Inside Western Canada Fashion Week’s kick off party: theatrical dresses, stylish bloggers and more!

Photography by Harvey Miedreich
Photography by Harvey Miedreich

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Western Canada Fashion Week kicked off its seventh year and 14th season last Friday night at Phabrik art + design, a warehouse-style studio space in south central Edmonton run by WCFW’s executive and creative director, Sandra Sing Fernandes. The venue was the original hosting grounds for Edmonton Fashion Week way back when in 2005.

And so, the evening was all at once nostalgic and anticipatory; the party was aptly titled “Fashion From the Floor Up” (the shiny new runway is solid oak, customized by Absolute Hardwood Flooring—perhaps the most functional WCFW sponsorship yet?), and was complete with an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and a Phabrik-ated competition for three of the designers who will be showing their collections at the TransAlta Arts Barns over the next week.

The criterion: design one full-length, non-fabric gown. Cash prizes, a photo shoot and a showcase at The Works Art & Design Festival went to Ravi Gill of DrailD, who created an intricate, crowd-pleasing pseudo-feather dress from paper (in a mere six hours, he says), while second and third place prizes went to the bejeweled creation by Derek Jagodzinsky of Luxx ready-to-wear and an earthy, twig-inspired piece by Rebecka Pichoch of My Secret.

Mostly though, we got to chat with all the fashion industry locals about the week’s line-up. Some more must-sees include Malorie Urbanovitch, because we got to pick her brain in the April issue of Alberta Notes; Bano eeMee, because we already got a taste here; and some international flair from Nigerian designer Chucks Kholyns of Kholyns Contemporary Couture.

Let the catwalk-games begin.