Saturday, January 28, 2023

Four (and More) Vancouver Creatives Bringing Sparkle and Shine To The Runway And To The Community Part 1 of 2

A runway show involves the efforts of many creatives, an array of diverse artistic expression, for sure. This is part 1 of 2 blogs about 4 creatives who are taking EWMA, to the next level. The show, in itself, is a grand production, and a platform for many other projects and opportunities. EWMA X Atira, has been a dynamic runway presence Vancouver Fashion Week, for many seasons. It is produced by women creating Art at the EWMA studio and selling it at EWMA store. The designs are eco, one of a kind, found, thrifted, upcycled, recycled, handmade, a wide range of clothing, accessories, paintings, photography and more. The show necessitates collaboration, teamwork and often multiple roles for participants. Developing a theme, vision, constructing the outfits, tying the 'looks' together, accessorizing, creating the model statement walk for the collection, designing the background visual/video, make-up, the social media and then a follow up production, a record of accomplishments and a prep for the next show, this time April 12-16, 2023.

Let's begin with Artist, Sandi Bassett, whose fabulous hats caught the attention of Make-Up Artist/PhotoShootProducer, Rainne Medina, who took them to Paris, NYC, and LA Fashion Weeks. More about Sandi, and Rainne's first meeting here. Sandi has made hats and outfits for the EWMA show and this time, her green pleated pants, accessorized with a ceramic corset by Laurie Bricker of Kiln Ceramic Jewelry, were stunning. 

One of Sandi's favourite looks made by @backwardsrider, a first time sewist

Hat, jacket and pleated pants by Sandi Bassett and bra top by Kiln Ceramic Jewelry

Model Mel Yanga modelling with Kiln Ceramic Jewelry Orange Outfit by @sandi_bassett

Artists Sandi Bassett and Laurie Bricker

Mel Yanga Model and Farlee Mowatt


Sandi Bassett pants, jacket and hat and the top by Kiln Ceramic Jewelry

Kiln Ceramic Jewelry corset and earrings

Jada Modelling Sandi Bassett purple hat, outfit by @lauriebricke

Yvonne Hanson 

Sandi believes in service and has been teaching Art at EMWA studio (DTES) and working with the women who go there to be in a community who's goal is to end violence, create safe, creative spaces and teach a wide range of skills and entrepreneurship. When she began helping with the EWMA runway show for Vancouver Fashion Week, she thought she was preparing for a small event. Once there, she saw that it was a multi day event, featuring local and international Designers and Artists. VFW is truly global in that it shows in Paris, NYC, Tokyo and more. And now, many of the fabulous photographs and runway shows are featured, globally in multiple magazines, including Vogue Mexico. 

Two shows ago, Sandi worked on featured a black and white  and red theme, here Previous themes were set, but now they are determined by a team, lead by Sandi, Laurie and Farlee Mowat. For this past season I loved all of Sandi's hats and outfits accessorized by Laurie's outstanding earrings and necklaces, but Sandi's favourite was a cape, by Backwards Ryder. This cape was a first time project by a first time sewer, whose work went from the craft table to Vancouver Fashion Week. So there is much to be celebrated after the main event, the fashion show, where the outfits come off the mannequins and onto live models, some from EWMA and some Professional Models. There are many opportunities behind the scenes and on the runway, but then what? I always photograph the runway show because I admire EWMA's strong, confident models and unique designs. I include a few of my photos here, but am thrilled to see professional photographers, like Elizabeth Lim and this time, Yvonne Hanson do further shoots that show how the original designs can be enhanced by showing them, close up and in real life settings. There is great potential for these being featured in a variety of magazines, illustrating how fashion designs go beyond the runway. We learn that EWMA is so much a community builder and shows the power of women to set an example and inspired others to do so. 

The jewellery, the jewellery, let's see how these ceramic pieces have grown bigger and more complex over the seasons of Vancouver Fashion Week. I interviewed Laurie Bricker of Kiln Ceramic Jewelry find out more. Laurie started out at EWMA store as a shopper. She then brought her pieces to sell there. Later, she became a peer support worker and a teacher of ceramic jewelry. She is self taught, but has always had an eye for fashion. She has designed for 8 seasons of EWMA at Vancouver Fashion Week. Laurie collected her pieces and the work of the other Artists at EWMA for their first professional photo shoot with Photographer, Elizabeth Lim. These two giant talents made a great connection and in her words: "EWMA garments and jewelry are meant to be immortalized in photographs, portrayed in a creative lights." Laurie says she started with single strand small necklaces and earrings, focusing on detail and shape rather than size. Now she sees how much bigger and more complex pieces can be much more visible on the runway, but also contribute to the impact and statement and overall theme. Her jewelry is now entire garments, too. Her bikini, halters and corsets were show pieces, this season. I asked her if the ceramics were cold, but she says they heat up quickly. She loves working with all of those models who animate her work so magnificently. Do look at her instagram to see them and more fab photography by Donya Ma and Barb Model Makeup Photographer and marvellous make-up by Rainne Medina

Photographer: Cassidy Chen, HMUA: Tessa Talbot, Stylist: Elizabeth Lim, Model: Tiyana Schmidt 

Photographer: Cassidy Chen, HMUA: Tessa Talbot, Stylist: Elizabeth Lim, Model: Dalene Klopper
Agency: Chan International, Design By: Kiln Ceramic Jewelry, Corset: Corset Story

Photographer: Cassidy Chen, HMUA: Tessa Talbot, Stylist: Elizabeth Lim, Model: Ansu Klopper
Agency: Chan International, Design By: Kiln Ceramic Jewelry, Heels: Public Desire

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