Category Archives: Fashion Shows

Style SEEN: Ivido Jeans Fashion Show

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On Friday, January 31st, LuvnGrace Entertainment hosted the Ivido Jeans fashion show at the Waterfall Building. Ivido Jeans is a brand of push-up jeans designed in Vancouver and manufactured in the South American country of Colombia – the same place where hip-shaking songstress Shakira also hails from.

The show had a late start, leaving the crowd in much anticipation of the night’s entertainment. Once Magdalena Lima, designer of Maggie Fu Fashion and Zumba instructor extraordinaire, came on stage with a dynamic Zumba routine, she got everyone swaying in their seats.

Afterwards, when the models started coming out, there was immediately a sense the positive feedback from the crowd. Many people oohed and ahhed at the interesting blue hues of the denim, and of course commented on how good the girls’ assets looked in the jeans.

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Halfway through the show, two models even demonstrated exactly how much stretch Ivido Jeans actually have. They sashayed up and down the runway, bending, stretching, and finally performing the splits in the jeans!

Another highlight of the show was when Ivido founder Ivis Gonzalez performed a traditional dance routine with a gentleman, portraying the flirtatious dance of two lovers getting together.

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When asked about what exactly pushes up the jeans, Ivis told us that it’s simply in the way that the pattern is cut. This surprised us as we would have easily placed a bet on a padded seat.

Now this definitely intrigues us to go try on a pair ourselves! The Ivido boutique can be found at 638 West Broadway in Vancouver.

Words by Miranda Sam

Photography by DesireeAnne Holder

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The Scene at Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week 2013

Jacqueline Ryan as the ethereal host of VALT day 1: Utopia

Jacqueline Ryan as the ethereal host of VALT day 1: Utopia

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Lead singer of Modern Limits

Pauline Lee, lead singer of Modern Limits

The display of Oculto Steam Masks

The display of Oculto Steam Masks

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Oculto Steam Mask designer Shay Lhea with a mysteriously masked VALT guest

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Dani Barnes of The Femstar Revolution (by The House of Barnes)

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VALT’s founder, Kat Kozak!

Over the few days of VALT, a lot of fantastical, fun, beautiful, and dystopian styles happened on and off the runway. In this post, we bring you some of the best moments captured from the 2013 edition of Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week during artistic performances, music performances, and good ol’ behind the scenes fun.

We loved Jacqueline Ryan’s outfit by Shiverz Designs on Day 1 Utopia, performance artists who looked like they were tormented but done so beautifully, Pauline Lee, the daring lead singer of Modern Limits, Shay Lhea’s Oculto steam masks display, beautiful performances by The House of Barnes… and much more!

Can’t wait until the next edition of VALT. Because aren’t we lucky that Vancouver is alternative?

Photos by Aurora Chan

Words by Miranda Sam

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VALT Day 2: Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week – Dystopia

The second night of VALT continued the journey of futures from Utopia to Dystopia, a bleak and anarchist nightmare world full of human suffering without respite.  The swashbuckling Aaron Morris, VALT Model Coordinator and Event Host,  guided the audience through this show of darkness with a jovial wink.  This Dystopia doesn’t seem so bad!  At first, that is.

Shiverz Designs


Shiverz Designs is a local online business that specializes in designing fanciful accessories to decorate a woman’s head, including fascinators, hats, masquerade masks, jewelry, and feather hair clips.  It created an equally ornate collection of ensembles to coordinate with their accessories for the VALT runway, each one representing a different character.  There was the flirty burlesque dancer, the lady on the town, the femme fatale, and the elegant lady of the garden, to name a few.  Fantastical.

A.D Designs

A.D Clothing and Costume Design strives to push the boundaries of outerwear, creating costume jackets, vests, and pants to make a woman feel strong and empowered.  Inspired by the insanity and darkest feelings we hold locked up inside ourselves, the models hobbled down the runway in a state of mental mania, bound and restricted by the strappings of their attire.  The jackets represented a high fashion interpretation of the classic straitjacket and could almost be worn to the office….that is if you want to send a strong message to your boss!  Polished insanity.

Jillian Gray

The Art Institute of Vancouver graduate Jillian Gray chose to showcase her graduating collection for VALT, entitled “Slave to the Rhythm,” referring to the Grace Jones album with the same name.  Jones was the inspiration behind her designs with her iconic and androgynous presence.  The overall aesthetic and simple lines of Gray’s pieces struck very close to my heart.  I loved the monochromatic colours and strong lines, with the edginess and interest in the use of contrasting fabrics.  The masculine leather interplayed seamlessly with the softer feminine chiffon.  I would buy the entire collection if I could!  Amazing.

