Canadians to Woo China with World Music Fashion Festival

Photos courtesy Empress Communications | Two Flies Photography
The two worlds of fashion and music first collided during the Jazz Age of flappers and Prohibition. Ever since, this marriage of like artistic minds has played out in music videos, runway shows and commercials. Events like Fashion Cares and Fashion Rocks launched in 2003 brought music and fashion together for charity. This fall music and fashion come together for the future.  
 
The future of Canadian fashion. 
 
I heard about the World Music Fashion Festival (WMFF) on its first tour through China featuring Canadian designers Evan Biddell, Paul Hardy and Juma. Developed by Vancouver-based Empress Communications as part of the China Overseas Designer Program, WMFF helps expose independent designers and artists to the Chinese market. It’s only offered to a select number of designers each year.  Triarchy, Bustle Clothing and Lucian Matis participated in 2012.
Bustle Clothing’s Shawn Hewson
Luxury labels have had their eye on China for business expansion for years. While the recession has slowed retail growth around the globe, China’s middle class is booming, packing a lot of power behind consumer spending.  
 
Even though luxury is driving most sales – this year alone, Chinese consumers will account for about one-third of all luxury purchases* – there is also a growing demand for fast fashion brands and Western labels in general. That’s good news for young designers looking for buyers. So good in fact, that Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and the Council of Fashion Designers of America recently sent three American designers to China as part of a joint Fashion Fund program. Rag and Bone, Marchesa and Proenza Schouler staged a fashion show near the Great Wall of China last month.
Wintour explained the benefits of this kind of exchange program in a recent interview, “One of the reasons the European houses went to China is that they needed to expand. The U.S. didn’t have that sense of need at the time, but young designers are working in a very different environment [than] when a Ralph Lauren was their age and they are thinking in a very different way. They are thinking globally.” (The Malta Independent, August 1, 2013).
The World Music Fashion Festival is gearing up for its third trip East this October.  Once again the festival will take Canadian singers, DJs, models and designers through three major cities – Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu in October.  Stay tuned for more from WMFF.  Until then check out previous year’s WMFF photos here.
 
(From Fashionbi.com’s Fashion Retail Trends in China, June 3, 2013)

Is that a Bookmark in Your Pocket?








Toronto Public Library Foundation hosted its fifth annual Book Lover’s Ball Thursday night at the Fairmont Royal York, complete with gala dinner, silent auction and a fashion show. Eight Canadian designers sent creative interpretations from their Spring collections inspired by popular fiction works like Twilight and Sherlock Holmes. The literary crowd lost its vocabulary when the Northbound Leather boys hit the runway, resorting to hoots and hollers. And who could blame them? Half naked men tend to put the “fun” back in fundraiser. It’s no wonder this is one of the best events of the season.

From top: Evan Biddell – Twilight; Marie Saint Pierre with Northbound Leather – Spartacus; Lucian Matis – Water for Elephants; LOVAS by Wesley Badanjak, featuring David Rocco – David Rocco’s Dolce Vita; Ines DiSanto featuring Lilliput Hats; Farley Chatto – Sherlock Holmes

Daphne Launches on The Shopping Channel

Designer Lucian Matis, who drew legions of fans during the first season of Project Runway Canada, returns to the television medium to promote his latest womenswear line, Daphne, on The Shopping Channel. The network is dedicating a one-hour program to Lucian and Daphne this Sunday, which you can catch at 9:00am, 1:00pm, and 8:00pm.

The incredibly affordable line is made in Canada and includes dresses, tops, pants and jackets priced from $60 – $195. In keeping with the Matis trademark design aesthetic, even when very simple — everything has a twist, an element of surprise. We remember how this Romanian export impressed Iman with his flare for the dramatic, so there is little doubt Lucian will have the Shopping Channel’s host and models swooning over Daphne.