Western Canada Fashion Week: Our roundup of the 71 best looks from the Fall 2013 show season
Western Canada Fashion Week (WCFW) wrapped its 16th season for Fall 2013 last week at Edmonton’s TransAlta Arts Barns and we can’t help but feel it’s the dawning of a new era. Since 2011, when the Mercedes Benz Start Up (MBSU) program began sweeping the country for the next promising design star, the fashion scene out west has taken a turn for the torrid, competitive even, inspiring looks worthy of national spotlight and quality clothing to write home about.
Top picks this season include Malorie Urbanovitch, a MBSU finalist at World MasterCard Fashion Week last October, who hosted the very first off-site show in the history of WCFW, at the StartUp Edmonton Headquarters in the Mercer Building in Edmonton’s trendy Warehouse District.
Urbanovitch treated the who’s who of the local fashion industry to a transcendental experience: before a dimly lit room, an ethereal fashion film shot at dawn in frostbitten Edmonton lay the groundwork for her Fall 2013 presentation (and made us so very proud to be living here). Full knitwear ensembles in creamy whites, charcoal greys, rusts and teals came floating down the runway alongside drop waists, soft pleats, classic silk slip dresses and lightly quilted jackets. The newest additions to her ready-to-wear label—a collection of accessories—include knee-high socks and a rumoured collection of handbags (are you paying attention yet?).
Back at the TransAlta Arts Barns, Nicole Campre, also a former MBSU finalist, blossomed from fashion underdog to full-on contender as she presented her Fall 2013 collection with a finely tuned grace well beyond her years. The 23-year old chose regal gold, rich maroon, and an array of neutral monochromatic fabrics in long dresses, coats, and skirts. The almost Asian-inspired collection felt fresh and modern with seamlessly integrated faux leather paneling, subtle slits, sheer blouses and pointed collars, while a few chunky knits wrapped around the waist were fit for the cool working girl.
Ironically, the buzz worthy newcomer of WCFW this season has been designing clothing for nine years—but strictly in the men’s department. A kind of Johnny-come-lately, then, who’s arrival we couldn’t be more excited about, Calgary’s Haithem Elkadiki launched his first full womenswear collection for Spring 2013, KaaDiki Femme, in Edmonton this season. Thankfully, the collection stayed true to its roots. Like a freshly pressed men’s shirt, separates were sporty, starchy and tailored, the colour-blocked skirts sewn to perfection. Lacoste sprung to mind, but the clear plastic vests added a futuristic twist. The collection itself, coined “Neon Safari”, was brilliantly contradictory. The best part? We get to start wearing it right away.
WCFW couldn’t have ended on a higher note. Edmonton native Angélique Chmielewski returned from New York to present an absolutely stunning Fall 2013 collection. Likely the most wearable of all the collections this season, Chmielewski took us back to boarding school (or ‘90s Clueless?) with over-the-knee socks, and tartan skirts and jackets. There were loose, peplum-like dresses with bell sleeves in the same pattern. Bold and beautiful jackets reminiscent of Burberry and a camel coat akin to Jil Sander’s outwear last Fall felt nothing short of luxurious. While baby blue skirts hitting just below the knee suggested an element of understated sophistication, cute flared skirts added a sense of youthful possibility—the very essence of fashion in Alberta.