Oculto Steam Masks


Shay Lhea is the mastermind behind Oculto Steam Masks.  She strives to elevate the traditional notion of masks as being merely accessories to full-on disguises that enable the wearer to take on a different persona.  Each luxury piece of wearable art is given an elaborate character profile meant to help breathe life into them.  She designed and constructed a new collection specifically for VALT and the results were conceivably the most mature and honed evolution of her vision.

The models in uniform black business attire strutted down the runway while wielding a weapon specific to their character, ranging from an axe to brass knuckles.  They were given free reign to use their weapons to simulate acts of violence – they threatened the audience, slit their own throats, and slammed the baton on the runway.  The menace was all the more effective by the fact that the audience couldn’t see the models’ faces, but instead were face to face with an emotionless visage.  Darkly disturbing in a good way.

The fashion runway sets were interspersed with another magnetic dance performance by the House of Barnes x Celinski Productions, and the moody pseudo pop music of The Pink Pearl Dragon from Toronto, a return act from the debut VALT.  The world of Dystopia was twisted and tormented, and that has never felt so good.

Words + Photos by Aurora Chan

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I.IV.II: John Casablancas’ Grad Show

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On Thursday, November 21st, the graduating class at John Casablancas Institute put on a feast of a grad show, titled I.IV.II (one forty two). The runway was wider than most, and it fit a long buffet table styled with candle holders, cakes, and floral decor. The Mad Hatter-esque host of the evening announced that the students were featuring spring looks, and truly romantic, fresh looks came down the runway.

Mark Abenir kicked off the show with a series of fun, feminine, and sexy dresses. It was a much different look from what we’re used to seeing from his cutting-edge Averynthe collection.

Then the students showed of their styling and merchandising skills in teams. Andrea Young & Roy Wilcox styled a contemporary womens look, with looks that you could take to the office and out to town. Kelli Klassen, Sophie Coltellaro, and Linda Le’s joint efforts included fun prints that brought energy to the stage.  Aranyxa Maussan and Niasha Drydgen styled jewelry by local brand Army of Rokosz, showing off the sleek pieces with models in bra tops.

Jessica Moneo ended the night with her designs that literally were above everyone else’s. The models used the buffet table as their catwalk, bringing food, florals, and fashion together. We liked Jessica’s modern designs and nicely tailored pieces, especially the cobalt blue paired against vivid prints.

The business of fashion can be a difficult one, but we have a feeling JCI grads will be strong players in the industry.

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VALT Day 1: Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week – Utopia

The Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week[End] (VALT) provides a platform to showcase the creativity of the local alternative fashion industry, bringing together fashion, art, music, dance, culture, and technology into a fully interactive experience over three nights of revelry.  After a highly successful debut in 2012, VALT was back bigger and better over the November 22nd weekend.  This year the theme revolved around the Post-Apocalypse, with three possible futures proceeding over the three consecutive nights – Utopia, Dystopia, and Techtopia.

Rococo Acid Candy

The first night was Utopia, representing the ideal future that is hopeful and optimistic, without any toil or suffering.  With the show hosted by the ethereal Jacqueline Ryan, the evening’s energy was immediately pumped up by the rousing dance performance by the amazing House of Barnes x Celinski Productions.  This was followed up by the equally arresting collection by Rococo Acid Candy.  A confection of colourful and playful creations traipsed down the runway, drawing the audience into the world of Willy Wonka and his sugar high.  Some of the gowns were made of multiple layers of newspaper, while others were downright delectable with jujubes and gum balls stuck onto the bodices.  A collection good enough to eat!

Zollection

Having just been established in 2013 when the designer behind Zollection moved to Canada, the brand has already developed a very focused and polished vision.  Inspired by art dolls, the collection was a study in boho chic in its many variations and colours, with the models awkwardly stumbling down the runway like the rag dolls that they were.  The overall look with the fingerless gloves made me think of Pygmalion’s street girl Eliza Doolittle.  Beautiful.

Scheherazade Banoo

Scheherazade Banoo specializes in designing costumes for dancers, mainly in the tribal fusion belly dancing arena.  It created a collection of magnificent tribal headdresses for VALT and what can I say, it was jaw dropping.  Elegant and serene models in long robes glided out with crowd stopping art pieces perched on top of their heads, each one more elaborate than the last.  The last model came out on stilts!  And as if the sights weren’t enough, the designer herself was onstage throughout, serenading all of the models a cappella.  Breathtaking.

