On Saturday, February 25, 2017, The Atrium hosted the Victoria Fashion Week Launch Runway Show. Fourteen Canadian designers showed off their talent and exquisite pieces on the catwalk. The capital of British Columbia was the place to be that night! The Atrium seemed to be filled to capacity with Victoria’s most fashionable residents, and all eyes were on the runway. As my friend Polly and I stood in line to get into the venue, we listened to guests speak about how excited they were to have something of this caliber come to their city.
The mission of Victoria Fashion Week is to show that the Victoria fashion scene is deserving of international recognition. In creating a brand new outlet for local talent, they aim to support Victoria’s community of designers, models, hair and makeup artists and other creatives, and so begin to define their identity in the fashion world. They value environmentally focused labels, and support local businesses first.
Profits from the launch events supported the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC). VSAC is a feminist organization committed to ending sexualized violence through healing, education, and prevention. They are dedicated to supporting women and all Trans survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, through advocacy, counselling, and empowerment.
Migration Boutique (formerly Lotus) is located in the heart of beautiful downtown Victoria BC. Selling distinctive urban items from up and coming designers, Migration features over 50 local artists. Local business owner Sara, also purchases directly from friends and designers overseas, supporting both local businesses and ethical production. Migration is a permanent artisan fair providing the opportunity to find unique gifts handmade by Victoria and Canada’s finest designers. Migration has something for everyone! Products include men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, art, and gift ware items.
Ola Dubois is a women’s clothing collection handmade in Victoria. Owner, Dani Dubois, likes to work with reclaimed materials to create items that are not only completely unique & beautiful, but healthy for the planet as well. Fashion Re-Found.
The Makehouse offers a unique series of creative workshops giving you new skills and the satisfaction of making something unique with your own two hands! You can read our interview Makehouse’s with Jenny Ambrose, here!
Paradise Boutique is a locally owned, women’s clothing store specializing in fashion swimwear. They offer a selection of truly original clothing and accessories, with a focus on independent designers. Their exclusive line of mix-and-match swimwear is beautifully made in BC and has become a favourite among local Victorians.
WAWAHA & Shannon Munro
WAWAHA is bohemian fashion for the wanderer and dreamer, inspired by distant lands, vintage treasure, Mother Earth, Father Sky and childhood memories. Shannon Munro creates statement, intricate jewelry pieces that compliment any outfit and add that perfect finishing touch.
The Nikki Babie Collection of clothing was designed with your comfort in mind. The material of their ready-to-wear collection is from bamboo jersey which is known to highlight your curves and flatter your figure. This material is a magical piece that will definitely make unpacking after a travel be a breeze – just hang the clothes off your suitcase, as there’s no need to bother yourself with ironing them! After using each item, you can machine-wash and then hang them out to dry. Their pieces won’t shrink or fade away in color!
Reclamation is a sustainable clothing line made almost exclusively by using vintage and reclaimed materials. Reclamation begins with you. You can read our interview with Reclamation’s Trista Nicole Smith here!
A born fashion designer, Teresa Lindsay leads a team of talented professionals to create sustainable no-waste fashion that flatters every woman’s body.
Covet + Keep
Covet + Keep Jewelry is designed by Canadian born Elea Hilliard. After working overseas as a fashion editor, Elea returned to her hometown of Victoria B.C. to set up shop. All of Covet + Keep’s designs are hand casted, hand finished and hand assembled with quality and wearability in mind. All components that touch the skin are sterling silver or gold fill. The braille messages are for you— you decide who you share them with.
Dellis is a brand which is a reflection of it’s sole creator and designer, D. It brings to life his vision of a menswear line that is simple yet bold.
Sarah Runnalls Collection
Sarah Runnalls creates elegant and sophisticated women’s ready-to-wear pieces in her collection.
Leisure is an advanced contemporary line. It is designed for modern women whose lives require a casual elegance that is versatile, wearable and thoughtfully constructed. The collections are designed and manufactured in Victoria, BC. Each piece is hand finished, meticulously fitted and made of the highest quality fabrics. Their aim is to create a uniform that is comfortable, stylish and can take a Leisure woman to any destination.
Oxford creates men’s and women’s natural fiber clothing, fine leather bags, jewelry and all natural apothecary skin care.
I personally am very much looking forward to the full fashion week coming to Victoria this fall. Stayed tuned to What’s Up Northwest for more information on the fall show, and for our interviews with the designers!
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.