Vancouver-based designer Eva Chen has never met a tick of ribbon or rosette she didn’t like. Billing her creations as couture, she sent out an array of intricately detailed dresses and nipped-in skirt suits in a pleasing aubergine and blush palette. Her strongest styles were those that took her preference for feminine details and gave it sportier spin – think pencil skirts with kicky racing stripes. Chen also used a lot of paneling techniques in her work to create dimension. While some of these looks worked, the majority drew attention to fit problems and didn’t sit nicely on the body. A less-is-more approach would have served her better, but clearly she’s on to something. Chen recently announced she will soon open a store in bustling Beijing.
Vawk & Vawkkin
There is something undeniably woman-friendly about Sunny Fong, the bite-size designer of Vawk and Vawkkin. His fall collection was further proof that he understands (much better than most) how curvaceous career-types want to dress. Showing a marked improvement in fit and construction, Fong’s scintillating suits and gala-chair gowns for his signature label (which hang amongst fashion’s best at The Bay’s The Room, I might add) sauntered down the runway. Zippy noir jackets with spurts of fur and a swishy ivory coat with charming twist-tied epaulet detail showed a new outerwear polish. A bronze finale gown was slightly heavy handed. It would have been more effective without the mesh material merging deep front and back plunges.
Next up came Vawkkin, Fong’s new sister (get it, kin?) label of pared-down, presumably less-pricey pieces. As if a sincere video on the making of the collection wasn’t enough, the ever-earnest designer used his own friends and co-workers as models. From a social worker to a master’s student to an accountant, these choice catwalkers were dressed in refined closet staples such as a black denim trench and day-to-evening ruffle skirt and blazer. The clothes did just what they were supposed to: these “real” women looked sharp and ready for whatever life might throw at them.