It was a real treat to have the opening show of the evening be Vancouver Community College recent grad Blake Hyland. Clearly influenced by the ethereal darkness of masters like Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester, Hyland presented half a dozen solid looks that conjured up images of Mad Max meets modern grunge. Raw edges, leather mixed in with skins of fur, long draped tunics, earth-toned subtle tie-dyes, and layers of net and straps made for an exciting start to the evening’s shows. Although, the collection was presented on men, talking with the Australia-native backstage, he noted that he intends his work to be unisex. Standout piece were the Thai-fisherman inspired knickers with leather skin apron worn at the back of the waist.
The excitement slowed down a bit afterwards, Hyland was a tough act to follow until yet another women’s/men’s designer hit the stage. Edmonton born, now residing in NYC, Sid Neigum is currently attending FIT and has interned with recent media and stylist favourite Yigal Azrouel, and it shows. We even got rave reviews from Vancouver’s gifted and homegrown talent Jason Matlo on Neigum’s work, “He brought it to the studio today and the workmanship is incredible.” The long sleeve body-con sheath dress in charcoal grey was every bit classic save for the leather collar/shoulder armour that extended into points off the arms. With a basic palette of white and black and textiles of jersey, cottons, charmeuse, and leather, Neigum featured tunics, leggings with bands of net as contrast, an array of thick leather bolero vests, and maxi tube dresses.
These two young men set the bar quite high for the evening and unfortunately left the other presenters in the proverbial fashion dust.