B.C. Fashion Week

By Kate MacLennan

I’m not so silly as to go comparing B.C. Fashion Week to the spectacles that our editors witness in Bryant Park, the Carrousel du Louvre, or any of Milan’s equally stylish venues, but I will enthuse this: we have a fashion week here in Vancouver, and the alluring mix of up-and-comers and established designers set to hit the catwalk next week is well worth checking out. Here’s some highlights:

MONDAY Local mainstay Jacqueline Conoir kicks off the week (7:30 p.m.). Conoir, perhaps best known among the business set for her skilled tailoring, surprised everyone last season with a saucy cinematic prelude of the Mrs. Robinson seduction variety. I’m not sure how you trump that kind of surprise, but I am looking forward to the effort.

TUESDAY Next up is Evan & Dean (7:30 p.m.), about which there’s buzz-o-plenty among my colleagues. Designers Raymond Boutet and Lyle Reimer received some flack last year for their stunning Spring 2008 collection. A few felt it lacked the element of practicality—a very Vancouver reaction, I’ll venture (nobody would say that to Alexander McQueen). Regardless, the duo’s ability to play with silhouette gleaned them a standing ovation, and everyone is eagerly anticipating their next installment.

WEDNESDAY I’ve had a sneak preview of Nicole Bridger’s line (5:30 p.m.), and while I can’t reveal much I will say that her ability to layer, and the way she plays with pattern and texture is inspired. Mellinda-Mae Harlingten, who has been grabbing the attention and approval of my esteemed FASHION peers in Toronto, steps onto the runway right after (8:30 p.m.) and if her fall lookbook is any indication, you don’t want to miss it.

THURSDAY You have to be an editor or buyer to get inside the door at all events except the Generation Next show (5:30 p.m., tickets at clubzone.com/bcfashionweek). FASHION Staff Writer Rebecca Tay sat on the judging panel and assures that at least one of the three finalists—Vancouver’s Carny Love, Calgary’s Lara Presber, and Morena by Marcy Ross of Victoria—is likely to show up in your closet by 2009.

FRIDAY Maybe it’s the surfer in me, but I always love the Quiksilver show (8 p.m.). And given all the cold weather we’ve been having, sign me up to gape at beach-inspired clothing.

Regardless of whether you’re in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto or Montreal, all the shows are aired live online (visit bcfashionweek.com for details). Enjoy.

Shown: Mellinda-Mae Harlingten Fall 2008. Visit mellinda-mae.com