Vancouver's inaugural Fashion's Night Out lives up to the hype
There’s been a lot of lead-up to Fashion’s Night Out Vancouver—publicity stunts, design competitions, nonstop social-media campaigning. And guess what? It paid off. When it came time for the actual event on September 6 at CBC Studio 40, even people who had caught wind of all the hype—but still had a very vague idea of what FNOV’s purpose was—showed up in totally-decked-out droves.
The crowd of curious fashionistas lined up around the block in the hope of scoring seats for the runway extravaganza that launched a night of shopping, drinking, and fabulousness—a concept that started in 2009 in New York as a fun way to bolster local retail business during the recession.
Three years later, and more than 250 cities in 18 countries are putting on their own annual FNO. But this was Vancouver’s first, so the fact that the turnout was so great is definitely a good sign.
Emceed by FMA Entertainment Weekly hosts Meena Mann and Natalie Langston, the show kicked off with a bang—thanks to Jason Matlo’s fall-winter Babe collection. He hit all the right marks. With his classy-clubber colour palette and figure-flattering knockout cuts, this cocktail-dress showcase was basically sex on legs. I wanted one of everything.
After his show, French Connection took centre stage with a few standouts, including a plunging black sequin mini dress. Then Wear Else clothing store hit the runway with some sumptuous luxury threads, as did Marilyn’s of West Vancouver.
But in between these ladies-who-lunch boutiques, bam! Daryl White came on and rocked the runway with his crazy-ass, one-of-a-kind, heavily studded apocalyptic-camp D.W men’s clothing line. Looking like a band of sexed-up, Gen X, disco-bound bank robbers, scantily clad studs strutted down the catwalk in creepy transparent masks and strategically placed, cross-shaped electrical tape.
Suffice to say, White had everyone’s attention. Perhaps the hardware-loving blogger beside me summed up the crowd’s reaction best: “I’ll take the jacket and the boy….Actually fuck the jacket, I want the whole outfit!” It was electro-style therapy at its best. It was also a tough act to follow.
But while White generated the most shock waves, it was Evan Ducharme who got the most cheers of support. The young upstart won a spot on the runway roster after beating out several other student fashion designers at last month’s FNOV design competition. He had some really beautiful ideas. But the standout here had to be his stunning colour-block dress with a fitted teal bodice and a soft, full gauzy mustard skirt. Gorgeous.
Oh and p.s., if you don’t already have something mustard in your fall wardrobe, you’re almost too late. It was mustard madness on that runway.
It was also gloves galore. If what we was saw on the FNOV runway is any indication, handwear is going to be the accessory this season. The tougher, the better—think fingerless, studded, quilted black leather. The gloves can be short or long; it doesn’t matter as long as they’re embellished and fierce.
Closing the show was Vancouver’s always dependable RozeMerie Cuevas. She launched off with her sophisticated flagship Jacqueline Conoir collection, followed by her newer and slightly more rock ’n’ roll JAC line—lots of sexy leggings and stilettos here.
Once the runway cleared, it was time for all the fashionistas to hit the streets, where participating retailers and pop-up shops awaited their business with the lure of bargains and booze—a.k.a. the best shopping bait ever invented.