The Future of Vancouver Fashion: Blanche Macdonald Grad Fashion Show 2013

Some people like to watch college sports and the minor leagues to check out the athletic stars of tomorrow. I prefer to watch fashion school graduate shows. The other week I was fortunate to attend the 2013 graduate fashion show for Blanche Macdonald, one of Vancouver's top fashion and beauty schools. Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Atelier campus of Blanche Macdonald was a buzzing hub of activity with many of Vancouver's fashion elite in attendance.

Seeing as I came straight from work, I felt extremely under-dressed as many attendees went all out, sporting fur coats, the latest designers and of course black everything. As fascinating as it always is to people watch at fashion events, the majority everyone's attention was on the show and the grads of 2013 did not disappoint.

Drama was the theme of the night as each designer sent out fresh new takes on romance, menswear and even modern warrior looks. Here are some of the highlights from the night:

Andrianna Pahl
Pahl's collection was inspired by "The Swan's Ballet" and her collection was a dream of soft, silky whites and fluttering appliques. Romance and grace at its best.

Dorothy Ting
Also inspired by the power and grace of ballet was designer Dorothy Ting whose collection was a take on the story of Swan Lake, crossed with opulence of France's Versaille. This stunning take on the power suit was the highlight of Ting's collection for me with its exaggerated shoulders and intricate crystal embellishments that were contrasted with the purposely ragged hemlines to give it a more modern, undone look.

Joanne Huang
Probably one of the most RTW collections in the show, Huang's designs were trendy, but a bit too safe. While I did love her takes on crop tops and high-low skirts, I felt her designs were a bit too of the moment and nothing that was especially forward-thinking.

Kira Sams
Definitely the most interesting designer in this show, Sam's take on the classic female warrior was spot on and looked more suited for an epic Hollywood movie than a Vancouver runway. In particular, this snakeskin-like top, made of tons of individual metal scales and consisting of only a front - no back - was stunning and I longed to see it up close to examine the construction more. Set against the glowing skin of her model, the end result was flawlessly executed.

Yinan Wu
Lastly, there's nothing especially "cool" about this simple black dress, except for the fact that it totally reminds me of classic 90s Calvin Klein and I absolutely adore how simple and sexy this dress looks. Check out how awesome that model's boobs look! Sign me up for a pre-order if that dress can make me look like that!

All photos: Peter Jensen

It looks like the future of Vancouver's fashion scene is in good hands if these graduates have any say. It will be very interesting to see how each designer's career progresses. 

Which of these is your favourite look?

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