Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Recently shackled and confined indoors by a shadowy, sinister spectre named Pneumonia, I battled this macabre monster into a corner, swiftly, by dressing it daily, in shrouds, musty wool blankets, damp robes with pockets filled with inhalers and pill bottles, all weighted down with the heaviest and most haunting metals by Carolyn Bruce. I tired out the beast and sent it skulking and slithering under the door, down the dark stairway and out into the burning hot sun and deeps of False Creek. 

My love of Fashion, here and worldwide, has sustained me and kept the beast in its corner. I have chased Fashion, Design and Architecture in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, now and travel plus Vancouver Fashion Week and Global Fashion Collective shows bring me year round  stories, dramas, and dances, all set in video and stage backdrops, a kind of bringing the classics and castles, here. 

Please have a look at my reel of opening night of Vancouver Fashion Week, this past season, and see some of our local and international Designers, share their visions and how so many community builders dress up and support these weeks of history in the making.  We are always welcomed and hosted by CEO and Founder of VFW, Jamal Abdourahman and Sarah Murray, VCC Fashion

The following photos are my way of connecting fashion here with my UK adventures. "The eye must travel", and so must the soul. Confined to a small space, indoors, even for a short time is not for me. Any beast that dares to invade my world, be forewarned that you will have to work, to be dressed and to march that runway. And, since you won't like having to perform and write, you will have to leave the floor. So farewell oh beastly pneumonia and hello to a warm and fashionable summer and fall. Looking forward to the very next best season of Vancouver Fashion Week, coming soon! 

A visit to see the Elgin Marbles at the British National Museum had me captivated with what the Greeks did with marble. You can also see one of my reels here. The pleating and draping and subtle shading, remnants of what was once brilliant colour, fitted to the body and moving with it, never still, reminds me so much of the costume created by Vancouver's Eduardo Ramos for Ballet BC Dancer, Sidney Chuckas. You can see it on one of my reels here

London's Fashion and Textile Museum had a fabulous exhibit: THE BIBA STORY 1964-1975 and I was fascinated by Barbara Hulanicki's fashion story and illustrations. Illustration at Vancouver Fashion Week is a constant delight and I was reminded of the wonderful work of local illustrator Forest Tomlin, now relocated in Zurich but still illustrating for Global Fashion Collective. See his Vancouver Fashion Week reel here.

Finally, the bagpipes of Scotland called (The Pipe Band of the Royal Tank Reg. Reel) and all of the castles, grey stone, tartan and rich woollens brought to mind the award winning local VCC Fashion Designer/Instructor, Allison Dunne. Her family heritage is connected to the Shetland Islands and her patterns and textiles remind me of  Scottish cities  and the need for vivid colours and warm forever knits.

Photo of Allison Dunne and Sue Randhawa, courtesy of VCC 

Here's me, looking at you and inviting you to look more at Fashion and find yourself a seat, this Fall at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Orly Toyber Lasalle College Vancouver Fashion Program Student Shows Us Her Process for Illustrating Winnie Tran Graduate of Lasalle at Vancouver Fashion Week April 25, 2024

Orly is finished her Fashion Diploma, in June and will continue on to get her degree. She came to Lasalle because she heard it was a great school and has really enjoyed her courses. She has learned so much from her instructors. She has volunteered for Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week and, in her volunteer work with Vancouver Fashion Week, this time, she was backstage helping Lasalle Grad Designer and Lasalle Consultant, Educardo Ramos, who showed his couture collection April 28. Please see my instagram for reels of his runway show and his iconic costume for a dance by Sidney Chuckas of Ballet BC. Again, Lasalle students, and staff are a strong, connected community.

