Twice a year, Jamal Abdouraman, owner and found of Vancouver Fashion Week, manages to find a balance in the fashion presented on the runway – hard and soft, casual and couture, minimalist and excessive – so that when you leave each day you are visually and emotionally fulfilled. On Day #5 the two collections I went to cover for MLZ, Vancouver’s Grandi’s Atelier and Brazil’s Ocksa would prove to be polar opposites. 

Grandi’s Atelier – Vancouver Couture
(Read our pre-VFW spotlight here)

METRO LIVING ZINE NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Vancouver Fashion Week ( photographed by Ror Tio.

METRO LIVING ZINE NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Vancouver Fashion Week ( photographed by Ror Tio.

In the days following the runway show, Grandy conveyed her excitement as to how her Granada Collection was received.

I thought the collection was quite well received. The classic lines and designs are certainly a departure from a lot of what you see on the runways, and I think the audience appreciated something different. The fresh and light colours also naturally grab the eye… I had some friends seated in the front row, near the camera crew, and they said the frequency and speed of the shutter sounds were like an informal poll of the awe-power every piece had. Apparently, I did well in that department!”

I loved that she said that. The atelier operates on a couture basis, all pieces are made only after extensive consultation with the client. So, the usual gauge for success – units ordered/sold – do not apply. Customers must set up a consultation before ordering. A ‘slightly’ more belaboured process compared to online or retail shopping! Grandi’s provides clients a complete bespoke experience.

As for the future of this collection Grandy sees a lot of potential for this set, especially in the couture market it is beautiful, wearable and elegant. Not just pieces of art but also functional in a cocktail party or gala setting. There is talk of serious expansion with more staff and expanding the name around the world.

The Granada Collection is viewable online at Vogue UK.  

@grandisatelier / @vanfashionweek

Ocksa – Brazil, Eco-Friendly Recycled Fashion


Admittedly, Ocksa was not on my radar as a design team to watch out for. Pre-VFW I had gone through the list of confirmed designers and chose 14 with a balance of local and international and with some of the elements that I felt were important – be it organic, eco-friendly, recycled, upcycled, handmade, and so on. Ocksa did not have a bio ready at that time and I skipped over them. That was a mistake! When the first model hit the runway, it was obvious that this was a collection designed with care and attention to the earth. 


Ocksa is former fashion school classmates, Deisi Witz and Igor Bastos. They had distinct but complementary skills and worked together so effortlessly that starting a partnership was a natural extension of their friendship. Deisi’s excellent sewing techniques and her preference for architectural draping became the ideal counterpoint to the random use of eclectic raw materials and precise pattern-making from Igor. 

They derived their name from the Swedish language. Ocksa translates as ‘being driven to contribute. Leaving old customs aside to deliver smart and forward-looking garments’. 

After the post-runway applause quietened down, I met with the team behind Ocksa in the VIP Lounge for some background and to try samples of the delicious Persian Empire Vodka that Deisi had enjoyed earlier. 

The two of them together are warm, friendly, humorous and fascinated with Vancouver and all the natural elements that make up this beautiful city. We laughed and exchanged questions and answers about the city and the fascinating Ocksa collection, sampled another vodka flavor and once again, the VIP Lounge provided a respite from the impending fashion flurry of designer Joffrey Mongin in the next tent.

The Ocksa collection is viewable online at Vogue UK. / FB: ocksaofficial