Vancouver Fashion Week – Is a change needed?

We recently received an invitation to attend Vancouver Fashion Week. A bit of a surprise as we never had an invitation before. TrendFashion1 advocates for Canadian designers. We had hoped and expected that Vancouver Fashion Week would have a healthy dose of Vancouver, let alone, Canadian designers especially as this organization has received support from government(s) in the past.

We looked (at the time of the invite) for the line-up but regretfully nothing was posted. TrendFashion1 wanted to profile and promote participating designers in advance of the event and generate a buzz, well we could not have been more wrong.

A week or two prior to Vancouver Fashion Week show, we finally saw the line-up of designers on this organization’s WEB pages.  Much to our astonishment, there were only 8 Canadian/Vancouver designers (as far as we know from their Website) out of a total of 38. Ouch, “only 8 Canadian designers”, while our city has over 6 fashion design colleges.  Oh yes, we did see designers from LaSalle College and that was great, as these young designers need the profile (we will do a feature on them in the future).

The lack of Vancouver designers may be odd and one may ask, “if there is some kind of boycott going on here”. Certainly it is not that Vancouver and Canada has no designers, last count we did, there are over well known 200 Canadian designers.  So where did they go?  Did Vancouver Fashion Week “miss the (fashion) boat”? In our opinion they did.   We have not even mentioned the many graduates coming from the 6 local fashion design colleges and many lesser-known designers, carving out a living in Vancouver!

It would be easy to fill a show with just Vancouver designers with a focus on local talent.  This would have made the event unique and would have really promoted the local fashion industry.  Clearly a name change is needed here.  Can you imagine London Fashion Week with only 8 British Designers!!!  There would be a great outcry.

Maybe there is a need to create a new showcase on what Vancouver has to offer.  One that celebrates local designers with affordable participation fees so that lesser known (and start-up) designers can participate.  It certainly would be more representative.

Just have a look at the Montreal Fashion Festival. Would that work in Vancouver?  Now this is a true celebration of Montreal and Quebec fashions. Then again, the Quebecers know what is needed and they do get the support and with over 40 fashions shows, outdoor events and music and art, it all comes to life. Indeed Montreal has the reputation of Canada’s fashion capital. Lets face it; fashion (design) is art. Something we do not understand too well in here Vancouver. (Read our previous posting on Vancouver City and our fashion industry.)

Now back to the Vancouver Fashion Week. We attended the first day of Vancouver Fashion Week. There were 4 Vancouver fashion designers. The show started 1 hour and 15 minutes late. We kept thinking of all the work we could be doing rather then just sitting here and wait and wait and wait. We asked about the delay and all what the organizer (volunteers) had to say, “We are starting fashionable late”! I guess our time is not considered valuable.

We did think that Theresa Chan and T.A.S.S. had some very interesting pieces. Papillion’s fabrics were really lovely but their show did not have any theme or cohesion to it. KOHT from Japan had well-designed sports inspired clothing. The pants had interesting detailing and the tops and dresses in Japanese prints reminded me of  a modernized kimono print. The second designer was Tramp in Disguise from the UK, their collection showed silk scarf inspired prints in many dresses and tops, exquisite workmanship and attention to detail.  What else can one expect from the Brits?

There seems to be issues with volunteers, this was documented in Vancouver Fashion Weak ( and the Vancouver Sun. It looks like our recent article on how volunteers should be appreciated would be valid here as well.

And while Vancouver Fashion Week asked us if we could provide our opinion  “we would love to improve the opinion of us in your publication!” Here are our ratings:

Would we attend again?  Our fashion store stars ratings:

Canadian content: 2 fashion store out of 5 (1 is unacceptable and 5 excellent) Relations with social media: 3 stores out of 5. Location Downtown East-side 2 stores out of 5. Inside venue 4 stores out of 5  Would we recommend this event if no changes are made, probably not.

2 Responses to “Vancouver Fashion Week – Is a change needed?”
  1. says:

    Bravo! Well said, like I said…why?
    Sent on the TELUS Mobility network with BlackBerry

  2. becelou says:

    Great review! The VFW website is really poor as well. On the Designers page the links don’t open new windows, a third of the links don’t even work, and I came across one web address that was misspelled! Unprofessional

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