It’s hard to believe, but the incredible first day of Ottawa Fashion Week has come and gone already! The amazing six designers who showed lastnight set the bar high for the rest of the weekend, and in case you missed anything, here’s recap of Friday’s highpoints and highlights.
Elena Hinke and Elena’s Creations
Ottawa-based designer Elena Hinke opened OFW with the Fall/Winter 2012 collection of her label, Elena’s Creations. Her show featured beautiful floor-length evening gowns, short and sassy cocktail dresses, and sophisticated, structured jackets that would make any woman feel glamorous! While the central colours in her elegant creations were electric blue and vibrant cherry red, the collection featured a lot of lace and sheer overlays. Fur capes and long gloves accentuated the classy feel to every piece in Hinke’s collection. Backstage, Hinke was beaming after the show and posed with her models while photographers clamoured around her for a photo.
Next up was Amanda Emmanuel, a designer new to OFW. Emmanuel’s background in interactive technologies was evident in her stunning Fall/Winter 2012 collection, “Hidden Treasures,” dominated by silk fabrics featuring angular lines, geometric shapes, and exciting colours. One print featured power lines on a flirty pink fabric – the ultimate combination of design and fashion. Many pieces combined floral prints, jewel prints and blocks of colour to create an ultra-feminine look. The models wore their hair in smooth, high ponytails and their makeup was minimal; for such breathtaking designs, very little was needed to make them a crowd favourite! In fact, the representatives from Otto’s BMW and Subaru loved her creations so much that they had Emmanuel to shoot a commercial for them outside The Westin. Emmanuel says the collection was inspired by vibrant colours, exotic birds and exquisite heirloom jewellery.
During the break attendees were serenaded with the soulful sounds of Renee Landry. She performed her original jazz and blues songs to an excited crowd, while her smooth voice slid throughout the rest of the Westin’s fourth floor. This was her second time performing at OFW, and we are so happy she came back.
Meanwhile, jewellery designer Isobel Walker remained remarkably calm, though everyone backstage and front stage was anxiously anticipating the latest collection from her label, frAsh. The show opened with a ballet performance by a dancer dressed in black. This turned out to be a stark contrast to the rest of the styling, which had the models painted white from head to toe. Their chests were covered in white feathers which created a beautiful stage to display the jewellery. The first look had a model wearing a long, sheer, black train from her waist and a heavy, black and gold necklace, complimented by long black earrings. Gold was the main colour in the collection, accented by bursts of deep red and black. Many neck pieces were pectorals and the earrings were delicate but large. Some models also wore cuffs the length of their forearms in deep green or lucite. The collection, inspired by Joan of Arc’s transition from warrior to saint, ended with a massive headpiece made to look like a biblical halo from the renaissance.
Returning Montreal label !Nu.I had the runway room abuzz with what Vickie Joseph would do to astound us this time. The collection, entitled “Nostalgia,” certainly took everyone back in time. The styling was a throwback to the 70s, with crimped hair and big, clear-framed glasses. Teal was the main colour, both accenting black and brown hounds-tooth print pants and being used all on its own in capes and dresses. A teal leather maxi skirt really got people talking both at OFW and online. As the models flowed down the runway, teal was replaced with creme knits and black leather, with lime green accents and knee socks. The looks, whether they included pants, capes, dresses, or skirts, were both strong and feminine and made us yearn for the past.
Keeping the crowd entertained during the break was Anastasia Filippova. Her soothing piano melodies and electrifying voice was just what the crowd needed to get them pumped up for the next round of shows.
Dress designer Illyria Pestich defines simple elegance with her label Illyria Design. The models’ dark, dramatic eye makeup was an ode to the wonderful work the L’Oreal stylists had been doing all day and the refined up-dos showed off the skills of hairstylists from The Loft. Plum, black, and white were the main elements of Illyria’s colour palette, though striking prints including grey-tone snakeskin punctuated the collection. The pieces ranged from wrap dresses to tunic dresses. One plum piece had a hood and pockets, and others were complimented with statement dress jackets and gold jewellery.
As if the other five designers didn’t already make the first day of OFW one of the best we’ve ever seen, Montreal designer Andy Nguyen ended the evening with nothing less than an astounding show. His label, Y!D.N.A. Collection, has made him one to watch since its launch in 2010, and Nguyen did not disappoint with his latest collection. Nguyen had attendees standing up before the even show started to get a glimpse of a mysterious box sitting at the beginning of runway. When the show started, a model popped out in a black leather and danced sharply to electrifying music to set the tone for the show. Many of the models’ bodies and faces were painted white or black and had angular lines drawn on them. The collection was mostly black, white, and grey, with lots of leather. Headpieces were plentiful in this dramatic collection and ranged from top hats, to studded gas masks, to black discs. Notable looks included one model in a white morph suit with black combat boots and a mix of leather and a knit. Another included a model wearing a creme, flouncy knit with an oversized flower applique and carrying an orange birdcage as an accessory.
If you aren’t already following us on Twitter (@ofw_live) or Instagram (ofwlive), check out our pages for live updates throughout the day on backstage preparations, runway shows, and all the excitement going on the marketplace.
^Caresse LeySocial tagging: amanda emmanuel > anastasia fillipova > andy ngyuen > elena hinke > fashion ottawa > frash > Nu.i > ottawa fashion week > renee landry > the strain