I've been contemplating on whether I should speak the truth about my experience with Vancouver Fashion Week or if I should bite my tongue and avoid burning bridges as I am not ready to retire from Vancouver's Fashion scene. I decided that a middle ground can be reached with this because I owe my readers the inside scoop (the good, the bad and the ugly).

I guess the best way to tell my story is to start with the good: After attending the gala on opening night, I found the best part of my evening to be a conversation with a model's father who was waiting in the lobby of the hotel. Our conversation about how he's managed to maintain a close relationship with his daughter was so touching and inspiring. I knew at some level that this would be one of the few positive and uplifting experiences I'd have throughout the week. I also met another lady who I sat beside for 4 straight shows, which could have been agonizing but was actually quite pleasant. We parted ways in the end but you'll be hearing about her in a future post as she's kindly offered me a complimentary service at her workplace, which, you guessed it: I'll be blogging about.The last thing I wanted to mention was how touched I was by all the volunteers who really tried to make this a great event. Everyone looked young and wide eyed and while I appreciate their hard work, I hope they learn sooner than later that their efforts are worth more than a mere "thank you, see you next year." In terms of the designers and clothing, I can't say too much as I have been reading VOGUE and watching Fashion File since I was in elementary school. In other words, my standards are very high so any ill-fitting ensembles and awkward walks down the runway were big turn offs for me. The only pieces that truly impressed me were those that I photographed above.
The bad: In the beginning, I was told that there was no "hierarchy" to the organization of this event and after seeing that most of the people working with VFW were volunteers, it was quite obvious that without structure and leadership, DISorganization was bound to happen. I was told to take photos of streetstyle photos which would be published in The Province but to my dismay, my time and efforts of taking photos, completing Q&A's and making promises were all a complete waste of time. For some unexplained reason, only 1 of the many photos and Q&A's were posted on The Province's LOOKBOOK. That said, I want to publicly apologize to those of you who were kind enough to have your photos taken and answer the questionnaire. I tried my best to rectify this but as volunteers are not paid to fulfill their commitments, all I received were emails telling me to "enjoy the experience and disregard the broken promises." *sigh*
The ugly:  There is absolutely no doubt in this world that I LOVE VANCOUVER but at the same time, I have to admit (and you probably will too) that Vancouver isn't exactly a fashion hub like New York, Milan, Paris or Tokyo. With that in mind, people need to understand that they should stay humble and friendly as they are mere specs of dust in the international world of fashion. During my first couple of shows, I had the chance to sit front row next to a very lovely person who unfortunately was sitting next to one of the rudest people I had ever met. After informing them that I was a new blogger and that I had been asked to do some guest blogging for MTV, this lady actually said to me: "What would MTV want with you?" Extremely shocked, I replied and said "Excuse me" and she promptly explained: "What would they want with a new blogger? I've got people working for me who have been writing for years and have written for FLARE. They should be contacted, not you." I tried to stay quick on my feet and replied "I guess they wanted a fresh perspective and maybe it's not the years of experience but the quality they were looking for." She stopped talking immediately. I wish I had some ointment for her to heal that BURN :p

After that show, I attended the next day and decided that I had had enough. I personally think Vancouver has the potential to bring a list of well-known designers and brands together as well as invest in (a.k.a. pay for) a more structured and professional group of people to be involved in such a huge production. Although it's easy to say that bloggers like myself bring negative press to VFW, if you actually attended, this event would have spoken for itself.

1 comment:

  1. you're not alone in your experience Justine. the designers, the models, the photographers, the writers, and the other fashion bloggers - all those who truly believe in their craft were the best people to meet, and definitely the best part of VFW. those who have their noses in the air... karma baby, that's all i can say.

    although vancouver is just a wee thing in terms of ground-breaking fashion and upcoming designers, i think it is important we do have VFWs. they just need a MAJOR facelift. i also think that perhaps the true power of vancouver fashion lies in the smaller, more intimate shows, that allow people to talk and build connections rather than boasting elite statuses over others. vancouver has so many young, bright people, with the desires to be successful and the compassionate minds to do so together.

    our fashionable city is yet to come, but i so believe in it, we'll get there. :)


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