Western Canada Fashion Week
Thursday, Sept. 13 – Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
TransAlta Arts Barns (10330 84 Ave.)
Tickets $25 at Tix on the Square and the TransAlta Arts Barns
With a week’s worth of designers and performances packed into Western Canada Fashion Week, it’s time to look at the highlights of one of the more memorable nights of the week. Day two of WCFW involved an eclectic mix of styles and performances that ranged from sweet serenades to dark gothic looks to flowing maxi dresses. Admittedly, the diverse show’s structure was confusing, but sometimes fashion is meant to be unpredictable.
The night started off with some musical talent in the form of curly-haired performer Sean Sonego, who stole more than a few hearts with his smooth voice. WCFW creative director Sandra Sing Fernandes and Lynn Mandel also took to the stage to explain to the attendees that WCFW is all about giving young stylists, designers and performers the opportunity to showcase their talent and to encourage the emerging fashion scene. With that, the fashion shows began.
Sanctuary Curio Shoppe
Besides highlighting emerging design talent, Friday night’s shows also opened people’s eyes to some unconventional styles worn in Edmonton. Sanctuary Curio Shoppe, a Whyte Avenue boutique, showcased a few distinct pieces from their store with models adorned in gothic looks, medieval wear and rock ‘n’ roll chic. Without a doubt, the standout outfit for this show was a studded black leather jacket paired with metallic purple leggings and a t-shirt that summed up that whole show’s attitude in two words: “fuck it.”
Goodwill Emerging Stylist Competition
The Goodwill Emerging Stylist Competition proved to everyone that it doesn’t always take a lot of money to create stylish and tasteful looks. First up, Alison Altena’s model wore beige high-waisted trousers with a metallic turtleneck tank — a very classy and affordable look for less than $30. The next look came from Charly Blais in the form of an oversized beige patterned blouse worn over a white tunic with black trimming, which Blais described as being antiquated with an eastern flair and a modern edge. Finally, Lorriane Desmon was up with a creative piece she called “Queen of the Nile.” Her craftsmanship won over the jury of designers Stanley Caroll and Bridget Harding, landing her a first place finish in the competition.
What happens when you mix a sports fan, a diva and a pinch of hip hop flavour? You get Jericho Cender, last year’s Emerging Stylist Competition winner’s funky and wearable collection of garments completely made up of Goodwill clothing. Models wore sports paraphernalia combined with garments such as pleated miniskirts, gold accessories and structured blazers. It was impressive to see such a cohesive collection of outfits created entirely from secondhand garments.
Emerging Designer Competition
Nine emerging designers went head to head in one of the most anticipated shows of the week, the Emerging Designer Competition. Winning the contest can potentially boost one talented designer into the eyes of industry professionals and kick start their career, just like it did for last year’s winner Nicole Campre. Due to her participation in the upcoming Mercedes Benz Startup Competition in Toronto later this month, she was unable to show her collection Friday night — much to the disappointment of the crowd. As for this year, Janis Avellana was crowned the winner with her outfit of black leggings with leather accents, printed top and a blue knit vest intertwined in the back.
While the evening didn’t feature designers who’d already earned high fashion credibility, you have to hand it to WCFW for giving young fashion industry hopefuls the opportunity to have their styled looks and designs modeled down the runway. Year after year, WCFW seems to be affirming itself as a stepping-stone for aspiring designers and stylists — but only time will tell whether that will continue to attract crowds to the TransAlta Art Barns in the years to come.
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