On Friday the 4th of December, I attended La Show down in Yaletown at the Lilli’Q Café exhibiting pieces by students attending the LaSalle International College. The event ran from 7pm to 11pm and showcased original designs from the newest Fashion, Jewelery, Graphic & Interior Design students.

I arrived just after 7pm and let myself into the space defined by promotional posters neatly spaced along the windows. Downstairs was warm with a friendly atmosphere filled with approximately 25 people from the school, Café, jewelry design students and their supporters. The jewelry collections were focused under good clean lighting in an alcove at one end while drinks and information was down the other end along with a sideboard thoughtfully providing mini cupcakes and red Lindt milk chocolate balls (always a winner) for the guests. Photographers weaved in and out of the pillars on top of which the student’s works perched within a thematically created environment adding emphasis to the symbolism and creation of their designs.

Tranquil Jewelry, Rose Pendant - hand crafted silver. Image by Matthew Brown

I walked over to a gentleman in a knitted Christmas sweater and asked if I would be able to be introduced to some of the students. I met with Rebwar Ismail the only graduate present and was shown his Tranquil Jewelry collection of hand crafted silverware. As I looked at his work it occurred to me that the name of his jewelry line is reflected in his calm persona and collected charm, an artist of Middle Eastern decent raised in Stockholm now interlacing both cultural flavors into his designs. He has hopes of providing high end custom pieces for private clients viewing his designs as one-off artworks, all products of love and intricate detail with ambitions of studying marketing to advance his label. (image on left is of a hand crafted silver Rose Pendant from Tranquil Jewelry photographed by Matthew Brown)

Similar to Tranquil Jewelry but of a rustic, vintage and antique aura was the collection created by Khadija Muhaisen Dajani under the label Al Masa Jewellery. Derived from a history in journalism and inspired by renowned jeweler Azza Fahmi, Muhaisen Dajani is “inspired by the beauty of nature. I am inspired by beauty itself, in all its forms. Anything and everything that catches my eye can trigger a new idea. This collection in particular has greatly drawn from my Middle-Eastern culture.” 

The resulting handmade pieces of silver and brass included Arabic phrases such as “I am Free” a bracelet (pictured below) crafted “in support of the many women all over the world who are being persecuted” adding a sense of soul, humbleness and dignity to every design, each strong in their own right and spirit.'I am Free' bracelet from Al Masa Jewellry

When it came to the fashion design, I was unable to get good access to see the works of the 8 students on show, a result of the upstairs space limitations and overwhelming popularity of the interactive shoot so only managed as far as the top step. However regardless of this, the vibe from where I was standing was electric and excited.

The concept behind the show was by a team of students and teachers from the LaSalle International College and included Angela Adair, Britney Fremeau, Daryl Askey and Nargus Khabazha with stylist Lindsey Whittaker informing me about the replacement of a traditional catwalk for “a photo shoot going on at the same time models will be walking around posing for the camera, and getting some candid shots behind the scenes” and while I may not have seen much personally Whittaker said the show “was the biggest one I've done and I was really happy.”

Overall La Show was a breath of fresh air in terms of direction and enthusiasm. It was nice to see students so involved in what they believe for their futures and that they were so positively supported by the LaSalle and Lilli’Q Café staff as well as their families and friends. With a little bit more room it would have been an even greater triumph but overall achieved exactly what it wanted and is worthy of commendation.