Orly comes from a creative family who strongly support her dream of a successful Fashion Career. In fact, her dad has helped her make videos of her illustration process and came to VFW to see what she would choose to illustrate. We took these photos: (1) me, Orly and Lisa Sanche, (Fashion Design Faculty Lead, Lasalle College Vancouver) 2)Dad, Orly and her friend.  Orly is interested in Costume and made Dr. Seuss ones for her sister's school. (Photos by Orly) She always liked drawing and her favourite Designer is Versace. She hopes to show her Grad Collection, "Shadow of Elegance", next year and after completing her degree, would like to gain more work experience in a company such as Lulu Lemon, before building her own Design Business.
Winnie Tran's Collection at F/W 2024 is titled: Testament. See  Winnie’s beautiful designs on her instagram @winn_i9 

Orly loves the fabrics, colours and multilayering in the design she chose to illustrate. She took a runway photo, drew a simple line sketch and then drew another, filling in details and colour. It’s a preliminary set that would be further developed through various poses and back and front views. Illustration is complex and it takes time and a lot of practise to develop individual style for day to day sketching as well as, in Orly's case, illustrating on the runway. 

Thanks for your videos and illustration, Orly! You got your whole family involved with taking photos and dad doing video of you sketching. See more of Orly's work on her Instagram. Excelente! Buen trabajo!

How a sketch progresses 

Costumes Orly designed

Colleen, Orly, Lisa (LaSalle)

Orly's Dad, Orly, and Friend

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Tess Wellington Lasalle College Vancouver Illustrates 3 Designs from Lasalle Grads At Vancouver Fashion Week April 25, 2024

Each VFW season, I like to encourage Fashion Program students to illustrate designs from their schools or others showing their collections. Audiences are interested in watching the live sketching and it gives students an opportunity to share their drawing techniques. It is also a chance for new Designers to see others' perspectives of their work on the runway. Tess Wellington chose 3 outfits to illustrate: 1) ROMANTIC SAMARA BY Anahita Heydari 2) FIGURA INSTRUMENTAL by Frida Guzman Perez  and 3) XEOMETRIA by Ana Paula Reynaud. These were done beautifully and quickly posted to her Instagram. I am so impressed that she thanked Lasalle for the opportunity to attend VFW, to draw the models and "...to watch these new designers make their debut into the Fashion World." I also liked the appreciative comments from the Designers and how this builds school community. Tess hopes to illustrate again at VFW, next Fall. She will graduate from the Lasalle Fashion Diploma Program in the Spring of 2025 and will show her final collection at VFW. She has been drawn to Fashion because she just loves sewing and being creative and has worked in a Silkscreen and Embroidery shop, back home, and as a costume designer for the local theatre program. Having recently finished her Fashion Illustration class, she felt confident about doing these sketches. She has been drawing since she was very young and wanted to be a Comic Artist. After her show at VFW, in 2025, she would like to work for a design company and is also hoping to do Professional Illustration. There are many directions for Tess to take her career. I see so many possibilities, Tess! Here are photos Also please check out my Instagram for the complete Lasalle Fashion Show Rehearsal that was done for 300 Lower Mainland High School Students. Lasalle Designers did the show in the morning and then again in the evening at Vancouver Fashion Week.

Photo by REZA SAMIMI @samimi_reza



XEOMETRIA by Ana Paula Reynaud

Friday, May 3, 2024

Sandi Bassett, Artist Designs Her Pink Outfits For the EWMA Collections Supporting Cancer Research at Vancouver Fashion Week, Wed. April 25, 2024

