brazil and one in Austria – the VFW organization offered me the opportunity to show at their fashion week line up. Without thinking twice, I updated my collection and now I am packed and ready to fly to Vancouver. My show will be on October 1st, 7:50 PM and it is one of the few menswear collections."
What has inspired your designs until now?
"I have an experimental approach to design. I am always manipulating materials, shapes and colours to achieve new expressions in menswear and my experiments are often conceptually ugly but visually beautiful. For the collection I am bringing to VFW, for example, I was inspired by the artwork ‘Parangolés’ of Hélio Oiticica and by photographs of homeless people – the less money you have the more creative you are with clothing. Through my manipulation with rectangular pieces of fabrics and with a textile I developed with cotton ropes, the collection materializes into garments that are very dynamic – can be worn in many ways. In general, I enjoy looking at unexpected places for inspiration, trying to get out of the obvious and mixing that outlook with a practical and hands-on design process."
What would you like to achieve with your brand in the coming years?
"I want to keep exploring new expressions in menswear, breaking stereotypes and proposing disruptive ideas regarding clothing. Through the bridge between tradition and innovation, black and white, classic and experimental, male and female, function and style, I want to propose a new way to study, view, create, explore, support and make fashion. It involves fashion directly with people empowerment to consequent social transformation, conscious consumption and care for the environment and people."
Interview with Designer Shen Yao
How did it come about for you to showcase at VFW?
"It started from an e-mail from VFW at the end of July asking me to show my collection. I thought maybe it was good timing to start my own brand, although I had less than two months to plan my collection. VFW provide what every designer needs to hold a fashion show, such as venue, make-up, hair styling and models, which reduces the pressure a lot. This gave me the confidence to showcase my s/s 16 collection at VFW."
In regards to your brand how do you differ from others?
"Although a menswear designer, I often borrow silhouettes and details from womenswear which makes an interesting hybrid. It's neither totally menswear nor womenswear, it's in between. I think beautiful things are beautiful things, beautiful clothes should not be confined by social gender role. I believe every creature can look beautiful if they put on my clothes."
What would you like to achieve with your brand by next year?
"Although the fashion industry is often defined as dreamy and fancy, it's not so true when on this side of it. I will be very realistic with my ambitions. I hope I can have at least 5-10 stockists around the world in 2 years. I also hope I can rent a studio of my own within 5 years because I'm currently making my collection on my kitchen table and my room which is not so flattering or practical."