Milk Tea by Silent Kay

Kari Kanin

Skye Davies

Last but not least, Skye Davies is a local textile experimentalist who draws inspiration for her designs from nature and architectural forms.  Her cohesive collection revealed her innovative dyeing and fabric manipulation techniques, resulting in interesting textures and colour blending.  What I loved was that her pieces seemed very easy and comfortable to wear, flattering for all kinds of body types.  Lovely.

In between the runway sets, the audience was rocking to the tunes of the indie punk-pop band Modern Limits.  A band fronted by an Asian female with a Vidal Sassoon-like haircut, hells yeah!

VALT’s world of Utopia was exuberant and gorgeous; Style by Fire couldn’t wait for more!

Photos + Words by Aurora Chan

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Circle Craft Christmas Market: Fashion Show & Vendors

2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Circle Craft Christmas Market, which had its beginnings in the Vancouver East Cultural Centre and now takes up a massive ballroom in the Vancouver Convention Centre West with over 300 artisans.  To celebrate this special year, the Market introduced its first set of fashion shows which featured pieces from forty designers.

Style by Fire attended one of the fashion shows which took place on the Main Stage.  Produced and styled by Ashleigh Said and Carly Bradley who are known for their work with Vancouver Eco Fashion Week, the models skipped down the stage in colourful and funky ensembles.  Each outfit was accompanied by a white screen projecting a drawing of the same outfit detailing which pieces belonged to which designers and their booth number.  It was a fun way to get a sampling of the talent in the room in action.

Don’t miss out on the Circle Craft Market to find special handmade gifts for all those on your Christmas shopping list!  The Market’s last day is on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2013 from 10am to 5pm.

EVE GRAVEL

Montreal designer Eve Gravel caught my eye with its sophisticated feminine lines and pretty dresses.  I’m always a sucker for a great dress, seeing as I pretty much never wear pants.  Gravel began studying fashion in Quebec at the tender age of 16 and hasn’t looked back since.  Her brand was born ten years ago and has grown internationally, with a network of retailers in North America and branching out to Beirut and Kuwait.  In Vancouver, you can find her line in Lynnsteven, Forsya Boutique, and Kate French.

My friend Shay tried on a couple of the dresses and sure enough, was instantly transformed into a chic French girl who’s coquettish and always on the go.  Ooh la la!

PATOUCHE

Kessa Laxton is the Torontonian mother of two behind the children’s clothing brand Patouche.  Using natural fabrics such as cotton and linen and keeping everything from production to distribution locally in Toronto, Patouche strives to support the local economy and resource sustainability.  I’ve seen my share of environmentally conscious clothing lines for the little ones and Patouche’s aesthetic and design really set it apart from the rest.  With immaculate workmanship, the capelets and bonnets have a European sense about them and are incredibly adorable.  Pirate hats? Awww! Booties with little creature toes added to the front? Too cute!

You can find Patouche at the following local retailers: Pebble Baby, Precious & Few, and Room6.

CHLOË ANGUS

Chloë Angus is a homegrown eco-chic company which designs and produces all its pieces in Vancouver.  Not only does it strive to sustain the environment, it sustains a healthy body image – their clothes are cut to fit women of all shapes, sizes, and ages.  Attention to detail is shown in adding features to increase the wearer’s comfort, such as a seam down the middle of the back to contour the spine and built-in snaps at the shoulder to ensure the top never slips off.

Angus’ signature piece is the versatile button wrap which can be used multiple different ways, including as a shawl and a button down top.  A special Spirit Collection of these wraps were created in collaboration with the First Nations artist Clarence Mills.  He provides five different prints, each featuring a symbolic animal.  These wraps provide the perfect gift for a special lady in your life.

Chloë Angus can be found in its own retail store on Dunbar Street, Vancouver.

DCONSTRUCT JEWELRY

Dconstruct Jewelry originates from Winnipeg and makes eco-friendly jewelry made of recycled resin.  Each piece is handmade using discarded architectural materials used to make skylights, store fixtures, and vending machine covers.  The organic and textile details added to the pieces are sourced from developing countries around the world. The bright translucent look of the resin with the modern designs embedded within are what appealed to me.  They represented a marriage between artificial and organic, hard and soft, transparent and solid.  The jewelry line has expanded to include smartphone cases and flower vases.

The pieces are sold throughout North America; in Vancouver, they can be found in Dream Designs, Two of Hearts Clothing Inc., Elements Wellness Centre, and Make at Granville Island.

Photos + Words by Aurora Chan

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Jarder Productions Celebrates Launch with a Local Fashion Show

Mark Jarder and his team at  Jarder Productions launched their brand new production company on October the 26th, at the Waterfall Building in Vancouver. Jarder Productions provides services for photography, videography, and publishing. The event was a fun fashion night out for the guests, as the dress code was “black tie” for the gents and “LBD” for the ladies. After the main speeches by Mark Jarder, and the company’s charity partner, The Looking Glass Foundation, a 3-part fashion show ensued.

