Kirsten Ley and Lillea Goian among local designers hitting runway at New York Fashion Week in September

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      Three Vancouver-based designers will take to the runway at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) this September as part of the second installment of Vancouver Fashion Week’s Global Fashion Collective (GFC).

      Kirsten Ley, Lillea Goian, and Adam-Lin Bungag will all present spring/summer 2019 collections at the major biannual event, offering them the coveted opportunity to have their lines exhibited to both the public and international press. They’ll be joined by a handful of international designers: Australia’s Ozlana, Germany’s Kim Tiziana Rottmüller, the U.S.’s Carlton Jones, China’s XY, and Japan's Nozomi Kuwahara, the first four of whom will also appear at Vancouver Fashion Week from September 17 to 23.

      The North Vancouver–born Ley will showcase Mitosis, an assortment of avant-garde couture gowns in billowing shades of crimson, navy, and cream that are inspired by anatomical drawings and paintings dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, under her eponymous label. Goian and Bungag will present brash, gender-fluid wears from their respective brands, Not Dead Yet and Profanity by LillzKillz.

      For Ley, who will be appearing at NYFW as part of GFC for the second time, the possibilities the program offers are paramount in her budding career as a fashion designer. “Now I have contacts in Paris and worldwide…whereas it probably would’ve taken twice as long without GFC and these opportunities that presented themselves early on,” she tells the Straight by phone.

      Rottmüller, who describes her spring/summer 2019 collection, Oblivion, as “provocative, feminine, and playful”, concurs. The 24-year-old was invited to participate in last year’s inaugural GFC showing at NYFW, and says partaking in the event motivates her as a young designer. “It’s really a push and gives me a lot of strength, and shows me that what I’m doing is right.”

      Rottmüller hopes that Oblivion, a line of luxe cashmere, silk, and velvet pieces influenced by symbolism and spirituality, will provoke an emotional reaction from viewers. “For me, fashion isn’t only a garment,” she says. “Fashion is art.”

      Ozalana will hit the NYFW runway on September 7; Goian, Bungag, Rottmüller, and Kuwahara on September 8; and Ley, XY, and Jones on September 8. All shows will take place at New York City’s Pier59 Studios.

      Founded in 2017 as an expansion of Vancouver Fashion Week, GFC produces runway shows in different fashion capitals in an effort to accelerate its designers’ global development and increase their international media visibility. In the past year, GFC has taken a total of 16 designers—from Vancouver and elsewhere—to Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo and New York Fashion Week.

      Vancouver Fashion Week’s 32nd edition happens at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (750 Hornby Street) from September 17 to 23.

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.