Vancouver Fashion Week’s twenty-ninth season starts next week and we’ve scoured through the over seventy-five designers that are showing to highlight our top six menswear picks for the autumn/winter 2017 season.
Vancouver, the stunning provincial capital of British Columbia, surrounded by water and mountains, is home to one of North America’s most powerful film industries and is a sophisticated hub for designer fashion, incredible bars and restaurants, and of course film stars. Kristen Stewart, Cole Sprouse and Robert Pattinson have all graced the front row at Vancouver Fashion Week, and it’s the designers that they come to see. Unlike the ‘Big Four’ (New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks), VFW is known for its international reach, putting the spotlight on award-winning, creative talent from around the world.
Vancouver Fashion Week also stretches beyond being a trade event, and while the big press (ELLE, Vogue China, marie claire, Vanity Fair, Flare, and Candid – of course) and buyers (Holt Renfrew, Hudson’s Bay) are always there, it has fully embraced the future and is a fashion celebration for the city, where consumers – who will potentially buy the clothes down the chain, are invited to purchase tickets and be involved.
The shows all start in the evenings and take place at the same venue meaning you have a full workday to explore the city and recover from the night before (VFW puts on a good after party). It’s been thought out and designed for optimum convenience for the end user and for that VFW, we thank you.
On to the designers:
Armine Ohanyan comes from a plastic arts background – redolent in her collections. Trained in Armenia and Paris, Ohanyan worked at a design house in Switzerland before spreading roots in the French capital. She then went on to win first prize at the E-Fashion Awards 2016 in Paris. That prize has enabled her to show her autumn/winter collection on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week.
Vancouver’s own Alex S. Yu’s colourful and textural garments aim to evoke the happy emotions of childhood. He trained at Blanche Macdonald Centre in Vancouver and then furthered his education at London College of Fashion. VFW will be the second outing for his autumn/winter 2017 collection, which was recently presented at Fashion Scout over London Fashion Week.
Hailing from Guatemala City, Guatemala, Stefano Giammattei began his career at sixteen doing work experience in fine tailoring. He then went on to study fashion with a focus on menswear. Using urban wear, Giammattei contrasts social ideas, hoping to expose feelings that are often suppressed by men. He presented his first menswear collection at Mercedes-Benz Guatemala Fashion Week in 2016, where he was highlighted has a pioneer of streetwear – a style not yet embraced by Guatemalans.
Founded by Joe Chan in 2016, TSUNG YU CHAN is a Taipei-based menswear label that weds high fashion with street style and modern art. Chan studied at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, and was most recently assistant designer at Paris-based, Koché. His design work, coupled with working at Les Maison d’Art, has been brought back to Taiwan and combined with traditional Taiwanese techniques.
Machio Mizumachi has won multiple awards for creativity in his home country of Japan including Tokyo New Designer Grandprix, Osaka Styling Expo and Kurashiki Fashion Frontia. His trademark is an eccentric use of colour and a technique of deconstructing and reconstructing couture.
A contemporary menswear brand based in Vancouver, Encima, founded by designer Faiz Lalani, designs and creates unique but wearable garments for the modern Vancouverite. Employing neutral colours and materials, the result is quality men’s pieces with subtle twists.
Vancouver Fashion Week will take place from the 20th to 26th March in Vancouver at the David Lam Hall in Vancouver’s edgy China Town. For more details visit Vancouver Fashion Week.
Words by Rose Stewart