Friday, April 14, 2017

Vancouver Kids Fashion Week March 25, 26, 2017

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This year, for the first time, I attended the Saturday show from 11:00 = 1:00 and it was truly an action packed couple of hours! I took two VCC Fashion Program designers with me: Nico Gruzling and Francesca Ramirez, whom I had interviewed previously here.

Here is a list of Children's Clothing Designers that we were lucky enough to see on March 25th: Jax and Lennon, Like a Scribble, Little and Lively, Rarity Kids, and Angelle Chang. You can read more about designing for children's confidence and comfort, sourcing materials locally and sustainably, and where to buy these fabulous collections, at the VFW site here:

I know that creating a collection and showing it at VFW is a crowning achievement for emerging designers. I also think that investigating other elements is very important. Beverly Card, Designer and Owner of Rarity Kids, was gracious enough to meet us and answer questions about how she got started: her grandma and mom were master sewers and taught her. She has a young daughter who inspires her every day. As the saying goes, it takes a whole community... to build a business and keep it growing and expanding. Beverly would like to see Rarity become the most highly sought after specialty Children's Wear on the West Coast. Francesca Ramirez drew her illustrations from the Rarity Kids Collection.

The second designer featured is Kelsie Power of Jax and Lennon. She is Mom to Jaxton and Lennon, and her collection features creations for babies and toddlers. She also designs women's wear. You will see several sketches of Nicole Gruzling's favorite pieces.

An enterprising baker, The Cake Mama, created 'fashionable' sweets for Kids' Fashion Week, treats that I think would go over really well for the whole event. Sweets for the sweet!

Big thanks to Sarah Murray, VCC Fashion Program Coordinator, Vancouver Fashion Week, Vancouver Kids' Fashion Week, Nico Gruzling and Francesca Ramirez for yet another fashion journey!

Sarah Murray, Francesca Ramirez, Me and Nico Gruzling

Vancouver Fashion Week MCs

Rarity, by Beverly Card

Designer, Beverly Card, Rarity and Me

Sketched by Francesca Ramirez

Jax and Lennon, by Kelsie Power 

Interested in the process of illustrating during the show, I took photos of Nico as she worked. Here is Nico illustrating two looks from Jax and Lennon. (photo) Since she sews for her own children, she knows how much they love the color and pattern and she loved the dinosaurs in this collection. She says that she is at the beginning with the process, but it gets better with practise. I think she captured the energetic playfulness of kids, perfectly. The day was expertly emceed by two very accomplished, engaging speakers, likely about ten years old. We all noticed how each collection was presented so beautifully that it was hard to choose which to draw. Each designer presented a number of looks within ten minutes, mainly because of the very young ages of many of the children. Even the very youngest walked the length of the runway and posed for photographers. There were no pauses or tears; everyone was confident, well rehearsed, yet quite natural. As always, there is a whole team working with these models: Designers, Parents, Photographers and particularly the Feng Feng Academy and Indigo Education Speak. Not only were the runway shows fantastic, but also there were dance performances at breaks.

A successfully run business owner can answer all of those questions, a new grad wants answered. Students also need to use their social media skills, not only in promoting their own designs but also in supporting the fashion community. So what can be done? How about doing some illustrations of the shows, or impressions of the experience, just to share a different perspective. There are millions of photos out there, but how many personal interpretations through illustration, are there? Illustrating, Interviewing, Writing, Networking...just a few ways to expand practice while contributing to Vancouver Fashion Week and future productions.

Sketched by Nico Gruzling

Sketched by Nico Gruzling

Fashion week treats made by The Cake Mama

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