Hummelle Design

Tira Hummelle of Hummelle Design is an Albertan native, and recent graduate of the Visual College of Art and Design. Her collection had a light ethereal flow, and would be great for making a splash at summertime events. I could very well imagine celebrities wearing them in Miami partying the night away. Although not pictured here, the backsides of most of her looks had interesting details too. For example, the black dress although modest in the front actually has a necklace-like drop chain in the back, fully bringing attention to the wearer’s ‘sexy back.’

Hive Mind Millinery

Dominique Hanke of Hive Mind Millinery always puts on a good show. This time around, she featured her mens collection. It’s always refreshing to see mens fashion on the runway, and especially when it comes to accessories. Hive Mind Millinery fedoras and top hats are the perfect addition to any dapper look. One female model came down the runway in a bowler hat, showing that range in the designs; a more adventurous woman who dares explore her masculine side can also rock Dominique’s mens collection.

Darius John Designs

Darius Tuliao is one of the most chill and relaxed designers we’ve met. His cool, calm demeanour shows a quiet confidence that we don’t see much of in this fast-paced industry. He sent an all-black fall/winter 2013 collection called ‘Raven’ down the runway from his Darius John Designs label. Although something else always seems to be the ‘new black,’ the designs were fabulous: it was classic, modern, with a touch of edgy.

Take for example the second look that had nicely draped gold chains at the hip to embellish a black pencil skirt, with a sheer blouse matched on top. A crowd favourite was the cashmere coat with larger Red Riding styled hood. I couldn’t help myself but just had to try on this jacket! So we went backstage and Darius helped me into it. Unfortunately I’m not as tall as the model, but it’s still a solid piece. While we were back there, we got to see the construction of the pieces up close, and each piece was flawlessly well made. This up and coming designer was scouted to show at RAW Vancouver and we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store next season!

Jarder Productions Launch

Mark Jarder by Xelha Rivera, Jarder Productions

Mark Jarder by Xelha Rivera, Jarder Productions

What makes Jarder Productions different from other production companies in Vancouver? It’s a solid ethical code Mark and his team have created that I believe will set them apart. As you may or may not know, a lot of work and activities that go on in the entertainment industries are unregulated. There are no laws that protect models nor are there established industry associations in Vancouver.

Here are a set of values that Jarder Productions stand for: Mutually Beneficial, Fair Trade (fair trade of value for products and services), Equality in the Workplace, Free of Sexual Harrassment, and Making a Difference. I think it’s great that the team has included these values as part of the company’s foundation, as these ideas always seem to be overlooked. We look forward to seeing positive change come from Jarder Productions.

I want to start by changing the culture in our industries in Vancouver. If you put all of your resources, assets, and networks towards a similar goal, things will change”, says Mark Jarder, CEO and Founder of Jarder Productions.

Photos by Aurora Chan

Words by Miranda Sam

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Lunch With Maria: A Fashionable Event That Means Serious Business

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Jason Matlo showed his collection at the Ladies Who Lunch event on October 19th, 2013 at the Arbutus Club. As always, Matlo never disappoints with ultra-feminine styles that really work to highlight a woman’s body. I’ve always loved how his designs can have a bit of couture, such as the Valentino-like bow on the one-shoulder LBD, and at the same time are so wearable. Matlo mentioned this was the first time he’s really worked with accessories, with the show accessorized with Stella&Dot jewelry. As much as I love minimalism, the jewelled necklaces and bangles brought the look to another level.

The Spring/Summer 2014 collection marks his 10th year in the fashion business. What has allowed him to be successful in such a volatile industry? “Success is basically hanging on when everyone else has let go,” he says. He also commended the women part of his team who helped him along the way, “Behind every great man, there’s a series of great women.”

We were invited to Maria Kritikos’  Ladies Who Lunch event mainly to cover the Jason Matlo fashion show, and we went away with so much more. Hosted by Fashion TV host, Mandy J Ross, the theme of the event was “Secrets to Success.” A great lineup of speakers shared their golden nuggets of wisdom with a high-profile crowd of female entrepreneurs, consultants, and philanthropists, and fashion media.

Highlights from the speakers include Jennifer Halinda, who became Executive Director of Dress for Success Vancouver this spring. After losing her job, she kept volunteering at DFS, knowing she was going to make make some changes in her life, and make a difference in the lives of other women. She asked the crowd to look into themselves and posed the question: “If all jobs paid the same, what would you be doing?”