Sandi Basset is an Artist who has taught, mentored, made Art and designed for EWMA Studio and Store, as well as playing a major role, with Laurie Bricker, in getting ready for the bi-anual Atira X EWMA show at Vancouver Fashion Week. I have written about them both, here and here. This time, Sandi did not walk, but she wore the green outfit that Barbareh modelled last season at fashion week. It was through modelling, that Barbareh conveyed her message that dreams can be pursued even while in treatment. Early, this year, Barbareh lost her battle with breast cancer and since her wish was to raise money for cancer research and a cure, her family, the EWMA Artists, Sewists, Designers and Models from the original team, plus Cancer Surviors walking bravely for the first time, and other Professionals, came together in a warrior fundraising walk of 18 pink looks. In support, Vancouver Fashion Week donated tickets to raise funds and there is an auction/gala by Atira/EWMA, in the works, to raise even more money. There was a sea of pink outfits, accessories and pink jewelry in the audience. See my reel on Instagram here. Having helped to develop the pink drive for cancer, concept, Sandi's 3 outfits are accessorized by Laurie Bricker Laurie Bricker. They began working on this show, right after the last one. Soft, dewy makeup is by Bully Blocker and make-up looks and hair ribbons for the hair, are by Love Berlin. Well known Professional Model Erin Leigh, who of course, rocked an iconic pink gown and spectacular jewelry, spent a lot of time at EWMA, especially with models who had never walked in any fashion events. Bravo team and team work! Sandi's first look was a white vintage dressing gown, up-cycled into cullotes and made into a jump suit, with pink fringe from Dressew. This outfit has a fringe tail, too, to lighten the outfit and make it playful. The hat, one of Sandi's specialties, is also covered in the Dressew pink fringe. Next up is another hat, with sparkly brooch, and feathers and more thrifted jewelry bits. This second outfit is a jacket and pants made out of pink 1980's drapes. Big shoulders and lengthy jacket, worn unbelted but also has a belt. The pink blouse material was donated by Fab Cycle Van, long a supporter of EWMA and generous doner of fabric and funds, over the years. The third look, accessorized by a captain's hat, was actually modelled by a boat captain from Victoria, who came all the way to Vancouver, for every fitting. The jacket is Fab Cycle Van material and Sandi quilted the jacket using batting from The Gathering Place and lace also came via Fab Cycle Van. Sequins and jewelry bits were thrifted but the major jewelry was made by Laurie Bricker. The skirt for this outfit was made by Domi, another EWMA Designer and Model, who made 3 of the other pink gowns in the collection. Artists in our midst! Art and Fashion are a powerful vehicle for fighting for a cure. Women supporting Women. BC Cancer Foundation EWMA Vancouver Fashion Week, strong allies in the battle.

Image via Sandi Bassett

Below runway images via Arun Nevader (Getty Images)

@extremely.erin Erin Leigh

LOVE TO UKRAINE by Tetyana Golota at Vancouver Fashion Week Tuesday April 23, 2024

LOVE TO UKRAINE is a tribute to Ukrainian culture, and is a contemporary reflection of how its historical crafts,fabric woven, hand made and intricately embroidered and cross-stitched, appear on clothing and accessories, musical instruments, home furnishings, buildings and more. I encourage you to learn more here. Its brilliant colours, usually on a white background, depicting flowers, birds, animals, people, includes, for this collection, many outfits with special 'patches' and pictures of toys. The runway show opened with a model carrying a teddy bear, which represents children impacted by war. Our clothing tells our story and the toys remind us that children, our future, are the most profoundly affected. Removed from home and country, survival taking precedence over play, traditions lost, life lost, so much at stake here. While a reel on my instagram has music and dance (Dovbush Dancers, directed by Debbie Karras) and costumes by Janice Black, Costume Treasurer at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre, these photos show the toy motifs up close. Thank you, Tetyana Golota for bringing the blue and yellow flag of the Ukraine, to Vancouver Fashion Week. For every collection, there is a dynamic video and a vibrant background, always different, always teaching. Here is my previous coverage of Tetyana's LOVE TO UKRAINE shows from 2023 and 2022. Tetyana is an ECO Stylist, bringing thrifted and fabrics and accessories and upcycling them for her collections. She always models and wears her designs in her daily life. For this and other collections, she uses family heirlooms and pieces made and donated by her community. Many of us wear blue and yellow, when LOVE TO UKRAINE is on the schedule. We see, we learn, we remember. I love Tetyana's vibrant green dress with the giant teddy bear on the front. When asked which of her looks is her favourite, she says...all of them a have unique features and designs and history. Very much like each of her LOVE TO UKRAINE fashion shows, all different, all exquisitely designed and all with the message PEACE FOR UKRAINE!

Image via Tetyana Golota

Image via Tetyana Golota

Image via Tetyana Golota

Image via Tetyana Golota

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