Up and Coming Designers at Vancouver Fashion Week

26th September

Vancouver Fashion Week, SS17

We at the STYLetti were thrilled to be invited to attend Vancouver (Canada) Fashion Week this season. First of all, Vancouver is a global city. More than half of its residents have something other than English as their first language. I can tell you, I loved my visit there; the city is clean, gorgeous, and full of ultra friendly people.

My day at #VFW was indeed magical. I was so fortunate to see collections of great designers. Let me share some who were definitely among my favorites: Maya Rene, winner of last year’s Project Runway: Junior and…

Maya Rene VFW SS17

…Bahareh Memarian, who showed at NYFW last season and who combines her love of animals with a love of fur…

Bahareh Memarian VFW SS17

Maya Rene

When I got to interview 15-year-old Maya Rene after her show, I was struck by how clear she is on who she is as a designer. She really knows her “girl” (or women for whom she designs). She creates for a young, very sophisticated woman who wants custom pieces for the red carper or other formal events. And that girl is not afraid of being daring, taking a risk, or having all eyes on her.

Maya Rene design, VFW 2016, 1

I remarked to her on how almost sculptural her designs are. And she said that she does try to make them interesting from every angle.

Maya Rene design, VFW 2016, 2

Photograph by Dale Rollings

Influence of architecture

When asked about her inspiration, she mentioned art and architecture. That includes classical greek and roman marble pillars….

Maya Rene design, VFW 2016, 3

as well as ultra modern architecture, with straight lines and grid patterns. You can see this in her leather mesh skirt. You’ll also notice her love for combining different materials and letting different textures play off each other.

Maya Rene design, VFW 2016, 3

Photograph by Ed Ng

Maya mentioned that her pieces are meant for the runway. In fact, that’s where they look best (moving).

Maya Rene design, VFW 2016, 7

Very impressive for someone who learned to sew by watching YouTube videos while in the third grade! Maya’s definitely someone to watch out for!

Maya Rene at VFW

Maya Rene

Bahareh Memarian: inspirated by strong, sensual women

Designer, Bahareh Memarian – who also thrilled me during Vancouver Fashion Week – studied architecture in Cypress and architecture in Vancouver before deciding to pursue her greatest passion: fashion design. Her collection, “Extinct” is pure luxury and elegance. It was inspired by the women of old Hollywood and sensuality of Italian women in the movie “La Dolce Vita.”

Bahareh Memarian, VFW SS17 - 1

Ed Ng Photography

And the line is inspired by strong women in general. Bahareh says that it doesn’t matter as much how a woman looks in an outfit, but how she feels in it.

Bahareh Memarian, VFW SS17 - 5

Fernando Lessa Photography

Humane faux fur

And speaking of strong, Bahareh has very firm convictions that animals need not be sacrificed for a beautiful fur coat (or skirt, as seen below!)

Bahareh Memarian, VFW SS17 - 2

Fernando Lessa Photography

She wants to show women that they can be elegant wearing a cruelty-free alternative. And she uses faux fur fabricated through special processes for a luxurious look and feel. I love the drama of this flared coat (below) with sleeves. It can be worn all the way to the fingertips or the wrists, depending on your preference.

Bahareh Memarian, VFW SS17 - 3

Fernando Lessa Photography

I asked Bahareh how a woman would wear the lace leggings. I, for one, might be a bit timid. And she explained to me that with this being her first collection, she let herself dream rather than create everyday clothing.

I’m so glad she did! I now see faux fur in a whole new light! And in the northern parts of the hemisphere, fur – especially the guilty-free kind – is a beautiful addition to any woman’s personal collection. I would LOVE to own the one above.

I’ll end this mini show with a glimpse of a gown with a faux fur train – what woman wouldn’t swoon over this?!

I love the passion and textural contrast (lace and fur) in this collection by an equally passionate designer. And I definitely admire Bahareh for working to promote positive change in fashion and society.

I have to say, “Brava, Bahareh!” And congratulations to Maya! We also want to thank the organizers of Vancouver Fashion Week for allowing us to share their magic with you!

xo, janea



6 responses to “Up and Coming Designers at Vancouver Fashion Week”

  1. Jalisa says:

    Wow, I’m simply amazed and incredibly impressed with these young talents! I haven’t watched Project Runway in so long, so I haven’t watched the spin off with the Juniors. I can honestly say that I would personally wear every single piece of clothing designed by both ladies. The fact that Maya learnt to sew from watching YouTube videos is incredible. I think it must have always been in her because you can’t teach this, you can sculpt and fine tune, but it’s a gift! Thanks so much for introducing me to these ladies, they’re definitely ones to watch! I hope you’re having a great start to your week so far, beauty!



  2. Nina says:

    Thank you for these sights! Gorgeous!


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