Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 Vancouver Men's Fashion Week

I was very excited to be invited to the first ever Vancouver Men's Fashion Week by my good friend Jorge Ramos. Both Jorge and his colleague Jun Ramos have worked in the fashion industry for some years now and their vision was to promote Vancouver's own designers via a fashion week focusing exclusively on men's design. Through Jun's company Ramos & Fortier, Jorge and Jun's team decided to build a fashion week from the ground up by recruiting volunteers, local and worldwide designers, models, photographers, bloggers and other fashion industry professionals. The fashion week not only helped to spotlight designers but it also acted as an opportunity for fashion students and professionals to get some real-life experience in the field.

Vancouver Men's Fashion Week - commonly known as VMFW - consisted of conferences and a fashion show at a Gastown nightclub called The PostModern. I will focus on the latter on this article. Here are some pictures of us at the event:

The event started at 5:30pm with a meet and greet with the models and designers. At 7pm the club was absolutely packed and you could definitely sense people's anticipation to see the event. The PostModern has three levels and the runway was on the ground floor. My only criticism about the event was the location - due to the really high number of guests it would have been more comfortable for everyone to have a runway that extended over a longer space in order to provide more seating along the runway. The runway that was used was quite wide but very short - this forced guests to cram together in a very limited space in order to be able to enjoy the show. At the same time, I am aware of the fact that this is the first men's fashion show of this caliber to be held in Vancouver and therefore I am certain that next year's location will be more fitting.

The runway show started promptly at 7pm with a few words from Jun Ramos (who seemed very proud of his team and the overall show). The music was very upbeat and it therefore helped to keep everyone in a cheery mood for the entire evening. Here is a list of the designers who showed their work last night:

  • Dodjie Batu
  • Brittany-Anne Fisher
  • Frederick Fung
  • Nico Agustin
  • Anthony McRae
  • Steve Samson
  • Franz Patrick Albana
  • Desiree Mark
  • Ashli Soto
  • Sweat Collection
  • Theresa Chen
  • Bia Boro Apparel
  • Teodora Wong
  • Tomita Fenton Yasuhiro

Now let's talk a bit about the fashion trends I noticed at the show. Men's overall fashion seems to be moving towards a more classic look with retro-inspired tops, bottoms, accessories, and hairstyles. Oversized luggage-style bags were still very much present on the runway. Shirts with very deep V-necks will still be worn this fall. Suit jackets with patterns paired with a more neutral pant were also quite common across the various collections. Designers also seemed to make use of a few different metallic fabrics for their designs - whether this trend will cross over to the mainstream fashion is yet to be determined. The long slouchy sweaters that were so popular for women last winter are making a come back this year but now for men. Scarves and vests were also seen across various collections. Industrial boots with skinny jeans should most definitely be part of your look this fall/winter. 

One of my favorite collections was from local British Columbia designer Frederick Fung. Frederick was able to showcase different fashion styles that I think could be quite popular this year. Here's a video for you to enjoy:

Overall, I am very proud of Jorge and Jun for bringing this kind of event to Vancouver. We are an extremely multicultural city that has a lot to offer when it comes to fashion and design. I am definitely looking forward to next year's event as I just read on Jorge's twitter timeline that he has already started planning it! (not even 12 hours after this year's event ended).  

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