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A Look Ahead: Blanche MacDonald Fashion Show 2012
Categories: Fashion, Photo Set, Review

The Blanche MacDonald annual graduate’s fashion show put on last week was as perfectly constructed and woven together as the pieces of fabric each new designer used to create their final looks. It was professional, it was fabulous, and it was every bit the timeless, chic Blanche MacDonald style we’ve all come to expect. Located at the downtown campus, the show highlighted looks that each budding designer has been perfecting for four months and likely dreaming of for much longer. There were twenty different graduates sending one or two looks down the runway and all seats were filled with guests anxious and ready to catch a glimpse of what was to come from one of Vancouver’s top schools for all things fashion.

Before the show took place, I was able to chat with Katy Baldock and Katelyn Birch, two of the featured designers who became friends very early on in their classes. PBJ_1292 They filled me in on their year long, intense experience going through the program at Blanche MacDonald, saying they were thankful to have each other through it all. I mentioned they must be incredibly excited to be walking into this evening and seeing their work truly come to life and Katelyn replied, “It’s very scary to think about graduating and being on my own again, but it is also exciting.” Thirty minutes later, Katelyn sent a sculpted, chic brown jacket and patterned, ruched skirt down the runway.

PBJ_1659Moments after, Katy followed with her look: a stunning evening gown with its deep blue color, sweetheart neckline, and open fabric around the empire waist creating a flowing, angelic feel. I was sitting opposite both women and glanced over to see their expressions as all of their hard work from the past four months sashayed right in front of us. With the excitement and accomplishment I saw written across each of their faces, it’s obvious this won’t be the last time we see their designs grace the runway.

Among the rest of the new talent, I saw quite a few looks inspired by this season’s latest trends. PBJ_1331 Five designers showcased their take on a classic cloak and I saw everything from velvet to wool to a playful, long cloak with hearts and polka dots, showcasing the youthful yet sophisticated appeal that has become the staple of designer Sandy Shen. My favorite (and probably the most common theme) was the mixture of feminine and masculine pieces. Colleen Schneebeli paired a cropped, lace top with bold, high waisted, wide-leg, oxblood pants. John Paul Reyes received lots of praise for his signature varsity jacket worn over a velvet turtleneck minidress.

PBJ_1840Another audience favorite was Jena Lewis’ floor length, ruffled gown worn with a black, structured coat. Josephine Li’s creations could have come from Kate Middleton’s own closet: deep velvet and ladylike features were the essence of her two pieces, and were paired perfectly with high wedges. Minimalism was on full display with Brockton Lane’s square, clean lines and neutral colors and Anna Talbot’s airy, light dresses that could go anywhere from the runway to the beach.

PBJ_2022The most talked about moment of the night, however, was when Summer Li made her debut with a gorgeous high-low, strapless white gown. Those of us in the audience clapped loudly and some even gasped. It was perfectly accentuated with a skinny, rhinestone belt that glistened beautifully against the lights at the end of the runway. It was an excellent combination of trendy, refined, and feminine.


This year’s show was a huge success and I’m so excited I was able to take a front row seat to see the action. A huge thanks goes out to Dela Cruz PR for putting on such a great event, CurliQue for hosting the wine reception and lending their fabulous talent leader, Jaylene to emcee, and Blanche MacDonald for continuing to send out such immensely talented graduates into the growing fashion culture in Vancouver.


editor’s note: Kate Allen is a guest writer for covering fashion events in the Vancouver area. Check out her personal blog: With Love, Katie and her behind-the-scenes look at the Blanche MacDonald show here.


Photographs kindly provided by professional fashion photographer Peter Jensen.


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