It’s not every day a no-name designer draws a packed crowd for the launch of his debut collection. So either David Jack has one hell of a grassroots PR team or he’s got a gangstah-sized posse of loyal friends. Of course, after seeing his ambitious line of glitzed-up futuristic evening wear, it doesn’t matter how he hyped his new label and lured all those fashionistas out to Subeez on a recent rainy Monday night. Come show time, the clothes spoke for themselves. They’re like nothing we’ve seen in Vancouver to date. And I wouldn’t be surprised if David Jack leggings become a “thing” for label-savvy hotties in Yaletown and eventually beyond.
Decked out in reptilian hairdos, extraterrestrial makeup, and Blade Runner–style shoulder pads, many of the models didn’t strut down the catwalk—they prowled through dry ice like sexed-up creatures from another time and place. But even though the vibe was apocalyptic glam, the colour scheme was as demure as it gets. Working mainly with sparkling nudes, pale pinks, and soft lavenders, Jack did what no designer has ever done before—he made pastels look dangerous.
“The idea was these women are from the future, where the colours are depleted, the sun has moved closer to the earth, things are kind of dried up, and people are scrambling for whatever they can,” explained Jack backstage after the show. “So they’re like ice queens, something almost inhuman.”
A great example of this was his micro-mini, nude neoprene dress with pink and lavender feathered V-shaped front and an exposed crystal zipper at the back. As well, there was the Victoria, an ass-high, nude under-bust, brocade Swarovski-encrusted corset dress named after his recently deceased best friend. These pop-star pieces are definitely not for the faint of heart; according to Jack, that’s the point.
“My label is for a woman who’s assertive, who wants to stand out in the crowd, and isn’t afraid to be herself and try something a little different,” said the adorable and grateful designer, who was beyond happy with the show’s turnout.
One of his most marketable designs has to be the shimmery nude skinny pants made from doubled-up sheer lavender netting. You can pretty much rock these with whatever suits your mood at the time. Jack agreed.
“They’re leggings,” he said. “So you can pair them with a plain baggy white T-shirt and stilettos or go all out and pair them with whatever you like.”
Among the predominately structured pieces, Jack surprised us with the superflowy, lavender-dipped pink-silk-chiffon dress. Proving that bohemian doesn’t have to be a nod to the ’70s, this ultrafeminine, forward-thinking beauty boasts a fitted underform, plunging neckline, and ethereal sheer bias-cut layers on top. The unique combo made for a stunning silhouette. You wouldn’t just walk into a room in this dress—you’d float.
The Vancouver-based, British expat—whose entire collection is sold through his studio (www.david-jack.com) and made to order—did have some more avant-garde pieces, like the origami-look, metallic woven, pale-pink miniskirt. While it looked great on the runway, realistically it might not fly in the land of lululemon. But Jack makes no apologies for that.
“They’re not all wearable,” says the young talent. “But I just felt like Vancouver needed something. Everything’s really casual. So I was like, ‘Let’s step it up a notch.’ ”