Saturday, May 14, 2022

Once a year, Craft Council of BC (CCBC) gallery at Granville Island, has a fund raiser,  "The Earring Show." Next year, it will be the 10th Anniversary of this fundraiser. The gallery has so many beautiful crafts, cards, pottery, jewelry and more. It has been in it current location since 1986. Previously it was in the Carousel Theatre building since 1979. See what I wrote the last time I attended an event in 2017!

We thank Alex for the opportunity to see how so many earrings are displayed. 195 this year, from 94 local and international Designers, and how the exhibit and fundraiser is displayed best in a smaller space. Every set was placed and numbered and further details are provided online. For the evening event, there are refreshments, meet and greets and opportunities to bid and buy, in person or online. Here are 10 of our favorites:

This time, I took Carolyn Bruce, of Carolyn Bruce Designs
Because we all dress for adventures and events, she wore these fabulous faces


Frog by Daniel Hunt


Orca Hunt by Daniel Hunt


Raven by Daniel Hunt

Invisible Road Earring by Lei (Yuna) Zhang

Anishnaube Florals by Jaymie Campbell

Beaded Earrings by Mishelle Lavoi 

Anishnaube Florals by Jaymie Campbell

Mismatched Pearl Sliders by Edna Milevsky

Moon by Siyu Dong

Moon by Siyu Dong

For complete list of 200 earrings and Designer Bios please see the beautiful catalogue here.

I always enjoy the Earring Show and encourage you to sign up for the year round events from Craft Council of BC.

Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: craftcouncilBC

Thanks to Alex Montes, Comm, Manager, for arranging for Carolyn and me to observe the show set up and to take photos. 

For The Earring Show, this is the community behind it:

Raine McKay (Executive Director) Program and Event Lead, Organizer, Presenter

Sheryl Mackay Host and Interviewer (Best voice, ever)

Barbara Cohen Gallery Exhibition Curator & Award Sponsor

Charlene Wichaidit Submissions logistics &data, Editing Support, Presenter

Tom Costle (Shop Manager) Shop & Gallery set up support, online shop, Presenter

Tatiana Povoroznyuk Image Editing Support, data Support, online Shop, Event Tech Support

Volunteers: Arman Qureshi, Diana Kamensek, Rafaeia Gomes, Karen Voff, Gigi Wichaidit

Sujitha Shivajothi created and showed her gender inclusive collection at @vancouverfashionweek, this season. Intrigued by the intricate details of her jackets, especially, I looked back at her award winning menswear designs for her school, Blanche Macdonald's Grad Fashion Show of 2020 here.

Sujitha is a great representative for the Fashion Program at Blanche Macdonald, as well as for her own label. She is passionate about designing for everyone and her interview tells more about her strong vision and determination to produce a line that is both ECO and local.

Q: In your design process, which comes first - the outfit or the fabric?

A: When sketching ideas I tend to assemble the outfit then think of fabric but when fabric shopping I will see something and visualize it as a piece so I find it is a bit of both. You can never really know where the design process takes you when you begin and that is what I love about it.

Q: Where does ECO Fashion come into your practice?

A: The new generation of designers have a clear responsibility to make their clothing environmentally sustainable. Not only for the obvious ethical reasons but to garner a better future for the artistic medium itself. Fast fashion does not only pose an enormous threat to the future of our environment but it also poses a direct threat to the creativity and growth within the art form.

Q: Does Sri Lanka, your country and culture have a role in your creations?

A: Fashion is always a reflection of the culture and politics the designer is steeped in. I find that even when designers draw from previous eras their decision to do so is a direct reaction to the pervasive culture of the era they currently find themselves in.

Q: How about recycling and upcycling?

A: Upcycling garments is a great way of bringing new life to a piece most people would dismiss. One of my recent designs was comprised entirely of scrap fabrics that I have saved over the past year. It was such a great way to create a one of a kind garment.

Q: Where in Vancouver is your favorite place to source fabric?

A: In Vancouver one of my favourite places to shop for fabric is Atex Designer Fabrics. There are always great hidden gems and I never walk away empty handed. The staff is wonderfully knowledgeable and always willing to help you find the perfect fabric for your project.  

Q:What has been your favorite design from your own collection this season?

A: I would have to say my favorite design so far is the Button Trousers. It was a complex design that involved a great deal of pattern drafting and multiple toiles to perfectly execute the design.  

