Friday, February 23, 2018

Held at the Pal Studio Theatre, 8th Floor 581 Cardero, Vancouver, this dynamic AFWV first event was sold out almost the minute the invitation appeared on Facebook! Knowing that Keiko Boxall was in on the runway show, and anticipating a riot of color, dance and music, I dressed in my favorite oranges and blues and joined a long line up of excited first timers. The event was produced by Yao Zeus Mohammed and video production and media by David Markwei, this evening was a delight. Experienced Canadian and American designers: Mawogan, Lilian O'Brian, (earlier interviewed on CBC) Kesseke Yeo, Naa Sheka Fashion, Luchrist Modern African Fashion, Afrodite Creative, Caveman Clothing, Red Soil, Dr. Pearlz Clothing, and je je love sent out collection after collection for women and men, for all occasions. We wanted to buy those one of a kinds, then and there.

Photos include Keiko and me, two Makeup Artists, Feven G-yesus and Brooklyn Harnish, who no doubt will be at Vancouver Fashion Week, and Patti DeSante, Buddhist Chaplain, writer, world traveller, community developer and fashion enthusiast who took 21 designs from 5 fashion designers from Malawi to Perth, for Perth's first ECO Fashion Week. See more at EFW Australia. She curated Malawi Maloto this year, presenting at Perth and at African Fashion and Arts Movement, Vancouver. Samba Kunsi and Lauretta Mtike are in the photos.

The African Fashion and Arts Movement, shows clothing as works of wearable Art. The models are animated, showing traditional and modern design as well as culture, history, geography, and all that is reflected in what we wear.

More, please!

With sales of up to 70% off, Blushing Boutique, 579 Richards, offers beautiful year round designs and bright lights for such a dreary January and February. I wore brilliant a brilliant orange-red skirt and carried a velvet beaded red bag with orange beads, both from My Sister's Closet, Eco Thrift Boutique supporting Battered Women. Bobbie, sewer and quilter in her own right, wore classic black and white, but you will notice (without prior consultation) that we both chose red bags to accessorize our outfits. So many of us love Shelley Klassen's dresses because they fit so well and never go out of style. On the l0th Anniversary of the store, many of us wore our Shelley's here.

Very excited to see Lotusland Jewelry and Susan Bibbings, the founder of this dynamic business that is helping Maasai Women to create and sustain their own businesses, provides education and training and is one more step towards fighting deforestation in Tanzania. See more at

Saturday, February 3, 2018

We went on a private tour, hosted by Jill Killeen, and were treated to a magnificent display of fashion, (and a video about the collection) architecture, design, beautiful lighting, a special piano,  and a space created by international city builder and culture company, Westbank. The exhibit is free and  you can rsvp for tickets and tours via their website

There is a new book: " Fight For Beauty" that you will see on display in the round bookcase right by the entrance of the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Now there is a two tier lobby incorporating so many aspects of 'beauty' that should grace hotels and building lobbies. Lighting, exhibits, nature, views, and everything that invites one in.

Here are a few photos from our tour. Much, much more at Fight for Beauty. Thanks for a wonderful tour, Jill!

Photos by Colleen Tsoukalas and Dianna Drahanchuk

On January 17th, Dianna Drahanchuk and I went to have a look at the Fashion Design and Marketing Grad Exhibits and Portfolios. We were especially impressed with the style collection of Kayla Garcia. Also noted were designs by a.c fashion designs by Alisha Candace.  We always enjoy the beautifully presented portfolios of all of the students. We arrived early to a packed house and were treated to great refreshments and appies as well as dynamic displays, music and many enthusiastic students, friends and families. VCAD offers a range of programs: Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion, Interior Design, Game Development, 3D Modelling and more. You have the chance to meet students in all of the programs, as they are all on display on one floor at 626 Pender Street. The Grad Exhibit is offered all day and from 5-9 at night. See the actual event at VCAD on Facebook. So much to see and learn! Here is what we saw last time. VCAD is one to watch! Thanks everyone!

On Sunday, January 21, Ivan Sayers hosted a live fashion show from his most recently acquired dresses and accessories. At the same time, he discussed items from the display of pieces from the SMOC collection. These are stored at Hycroft and as per museum collections, are displayed rather than modelled. Here are a few of my favourite outfits. You will notice a raspberry colored dress in the display behind the models. Claus Jahnke, also a clothing collector, found it online, miscategorised as a 1930's costume, when actually, the material is 1700's and upcyled to an 1800's dress. So very, very, vintage, indeed.

