Saturday, April 13, 2019

Written by Colleen Tsoukalas

I want to thank Sarah Murray, Community Relations Manager for Vancouver Fashion Week and Melanie Kroeker McIntosh, Instructor at John Cassablanca Institute, for their support to share Korean Designer, Soojin's first runway experience and Leah Michaud's first time illustrating a runway show. I wrote about my first meeting with them here. Thanks to both for sharing their talents! Having had countless wonderful opportunities, over the years, to volunteer, write, model and meet so many creative Designers, Artists, Photographers, Musicians, Media, Models - an entire community, both local and international, I want to also thank Jamal Abdourahman, Founder, for keeping VFW the dynamic seven day event that it is and has been since 2001. Not only does it happen twice a year, but it travels (Fashion Capsule) to New York and Japan. Extremely important, then that the Fashion Programs students see it as part of their curriculae and take advantage of the endless opportunities it provides. Thanks, finally to Faye Cottrill, who sent me all the links to VFW to keep me up on the latest, as I was out of town, and would have missed what was yet another fabulous week! Here I am, last season, with those lit up letters! And where would we be without professional photos from the runway by Filippo Fior.

Written by Leah Michaud

The staff was very welcoming and accommodating, someone helped me to my seat inside the venue and informed me of the showroom as well as the "VIP" room (anyone could go sit there really even though it was apparently for media and reserved seats).

The show itself was very fun to watch. The people sitting around me most of the night were young artists, photographers and designers so they were very social and fun to banter with as the evening progressed.

The runways were filled with so much power, passion, skill, love and creativity. Every collection was so well crafted and thought out. I felt as though I understood the designer's persona and energy right as the first model paraded down the runway to the designer's music of choice.

My favourites were SU MODA (modest / hijab fashion), Nöelziñia (romantic / artistic style), and of course my lovely Soojinu. More on both Designers Vancouver Fashion Week.

I wish I had gone every day of the week if possible. I felt really in my element while I was there. Even though I didn't speak to as many people as I would have liked, I'm definitely ready to return next season and make my mark as a Vancouver fashion illustrator.

Written by Soojinu

I took my first step as a fashion designer when I debuted my first runway show to Vancouver Fashion Week. I felt incredibly happy when my childhood dream came true. But on the other hand, I felt empty especially when the show, which I had prepared for about three months, was finished in six minutes. It was over so quickly, but I know many opportunities  will come to me through this Vancouver Fashion Week experience. I am grateful to all who have helped and cared for me. I'll show you the brand name of SOOJINU. Please give us lots of attention and love. I wish to thank the make-up Artist, who created such dramatic eyes for my models, and to the Hair Stylist who created that perfect hair to complement their clothing. Thanks to the models, including my friend, Adam, who walked my story down the red carpet. Finally, Leah's illustrations captured so many details, as the models walked so quickly by her. Many people watched her as she sketched. I love her work and hope to do more projects with her. Here is the link to her article and her illustrations:

Photo credit Filippo Fior

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Written by Treasure Seeker Colleen

After seeing the JCI (John Casablancas Institute) Grad Fashion Show in January, I reached out to instructor Melanie Kroeker McIntosh to interview some of their talented illustrators and designers. She connected me with illustrator Leah Michaud and designer Soojin Woo. Last week, I spent the morning interviewing them at the iconic Water Street Campus. The brick, the views, and the light, provide an exquisite setting for the best in creative achievement.

Soojin's collection: MUDANG, or Infinite Possibilities, will debute at Vancouver Fashion Week, March 20th. This is, as she calls it, an Industrial Rock combination of Western and Korean Cultures, an eight piece, gender neutral collection for women and men. She makes her own patterns and has done so since she was a child. She graduated from a four year Fashion program in Korea and brings with her, expertise in construction, love of jewel tones: red, yellow, and blue and delight in the spooky and mysterious. She has made a gorgeous, short video about her design concepts on her website here

Leah Michaud, currently in the JCI Fashion, Business and Creative Arts Program, is in Vancouver from Calgary and has always been interested in Art. When I asked her what her dream was, she replied, "Only one? I have many." She does live illustrations at the Airport, so I am thinking about commissioning one as I head out for Palm Springs Fashion Week. Also thinking about new business cards. Perhaps my favourite historical character??? Leah will be doing illustrations of Soojin's collection at Vancouver Fashion Week. You can imagine the detail, the focus, the very essence of that leather, or that silk as it floats down the red carpet. That pen, that paper, that eye! Can't wait to post next steps.

Soojin's Work

Leah's Work

Monday, February 18, 2019

Saturday, February 16, 2019 saw Dianna Drahanchuk taking these photos at the AFAM fashion show and showroom, this time at the Scottish Cultural Centre. Many thanks to Yao Zeus Mohammed for the opportunity to learn more about African Fashion, Music, Dance and Art, in a vibrant, well executed sequence of displays, runway show, awards, all celebrations of cultural pride, traditions, diversity, family, community and a brilliant window into what AFAM brings to the world. Here is what I wrote the first time I went.

I am always impressed by the showroom at each AFAM evening. This is your chance to buy handwoven cottons, runway looks, accessories, crafts and Art. The showroom is open early and is available throughout the entire show. 

Sade Awele  sang us into the evening. Love her classic look and smile, which set the tone of welcome to a celebration of excellence.

The diversity of models and their animated walking and dancing down the runway, showed the clothing to its best advantage. We saw 'wearable art', stories through fashion, and skillful tailoring that allowed freedom of movement as well as flattering fit. Loved the modelling of bags and shoes, too. It is rare that both would have such attention, and deservedly so, in the show.

In grey and dark Vancouver, we need this smile and sun. Congratulations on an excellent event. Looking forward to the next AFAM show, for sure!

Here is a list of the designers:

Tribe Asani - Pelumi Ogunbanwo, Tribe Awele, Mawogan, Keanue Kraft Creation, Udamma Fashion, Marbelling Creation, Touch of Africa, Redsoil, House of Ethiopia, Kabumbe.

Note that there is a new TV and Radio Show: Aki Westcoast TV and Radio Canada #AKIWESTCOASTTVRADIOCANADA debuting March 9th, hosted by @HalinaFaqirzada.
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