“When fashion week rolls around it is the time when fashionistas gather excitedly to show off their sunday best. It is also the time to watch the runway, anticipating to see next seasons latest trends. As I arrived at the white tents, and read the banner looming above exclaiming Vancouver Fashion Week, I felt a rush of excitement, as this was to be my first Fashion Week experience. As I entered the white tents with press pass in tow, I couldnʼt help but notice the guests with Chanel bags, Tom Ford shoes, and Louboutins (to list a few). Yes, Vancouverites love their high end fashion, and although the city has not emerged with a reputation for being known as a fashion capital, like Paris or New York. Fashion Week in Vancouver is an event that is not to be taken lightly. Local and international talent make their way to the city of Vancouver to showcase their collections to potential buyers,editors, media, and local celebrities.

This seasons F/W 2015 runway lineup had show stoppers that left the audience applauding. I sat through 23 shows in total, and was lucky enough to be seated in front row to watch Paloma Sanchez, Noe Bernacelli, and Nadia + Zehraʼs collections take the catwalk. So here is the runway re-capp of the notable shows right from front row:

Paloma Sanchezʼs collection was about the senses. The room was first filled with a scent of amber, while the lights were turned off. The show commenced with a video of Paloma’s travels to find unique gemstones, taking her to the mines of exotic locales like Morocco, Vietnam, China and Mynamar. Next the runway was flooeded by models wearing black body suits (this just screamed out cat woman), holding flashlights strategically positioned so that only the jewelry and brilliant gemstones would be seen. After the show had ended Paloma distributed gifts to the front row, myself included. When I had opened my gift box my eyes fell upon a massive rock attached to a delicate gold chain. I feel as though the memory of the show was locked into this one gift, as it like the show are both unique oddities.

One of the most memorable runway shows was seeing Noe Bernacelliʼs collection. There is something about his dresses that have an Elie Saab like appeal, but with an Italian influence. The garments exuded an intense femininity, especially the floor length evening gowns. If you ask me to describe Bernacelli’s show, I will only ever be able to utter one word and that is: “gorgeous”. Noe’s show has left me stunned.

Nadia + Zehraʼs streetwear collection was about attitude, you know that attitude of not giving a... “insert censorship here”. As for the models they were not afraid to show off some skin, the majority of the collection were T-shirts that barely covered these women. Models also injected their own personality by dancing quickly before the next model would rush out. (Which made the crowd go wild, well mainly the men), I also remember the hats in the show that still stand out in my mind, who could forget them with their rocker look and horns.

However, Fashion Week is not only about what appears on the runway before the audience, but about behind the scenes, where the magic is about to happen. I had made friends with Gala Limon, a designer from Mexico a day before her runway show, and had decided to wait backstage as her collection Mexican Fairies was debuting. I adored seeing the models wearing her garments before the audience on the other side would get to see what she had created. I was able to talk about her collection that was inspired by fairies and the relationship that we have with nature.“Their world is not visible to us, we are surrounded by communication signs that we do not always see, it exists but it is not visible to our eyes. She continued, “Things that we are not able to perceive through our senses, but with our intuition, and through our spirit we can get to know them”, Gala also mentioned how her collection was also inspired by the colours of Mexicoʼs contrasting landscape as “In the south there are flowers, and to the north there is desert”. Plus Gala’s garments are fare trade produced.

I also talked to designer and ph.D student Zuzana Hrubos from Slovakia, who studied in the Czech Repuplic. Her innovative collection (PULSE) incorporates electromagnetic shielding textiles, which instantly caught my attention from the way her clothing lit up. Think grey fabric contrasting with neon that was illuminated by optical fibers. She showed me how the material used in her collection would be able to protect the wearer from both cellphone and Wi-Fi waves. Zuzana is so genuine, and enthusiastic about her collection, which is something I love in a Fashion Designer. Personality combined with innovative and inspiring clothing are two of the best qualities a fashion Designer can possess. I honestly cannot wait to see future collections from both Gala Limon and Zuzana Hrubos, because they are such talented, and warm individuals.

Anyways lovelies, Vancouver Fashion Week was an incredible experience, and I loved every moment of it. From the designers and their collections, to the way Vancouverites dress. This event should be seen at least once in ones lifetime and if you cannot make it to Paris, New York, London or Milan there is always Vancouver. I also took a few photos for you dear readers from behind the scenes, so I hope you enjoy the personal touch.