BC fashion designers shine at international fashion weeks


British Columbia produces exceptional talent in fashion design.

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British Columbia produces exceptional talent in fashion design.

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This season, five up-and-coming local designers showcased their collections at fashion hotspots in New York and Paris, where they featured on the Global Fashion Collective tracks. Organized by the team behind Vancouver Fashion Week, the collective aims to “support and provide valuable opportunities for new and emerging designers to showcase their talents” in international markets, according to the group’s website.

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Sujitha Shivajothi described the experience of showing her collection at New York Fashion Week as “a blackout moment”. Behind the scenes was hazy with last-minute clothing adjustments and insanely quick outfit changes, but she was thrilled to see her successful show on video. The young Vancouver designer’s neutral garments feature ‘old fashioned tailoring’ infused with intricate pleated details, inspired by the precise pleats of her Sri Lankan mother’s traditional sarees.

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Although new, the Shivajothi The label is already turning heads with appearances in Harper’s Bazaar, Forbes, Vogue Mexico and Vogue Korea, as well as an upcoming feature film in Maclean’s magazine. The talented Vancouverite landed an emerging designer scholarship after graduating from design school and showcased her debut collection at Vancouver Fashion Week in April, which accelerated her to step onto the Global Fashion Collective stage. in New York on September 11.

Models wear couture by Indigenous brand Ay Lelum during New York Fashion Week.
Models wear couture by Indigenous brand Ay Lelum during New York Fashion Week. Photo by PATRICK SHANNON /.jpg

The Ay Lelum label is a second-generation Coast Salish Design House on Snuneymuxw First Nation, produced and designed by sisters Aunalee and Sophia Good. The design and construction of Couture clothing is overseen by their mother, Sandra Moorhouse-Good, who created the very first line of Coast Salish clothing with their father, Dr. William Good, in the 1990s. The illustrations on the fabrics on able are from their brother, Joel Good.

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The collection presented in New York was a juxtaposition of traditional outfits and headdresses, interspersed with couture pieces, reflecting the duality of the worlds and cultures in which we walk. The talented family writes and performs songs to accompany the parades, sharing traditional stories about clothing. designs through modernized rhythms and the Hul’q’umi’num language.

While in New York, the family gave a presentation at the Consulate General of Canada and co-hosted a rooftop party with the Decolonizing Wealth Project. The family is currently building a facility in Nanaimo, which will be a studio and a place to gather, build and share. The unique and ambitious brand is available in boutiques and gift shops across the province, including on BC Ferries.

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Vancouver designer Alex S. Yu is no stranger to attention. Since debuting her modern womenswear collection at Vancouver Fashion Week in 2014, Yu has received numerous awards and international press from prestigious magazines, including Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar, to name a few. only a few. Her designs “made with love and dreams” have been worn by countless celebrities and have even appeared at international film festivals.

Creator Dryden Sereda.
Creator Dryden Sereda. .jpg

In September, Yu showed his Capsule 03 collection at New York Fashion Week for the first time, an experience he describes as “eye-opening.” The collection, inspired by a Hong Kong film titled Happy Together, explores the concepts of loneliness and optimism, explored through its chosen color palette. The brand now sells worldwide in Vancouver, Taipei, Miami, New York and London, England. If all that success isn’t enough, the busy designer has also launched a children’s line premiering this season in NY

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Eduardo Ramos, a recent graduate of La Salle College in Vancouver, showcased his collection at the elegant Salon Des Miroirs in Paris on October 1 during Paris Fashion Week. Titled Motus – Latin for “movement” – the collection reflects the idea that to experience movement, something must remain still. His pieces combine classic tailoring with softer flowing elements and were inspired by his mother, whom he describes as “strong but feminine”. The designer, whose entrepreneurial spirit has included food trucks in Mexico City, admits he gets bored easily. Seeking a challenge, he joined a Sunday sewing class in Vancouver, which led him to enroll in a fashion design school. This new passion seems to be coming to life and is sure to catch his attention, citing that finishing a collection is just the start of next season’s challenge.

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Dryden Sereda had a lucrative career as an electrical engineer while experimenting with a self-made fashion brand called Mngld Supply. Taking a leap of faith in 2020, Sereda traded her career for a place in the Visual College of Art and Design program where her talent caught the attention of the instructor. Jason Matloand in turn fashion show producer Jamal Abdourahman.

After receiving a Nancy Mak Award for her creative vision and business acumen, Dryden was able to launch her Sereda at Vancouver Fashion Week in April and at Paris Fashion Week this month. The collection, titled Esteemed Resonance, infuses the ideal of something revered like sculpture or art with lingering sensations like music or sound. Inspired by rock ‘n’ roll genre transitions, the garments merge asymmetry and fluidity, with metal and grunge embellishments. Suiting fabrics merge with silks and couture lace to resonate with a bold, modern woman who is decidedly feminine with an edge.

More local and emerging designers from around the world can be discovered during this season Vancouver Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2023, which runs from October 20 to 23. For tickets and information, visit vanfashionweek.com.

Carmen Vars is a Vancouver-based writer and creative director.

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