Find your FEARLESS
review and photographs by Alyssa Taylor
September 18 – 23, 2019
ATB Financial Arts Barn
The ATB Financial Arts Barn hosted the Western Canada Fashion Week, WCFW, this past weekend, and finished its 32nd season with every ounce of flair I could have asked for.
The theme of ‘fearless’ was really felt throughout the entire show as the designs brought different pieces of power and creativity to the runway. The WCFW mission is to “create a community, not only of designers, but one that unites all those involved in the fashion and beauty industries”, and that really came across to the large crowds of people who flocked to the event this weekend.
LUXX ready-to-wear, a local Edmonton designer, was mystical to watch as they began their walk with a smudging ceremony on Friday night and then proceeded to have some of the most flamboyant models with their bright designs and high energy attitudes. The beautiful and detailed work that was steeped in Indigenous heritage was eye catching and brilliant.
The designs from H.O.D, Helen Oro Designs, were so much fun. Flowery and striking, these outfits really made an impact, half of the models had flowers covering their mouths making a statement on the environmental outcry that has been made, especially recently.
Odain Crowther’s designs were a personal favourite of mine, with beautiful, breezy dresses that shimmered as they came down the runway. These were dresses that you could see yourself feeling amazing in. The worry with runway styles can sometimes be that you might never imagine yourself wearing something, but Crowther managed to balance new and bold with wearable and elegant wonderfully.
The Baroque line was incredible from start to finish. They even choose to break the traditional sit and watch standard of the show to take a pause for 15 minutes, to allow the audience to actually get up close and see the intricate accessories for themselves. It was a bold move and worked out well as the room buzzed with people trying to get a closer look at all of the lovely pieces on display.
The Stanley Carrol line was captivating to watch as models synchronized movements to the music, creating a moving work of art.
The models who had the most attitude were those rocking Cherry Chic Designs. Bold prints and designs for every shape and size were flaunted, these models felt good in these clothes and it not only showed, it sold.
But I have to say that one of the most magical to witness was Kaori Kato, whose creations turned the runway into a fairy-tale. The visual artist from Japan, whose specialty isn’t even fashion, wowed the crowd with whimsical designs that floated and unfolded gracefully. The models were like life-size origami dolls, a true highlight of the show.
The show was powerful, from the art and design to the messages of Rainbow Warriors: equality and even environmental awareness. Davines really made an impact with their short film, and with a punchline like “Beauty is our responsibility” you had to know people were listening. It really seemed to hit the younger generation sitting in the audience: this isn’t an intimidating industry, it is a community of people who are looking to make the world more beautiful in every way they can.
If you missed fashion week this year there is always the 33rd season and 17th year that will start on March 18th, 2020. You definitely don’t want to miss the sensational work that continues to turn out from fashion week.
Western Canadian Fashion Week website
(includes information on March and September 2020 events)