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The city’s best showcase for design

Many of the fashion industry’s most lauded labels alexander wang, proenza schouler, marc jacobs and burberry among them have shown their spring/summer 2014 collections in the past two weeks;The rest are frantically casting models, closing seams and turning out last minute preparations for their upcoming presentations in milan and paris.This week, however, from sept.16 to 21, will also see this city’s own major fashion event, Vancouver Fashion Week.

Launched in 2001 by jamal abdourahman, the biannual event remains unique in that, in addition to promoting the work of local and canadian fashion design talent, it encourages participation nearly all of whom fly in for the event by designers from more than 30 countries ranging from south korea and peru to australia and sweden.

“From copenhagen to mexico, these designers go to the same schools as some of the big designers central st.Martins in london and istituto marangoni in milan, for instance but at the same time, each has different influences,”He continues.

“And that is really the core of vancouver fashion week:It celebrates and showcases diversity. “

Abdourahman has found that both the local and international designers michael kors online outlet benefit from this cross cultural fashion gathering.

Not surprisingly,”Some of the global designers put on such spectacular shows that really inspire the young, local talent,”He explains.

And on the flip side,”We give the global designers an opportunity to showcase and talk through their collections,”He says, citing an audience of between 300 and 400 buyers who come to vancouver from across the country, los angeles, seattle and more.

Furthermore, abdourahman has forged collaborations with design schools such as lasalle college international vancouver and long beach university in long beach, calif., as well as several international design competitions such as the Australian Wool Fashion Awards.One of the winner’s prizes includes a sponsored show at vancouver fashion week;This year’s winner, laurel judd, will present her collection on thursday evening at the official venue, the chinese cultural centre.

This season, vancouver fashion week will boast the involvement of more than 50 emerging and established designers, a huge increase over the 20 or so that showed just two years ago.

“I really wanted to showcase how much her work helped the fashion industry and the local designers,”Explains abdourahman.

Leeming was celebrated for recognizing young, talented designers and giving them the break they needed, which is what vancouver fashion week aims to do as well.

Ones to watchborn in vancouver and based in milan, sara roka attended the fashion institute of technology in new york, graduating summa cum laude, before commencing her training under michael kors and at valentino.Having spent the last 11 years in italy, she was inspired by the local mills, fabrics and factories to design and produce her own collection.Her goal?To reinterpret the traditional men’s button down shirt and develop a modern, feminine collection of blouses, dresses, tops, jackets, skirts and shorts.With retailers in kuwait, dubai, japan, singapore, and even at the famed luisa via roma boutique in italy, her local show debut is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated of vancouver fashion week.

Jenna cotton

Hailing from victoria and one of four lasalle college international vancouver students presenting collections this season, jenna cotton’s collection is one of dichotomies, or, as she calls it,”Bontrast” (Balance and contrast):Future versus the past, black and white versus colour, and hard versus soft.Expect luxurious fabrics such as silk dupioni, taffeta and chiffon and unique silhouettes such as a modern hoop skirt one could easily imagine on a red carpet.It’s her homemade costumes and knack for styling that has earned her mentions in magazines such as elle, dazed and nylon.At her debut vfw show last season,”You felt inspired to buy the collection simply from the show,”Recalls abdourahman. “From the music to the props, it was so conceptual, so theatrical, so grandiose.The people sitting next to me were cheap michael kors bags almost in tears! “Opaine is now working on her first fashion line, which is inspired by her unusual upbringing up north.