From a local family estate this year, this feather boa/vest compliments 
the long look. empire waist dress but also emphasizes the face. 
Women were going after the vote, so lots of focus on brain and 
physical strength.

From Victoria, cotton dress for the mature woman, 
1910, hat is straw and hand woven

From Winnipeg. 1923 Rayon Crepe de Chine, beaded handbag, 
long silhouette, tubular, shift shape to echo the ancient world. 
A dark, Moorish look.

From Kamloops, 1937-41 silk velvet, emerald green, skirt cut on 
bias, to float

From Calgary, 1946 fur coat, rayon crepe synthetic, shoulder pads, 
fairly limited decoration, machine made, turban hat practical for 
keeping hair out of machinery - working woman, big handbag for 
carrying essentials for work

American dress, California, jungle print importance of Hawaii (WW2), 
A-Line, short skirt for full stride and ease of movement, function over 
form, seamed stockings, hat from Salvation Army on 12th, Vancouver

Pink Wedding dress from Vancouver. Rayon Taffeta, feminine, 
made here, figure accentuated, ornamental frills, especially 
on cuffs = indulgence. PS Ivan thinks every bride looks 
wonderful at her wedding.

1958 Gladstone Secondary (Vancouver) Grad Dress, sweet, lovely, 
romantic princess. Plexi glass purse.

Garage sale find late 60's early 70's wedding look that can be worn 
separately or as one. Rayon-Polyester, flat shoes or Go Go boots.

Fabulous clothing and accessories seem to find their way to Ivan Sayers, Claus Jahnke and SMOC. It is an ongoing Education to learn about the origins of each piece and see how culture, history, economics, and, especially, the role of women, all reflected through fashion.

Everyone dresses up for SMOC and I spotted some gorgeous accessories, this time. Dianna wore a Ukranian pin, ceramic over wood. Judy word her Grandmother's garnet and silver pin. All special and certainly in keeping with the theme of vintage glam. I am very interested in seeing more of these and having some illustrations done of them. Will pursue this idea with some of our fabulous multi talented volunteers. Any one else who would like to work with me on this?

I have been learning about Fashion History from Ivan Sayers, for many years, now. Still fabulous after all these years! If you want to attend more events by Ivan, you can find them at See the first post here.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Photos and writing by Colleen Tsoukalas

American Journalist, Annalee Newitz recently wore her fabulous silk tie, featuring a Greenland Shark and saluting Marine Biology, to Massy Books, for her reading of favourite passages from her 2017 Sci-Fi, "Autonomous". A quote from Neal Stephenson tells it all: "Autonomous is to biotech and AI what Neuromancer was to the internet." Set mainly in Canada, 125 years in the future, there is a Bot neighborhood at Aberdeen Mall, Richmond and other local and regional references. The lead, a woman, Judith Chen, known as Jack, is Chinese, a trained synthetic biologist, and, among other pursuits, a pharma pirate, who copies and makes life saving but hugely expensive drugs available to the poor. I like that she is female, strong, and very, very strategic. I am also finding, Paladin, a bot, who thinks and feels, fascinating. Only at the beginning of the book, I can tell you that this is a multilayered, deep one about AI, drugs, good and bad, economics - rich and poor, slavery - being indentured, the environment, adventure, survival, and the race for ownership and control of resources. A must read to learn more about the outcomes, for sure!

After reading, Annalee answered questions from an enthusiastic audience: Will there be a sequel? What else are you working on, How do you find your voice, What is your hope for the impact of this story? Listening carefully and thanking each person for their interest, she was eloquent in her responses and hopeful about the future. A recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from MIT, and a prolific writer of non-fiction and now, Science Fiction, Annalee Newitz is a powerful voice who will continue to read to audiences who will be immensely impressed, as we were.

Patricia Massy and her Book Store, Massy Books is moving locations, soon. From Main, she is moving to 229 E. Georgia, where she will continue to provide a great collection and fabulous book talks and other events so much needed in Vancouver!

Thanks to Patricia and to Annalee for the opportunity to meet, greet and be read to!

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