Thanks for your interview and for an excellent runway show at VFW, Sujitha. I hope to see more of your work, at VFW this Fall, and would love to see those jackets and pants in our local stores. Congratulations and I look forward to your next steps.

More information about Blanche Macdonald programs and Sujitha's collection at VFW, here.


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

EWMA X Atira has been at Vancouver Fashion Week since 2015 and last October, it was the fabulous hats and sparkly glasses that really got my eye. This time, on Sunday, April 10th,  I was lucky enough not only to see more spectacular hats but also some very creatively upcycled looks, by Artist, Sandi Bassett. Sandi Bassett. Dianna Drahanchuk, a good Fashion Friend, sent me Sandi's contact info and said I should meet her. Today, I met her for a chat about how she came to Vancouver, discovered EWMA and began to teach there and create her own Art: Painting, Jewelry, Pottery, and Designing clothing and accessories for the show at Vancouver Fashion Week. Sandi is one of a group of Enterprising Women Making Art (EWMA) who brought their vision and skills to make a very dynamic runway statement. I interviewed Sandi because she found some of her materials on the $5 rack at My Sister's Closet, thrift boutique at Seymour and Helmcken, where I volunteered, and was part of their many fashion events and fundraisers, with proceeds going to ending violence and supporting battered women. Sandi finds useful 'treasures' wherever she goes and spotted a brand new pair of spiked heels for the show, in a free bin and found a Singer Sewing Machine, another free donation, too. She adores Dressew for accessories like the brass rings she used for corset fasteners. She accessorized hats, and embellished and painted them. She took a white shirt and made it into a skirt. She made pants into a shirt. She painted the fabric and changed everything up. New looks from old and always surprising and yes, better, much better.
We started off at the Eden Cafe and over brunch we talked about how her degrees in Art and Education ( Alberta) led to her teaching Art at the Maskwacis Reserve School there. She has travelled and taught Art in Mexico, Cambodia and India, and continues to do this wherever she goes. She says, "When I see and opportunity, I jump in." Sandi loves to work with her hands and has used her creative skills to remodel her house, (she had her own reno company) sew clothes, travel on a dime and find resources that support her own Artistic vision as well as to support others in expressing theirs.

After a very brief time in Vancouver, Sandi was interested in volunteering to teach Art and found her way to EWMA, a program of Atira Free of Violence, Women's Art Society. More at Ewma Store. At 800 East Hastings, women will find a resource centre/studio with Art supplies and classes, as well as a store where the Art can be sold. One of Sandi's next projects will be for an East Side Art Event at Strathcona Park,  this summer, for which she will be dressing mannequins, donated by JQ Clothing, a long time women's clothing store at 2120 Commercial. More at She will also be designing for the next EWMA X Atira show at Vancouver Fashion Week, this Fall. She and other Designer/Artists, for example, Kiln Ceramic Jewelry,  will  be working with Farlee Mowat, Coordinator of the Fashion Shows. Farlee Mowat of Lethal Designs.

Sandi Basset is an Artist who finds treasure around her, makes it her own version, builds community with her practice and then brings it to Vancouver Fashion Week. Sandi has included a couple of photos of her designs in a special photo street shoot. The Make-Up Artist for this is Joanna Keller of Joanna Keller Beautique. Statement Jewelry is by Kiln Ceramic Jewelry. Great photography by Deejai Riangkrul (Deejai Riangkrul). Other photos, unless tagged are mine.

Model Mel_Yanga. Hat and glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Model Julia_sterling_ Hat and glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Model: Kate_2112_wang   
Outfit by Sandi_Bassett (pants to blouse and shirt to skirt)
Outfit by Sandi_Bassett  Jewelry by Kiln Ceramic Jewelry

Designer/Artist Sandi_Bassett  

Glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Glasses by Sandi_Bassett

Jewelry by Sandi_Bassett

Sandi_Bassett and her painting

Designer/Artist Sandi_Bassett and her eco up cycled design for VFW 

Shirt becomes skirt by Sandi_Bassett

Pants becomes sleeves in this top by Sandi_Bassett

Painted the jacket collar black and it became a dress collar for the outfit by Sandi_Bassett

Dressew rings for corset closures. 

Sandi_Bassett and her 'found' shoes that walked the runway Vancouver Fashion Week

A mannequin donated by JQ Clothing
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