So…you’re a relative newcomer, but want to look like a fashion insider during Vancouver Fashion Week? METROLIVINGZINE.COM offers the following 10 tips for avoiding awkward and/or embarrassing moments, and to smooth your way alongside the catwalk…

1) If you’re lucky enough to sit in the front row: do not text (!) while models are strutting, or the fashion folk will have you in their retinal crosshairs.

2) Gathering a bunch of mismatched garments and wearing them all at once–aka shock appeal– may get you photographed – but not for the right reasons!  True style setters like Sue Randhawa of The Optical Boutique exercise restraint, making careful, aesthetically – driven fashion choices. 

3) Nota Bene: a front row seat comes with a responsibility to VFW’s movers & shakers. Don’t leave your seat unattended for too long, or you’ll soon be replaced in the front row game of musical chairs. Coveted front row seats must be filled when models hit the catwalk, otherwise photos and video look much less than amazing.


4) Sometimes we learn the hard way: don’t take flash photos when models are headed toward the photographers in the pit. I forgot my manners and committed this faux pas. Pro photographer Ed Ng  (pictured sitting down, below) kindly asked me to be more considerate. I acknowledged my error, quickly arresting my careless conduct. 

Photo of Ed Ng owner of Ed Ng Photography by Dale Rollings

5) Ladies, if you’re going commando whilst sitting in the front row, be mindful that you are being photographed from– gulp–all  angles! Yes, indeed! Keep those ankles and legs tightly crossed. No one wants to see a Lindsay Lohan wardrobe malfunction replay. Enough said.  

6) At some point, it’s imperative you find something to complain about. You’ll look and sound even more in-the-know if you throw out the name Jamal. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t know who Jamal is, or what he does. What’s important is liberally sprinkling his name throughout your eloquent diatribe. Note: Jamal Abdourahman (pictured below) is the founder of Vancouver Fashion Week. 


7) Very little food is available at the VFW site. (However, there were delicious cookies – 150 calories each, by my estimate). The days are long if you’re there to catch all the shows. My advice is to pack something like Greek Yogourt to keep yourself fueled for all the festivities. You can scarf your grub between shows when photographers are busy shooting the front row ‘demi-divas’ (see item #2 above, re: shock appeal). 

8) This season VFW will be held at the Chinese Cultural Center of Vancouver. Most nearby metered parking is for three hours. Here is how you work the system: bring enough change to fill the meter for three hours, then set up pay-by-phone parking on your cell; make sure to record the meter number so you can top up your time after the initial two to three hours has elapsed. You can easily do this on your cell in-between shows.

9) Several weeks prior to VFW, why not start a health and fitness routine that will have you looking and feeling your best in anticipation of all of the photographers who will be documenting the show – and GULP you?!  


10) Finally, attend VFW for the love of fashion – and to be part of an ever-growing and increasingly sophisticated fashion scene. I’m proud to report that Vancouver has a world class fashion week happening twice a year. The West Coast is ‘home base’ for many passionate and hard-working individuals dedicated to enhancing our lives through fashion and to building a supportive community of fashion leaders. On this note, the METRO LIVING ZINE team sends out a special thank you to Amazon Best Seller: Marilyn R. Wilson (for taking the initiative and fulfilling the unofficial role of ‘Front Row Ambassador’. Mrs. Wilson went out of her way to introduce everyone, making us all feel more relaxed and welcome in an environment that can be intimidating – even for seasoned veterans. See you–in the front row–at the next fantastic Vancouver Fashion Week!

BONUS POINT: Nobody, and we mean NO ONE other than OFFICIAL VFW STAFF has the right to ask you to give up your front row seat for them. If this happens to you report the incident IMMEDIATELY to official VFW staff. 

Image of Marilyn R. Wilson: Senior editor of Raine Magazine courtesy of Ed Ng photography
Image of Marilyn R. Wilson: Senior editor of Raine Magazine courtesy of Ed Ng photography