Next up, Tracey Drake, Editor in Chief of Niche Magazine spoke about a pivotal moment in her life when she decided at age 10 that she wanted to be in the magazine business. This inspiring woman had previously worked as a business consultant who has had experience helping many companies with their initial public offerings (IPO). She believes that success is composed of your natural DNA and personal IPO (Integrity. Passion. Opportunity). “Like the little black dress… women of integrity never go out of style,” said Tracey.

Last but not least, Miss Canada, Casar Jacobson told the story of the flipside of success, and is it really failure? This former farm girl told stories about how she forgot her own name on stage, and even tripped on stage during pageants. But it was the tripping and falling that allowed her to learn. “I’ve never done anything in my life without first failing… failure is a stepping stone,” she said.

It was an afternoon of connections, feeling powerful as women, getting inspired, and what I personally felt and had also overheard another woman say: Love. Maria Kritikos somehow got together a roomful of strangers, and turned the atmosphere into a supportive, loving environment – kudos to this creative catalyst!

Photos by Aurora Chan

Words by Miranda Sam

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A Night of Haute Hat Fashion: Hive Mind Millinery

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The first time we met Dominique Hanke, we noticed her great style. Then afterwards, we also noticed she was the creator behind the stylish hats she’s always seen sporting. So we were definitely excited to receive an invite to our first ever hat fashion show!

The Hive Mind Millinery 2014 Couture and Men’s collections took place October 16th at the Frontier Flooring Services space. And I kid you not, the space looked more like an artist’s studio than your typical flooring centre, and a great backdrop to Dominique’s show.

The models not only sported fabulous hats, but were also styled meticulously by EFW Value Village Thrift Chic Challenge stylist, Kenneth Wyse. A neutral colour palette with some styles selected from Evan Ducharme’s EFW 68 Pound Challenge served as a beautiful canvas to feature the hats.

I think everyone at the show was in agreement that the couture collection was really something special! Carefully crafted geometric designs created a beautiful veil that still allowed onlookers to see the wearers’ pretty faces. Acascading ruffled fabric take on the fascinator also held a lot of visual appeal. And the piece de resistance very well might have been the couture take on the beekeeper’s hat: a wider brim and rows of beads created a modern statement piece.

Dominique did a great job on putting so much fun into an accessory that needs a big revival in Vancouver. Keep up the great work, and we’re looking forward to having more hat fashion shows under our belt!

*Update Oct 21, 2013: The article had previously mentioned the clothing was from Evan Ducharme, but was in fact curated by Kenneth Wyse. 

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Eco Fashion Week 2013: BHANA Design

After watching the BHANA show at Eco Fashion Week, we decided we wanted to get to know the brand a bit better. We bring you a Style by Fire exclusive interview with two-time Eco Fashion Week designer Trisha Rampersad of BHANA Design.

What does the name BHANA mean, and how does it influence your brand?

BHANA is my maternal grandfather’s last name. He was a well respected business man and had great personal style.  He was also a man of integrity and was known in the community for this. When I started my business it made sense to me that I should name my business after this great man. Because of this, integrity in my business and [in my personal life] has always been a strong foundation for all I do.

We love the theme of this collection, “Embracing the Goddess Within.” What tips do you have for people to embrace their higher being?

The answer is just, love.  Love yourself for all that you are. Accept what you see as short-comings and free yourself to love yourself and your surroundings. When you love yourself, you actually free yourself and you are able to be the best version of yourself. And if you always live in that personal greatness, then you are being your own god or goddess!

What kind of eco-friendly fabrics did you use for BHANA?

For this Summer 2014 collection we used light, airy type fabrics. There is organic cotton, silk, linen, and a hemp/silk blend.

You mention the collection was inspired by Vancouver’s blue skies and ocean breeze – was that the inspiration behind the shiny sateen-like fabrics? Tell us more about the choice of fabrics and colour palette.

It was really important that fabrication be light and breezy. I don’t like it when fabric becomes so heavy that its wearer becomes lost.  Clothing should always uplift it’s wearer and enhance the human spirit. That ‘shiny’ fabric was the hemp/silk blend I mentioned earlier.  It is such a luxurious fabric!

What’s in store for BHANA next? Will you present at EFW again?

Who knows what the future holds for BHANA in the way of fashion shows!  I would love to present on the EFW runway again. This is absolutely the best team I have worked with. You really feel the love for what they do. I would love to get some celebrity endorsements for BHANA, and as you know, we have an online shop:  www.bhana.ca. The future for BHANA is all about sales. Let’s hope people love embracing their inner goddess with BHANA!

Photos by Aurora Chan

Interview by Miranda Sam

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