Inside last night’s Mercedes-Benz start up Vancouver semi-finals. Peep event photos and the winning collections!

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After a stellar showing in Montreal, it was Vancouver’s turn to identify a few budding designers looking for a boost from the Mercedes-Benz Start Up mentorship program.

First, the competitors needed to make an impression on the judges, who included Aritzia design director Yumi Eto, journalist and former FASHION staffer Catherine Dunwoody, IMG global production director and Project Runway Australia judge Jarrad Clark, and yours truly, among others.

After Monday meetings with designers, evaluating their collections and peppering them with questions, the judging panel had the hard task of choosing five to walk the white runway last night at Mercedes-Benz North Vancouver (amongst very nice vehicles, no less). They were Shelley Ediger Swim by Shelly Ediger, Standing Armed by Lindsay Walsh, Triarchy by Adam Taubenfligel, Cassie Dee, and Daub + Design. It was a varied lineup that included a denim and leather line and a pair of swimwear designers.

Set to music they selected for themselves, each competitor sent out eight looks they felt typified their designs. Only two could move on to the final in Toronto, which includes a group showing at LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris, and the big congrats go to Triarchy and Cassie Dee.

A little early journo dirt on the duo? The three referenced in Triarchy’s name is designer Adam and his two siblings. His sister is his fit model and his brother makes custom motorcycles under the same moniker. And cute Cassie Dee, she already runs a successful business that sells organic cotton scrubs—yep, the nurse uniforms—on the side. She’s a diversified multi-tasker, that one.

Best of luck to both. Break a leg (but don’t tear any seams) this October!

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