Blanche Macdonald usually holds a larger fashion show every November featuring designers from the last four quarterly graduations, but there occasionally arises a strong group of students that teachers and staff feel should be featured in a stand alone show. The ten below were one of those groups. In May 2015, their grad collections took to the runway during the school’s Spring Fashion Showcase 2015, held in their Atelier campus at 410 Robson Street in Vancouver.

The evening began with a pre-show reception where guests could mingle and enjoy refreshments.  Portfolios were also on display – something that everyone needs to make time for. They feature fashion illustrations, line drawings, inspiration boards and more. It’s here you can get an early feel for the creative potential of these new fashion talents ready to make their mark in the world. 

The runway show itself was inspiring and had guests on the edge of their seats throughout. With a smaller group, you don’t get quite the same diversity in target markets, but within this grouping there was a huge variety in terms of aesthetics and inspiration. No two collections looked alike and a few stepped bravely into the more conceptual world. When you watch a lot of runway shows, it’s a breath of fresh air to see designers stretch their wings creatively.

With no further ado, here are the runway collections offered in the May Blanche Macdonald’s Spring Fashion Showcase 2015, along with an excerpt from each student’s written recap of their collection.

Runway images by: Peter Jensen |  Program images by: Evaan Kheraj


MARIA RACHEL LEUNG

“The concept of SPACE HIPPIE was born from combining ideals of the hippie movement – primarily peace, love and happiness – with the futuristic notion of a utopian society where equality and technological advancement are prized. I utilized denim, a classic fabric, in new silhouettes as a modern twist on a wardrobe essential.” @lesnaxx 

AMANDA BARNETT

“The forest is mysterious, alluring and seductive – it pulls you in by the subtleties of it’s beauty…I combined elements of the forests to create her silhouette, incorporating the shapes of trees to create long, curvy lines which translate into a soft elegance for the evening wear and lingerie. but also using the rough edges of the bark for the day wear.” @amandaelizabethhb

AMY CHUNG

“Time is a circle: like the rotation of the earth in a circle for 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds, or how the earth goes around the sun in a circle made up of one year. My collection used a lot of circle curve with cord patterns on silk to explore this.”

JESSE AMERY SAMUELS – Awarded, Academic Achievement

“This collection began with a desire to revive historical elements of Fashion…I began to modernize elements like historical sleeve treatments, collars, lapels and silhouettes through the eyes of two of my favourite French New Wave filmmakers: Jean-Luc Godard and Roger Vadim. Borrowing from the oceanic colour palettes and stark shot design in “Et Dieu Crea la Femme” and “Le Mepris” allowed me to move the collection into the modern era, turning draped historical silhouettes into architecturally tailored pieces, and conflating the pastel palette of the Rococo era with the dreamily saturated pastels of 50’s French Riviera.” @bessebaroque

QIANWEN ‘KIKI’ XIANG – Awarded, Achievement in Illustration & Design

“As women, we usually have a strong side and a soft side. I wanted to show how each woman has these two facets, and how there can also be a lightness and a darkness within one person. Maybe facing you is the one side – the light, ‘good’ side. The darker side would be hiding inside – that’s why there is the skull motif, burrowed under the layers of the dress. The outside is very pretty, light and gauzy, but there is the darker side contained.” @kikixiang_makeup_art

HEENA MEDINA

“Vancouver’s city lights are always so constant and alive making it hard to ignore. Tall skyscrapers and buildings with lights that shone like stars made me want to feature this in my collection. I wanted to also incorporate a window idea in my garments and show the lights coming through. I formed squares with gold and silver beads to have a window effect on the black crisscross dress.” @smgmtea

CARISSA MORRISON

“The fact that [West Coast festivals] take place outside in nature is an important element of the clothing. I gave a nod to the forest setting by adding small, subtle woodland animal silhouette appliques on each garment as a little detail for the wearer: foxes, deer, rabbits hiding in plain sight. All of the clothing was fit and draped to complement the female body as it moves, so a combination of curve-hugging lines with lots of hanging lace and soft, flowy fabrics were used to sway with her as she walks and dances.” @plaidhippo

NASIM MEHRTABAR – Awarded, Overall Achievement

“After watching a beautiful clip of Niagara Falls it immediately became the inspiration for my collection. The idea was to present clothes as beautiful, strong and mysterious as a waterfall while keeping their delicacy and femininity. The European silk sheer fabrics (ombre and solid color) and elegant laces I had used in my collection were all purchased from abroad. Even the leather that was used in my daywear pieces as a symbol of strength, when associated with the guipure lace and silk, became softer and therefore more glamorous, elegant and rich.” @nasim.m.t

SARITA GHEYDY

“My inspiration came from the Middle East, with a focus on Iran. In the South of Iran, they use Mongolian lamb’s wool in clothing and hats. I centered my collection around this material, imagining and playing with design elements to highlight the wool during my time sketching. I am attracted to fabric; I always buy my fabric first, and my process is then inspired by the chosen material.”@saritassss

ANAHITA MONZAVI – Awarded, Special Award for Innovative Use of Materials

“I was originally inspired by stained glass windows – the shapes and colors of the window really caught my eye. I knew it would be very hard task to create customize pieces of glass to use in my collection, but I had always wanted to do something different and challenging. I decided to take on the project…In my designs I used glass fusing, fabric fusing, beading, natural lamb leather and lacing, but the hardest part was making the mold for each piece and making holes in the bustier for the laces.” @fmanahitaa