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Vancouver Fashion Week 2009: Designers from Richmond to Italy

Designer Fala Chien presented her collection at VFW this year. Photos by Duran Cheung.

Vancouver Fashion Week 2009 attracted designers from as near as Richmond to as far away as Italy. The fashions presented at the Colin Campbell Showroom on Railway Street were as diverse as the designers themselves.
Thursday, Nov 5
Show one on my docket was label Broken Ghost Couture, which embodied the look of fashionable young pirates. This collection combined different textures, prints and colours, and was pretty and eccentric. Rosettes adorned the models hair and frocks. Lime green, yellow, hot pink, black and grey carried through this ship maiden collection. Some outfits leaned a bit costumey, but overall the collection managed to stay grounded.
Next up was Lia Bonet's Broken Doll line, which has some great metallic dresses in a multitude of earth tones with feather-like patterns. Other than those dresses, the collection was very wearable, with cotton dresses and tunics in solid colours. I can tell you that the maxi dress will be carrying on next summer, as there were many in this show, as well as sequined flats and gladiator heels and sandals.
Elena Vera Stella started off the Italian portion of VFW, and I noticed a theme in the collections to come–Bling and Glitz. The Italian designers love to bedazzle their garments. Stella's collection was mostly evening wear, with couple bathing suits thrown in the mix. The most questionable outfit of her collection was a pink snakeskin "dress", open to show matching underwear and a held together with a wide black belt with a piece of the snakeskin fabric on it. There were also a few velvet minis and chiffon dresses, all with crystals, sequins and rhinestones- oh my!
Gisarri was the next Italian designer, who did a lot of jeans with crystals. My favourite was some black shiny pants which appeared to be leather with clear crystal flowers running up the back of the legs. The show cummulated with two wedding dresses, both very elaborate with lots of bead work, crystals and crinoline. The most touching part of the show was when a little girl in the audience reached out and touched one of the dresses. I can only assume she was thinking she was touching a real-life princess.
By Crossover's Bollywood portion of the evening, the crowd had thinned out. This was unfortunate as it was one of the most extensive and elaborate collections of the evening. There were long skirts completely covered in intricate patterns of sequins, beads, and saris and outfits in every colour under the sun. As well, this collection featured something unique to all others – men's fashion. The tunics and blazers were amazing and well made, with some more traditional and some more contemporary. Especially interesting was a men's white cotton blazer which looked almost like a straitjacket, with it's front off-centre and the whole jacket cut roughly from white cotton cloth. The show ended with a long white and cream mermaid gown adorned with a loosely made flower on the shoulder. It was unexpected and quite stunning.
Friday, Nov. 6
I caught Fala Chien's Play with Fala collection, which was wonderfully minimalistic, well-tailored, and feminine. The models stopped halfway down the runway to give each side a good look before they continued on, as opposed to the usual storm down the runway. I would wear everything in this collection, and it claims to be affordable.

Enjoy the photos of this show from photographer, Duran Cheung. You can check out more of his fine photojournalism here as well.

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