Last night a couple friends and I went to the fifth annual Sask Fashion week and it was great. Regina isn't known to be a city that prioritizes aesthetics. In fact, there's usually an angry uproar when Regina wants to spend money on making the city a more beautiful place (see the comments section of any article about the University of Regina spending 400K$ on a new sign to get a sense of the sentiment around here) (LOVE the sign, btw, guys. LOVE it). We can be a stingy crowd, probably because in our collective consciousness, we still remember the 1930's and the 1980's too well, and we look past our city limits and see farmer's fields and shudder at how vulnerable economically we are. Fair enough... well... but not good enough. Ugly cities don't have a high success rate of attracting and keeping new blood. For some of us, we need to be surrounded by beauty. Well Sask Fashion week is where beautiful people get to spend the money all on themselves. It's great. The production was great, the lighting and sound- I loved the videography, although I couldn't see it very well because my seat was too close to the screen, the music was well done, the models were beautiful, the make-up was well-done, there was an app I downloaded but didn't use very much, but a solid event from Saskatchewan. There are some creative people in Saskatchewan, and it was good to see them all working together.
There needs to be more mentorship of the designers here, and more money funnelled toward the production of clothing specifically for this event. There were some mistakes on the runway that could've been avoided. A couple designers were using cheap cotton that didn't move very well (not enough money?), some were putting black and white clothes on models who couldn't wear black (an entire line was put on a model who needed more fall colorings), some were matching chunky heels with soft, flowy dresses, or combinations of outfits and handbags that you'd never wear, there was a questionable use of anklets that made the models look shorter (which was fine if they weren't going for an elongated leg), and some outfits that just weren't the perfect fit on the models (some bunching at the seams, etc). As time goes on and more money gets directed toward Sask designers, there'll be a heightened awareness of those kinds of issues and they'll get ironed out.
On the other hand, a head-spinning amount of work goes into production, so a nod to everyone's hard work. Prahsik had a goth line that was doing some innovative stuff with materials and mixy-matchy pieces, Ten Tree- OMG, they have so much social capital in this province, it's crazy- people just love Ten Tree for some reason, but they do have a good solid line that's been in production for some time so they know what they're doing, Beryl Wong was a pleasant surprise, Little Bow-Tihk and FT Design Fashion had the most work to do in terms of translating a culture's design sensibility for consumers that may not be from their culture and I love how they were just like damn straight, yeah, I'm putting a feather on this dress and overside medicine wheel earrings on this white girl. There's politics when you put a feather on something, so I love the risk they took. That's the kind of imagination-building that money needs to get behind- people who've got the guts to do something new.
My favorite was Hudson's Boutique from Moose Jaw, but lordy, now I see that they're just a retailer, not a designer. Boo.
The highlight for me was the model who opened for Hudson's Boutique or whoever was the second designer right after Spex. Damn she was fine. She was a slender black girl with straightened hair and a captivating body. She owned that stage- she owned everyone in the whole audience when she walked. You know how they say models are supposed to look like they know a secret when they walk? To give them an air of mystery or something? She had a secret. When she walked for Little Bow-Tihk, one of her shoulder straps was falling down, and it was hard to tell if she meant it to be that way- I mean probably not- but when she got to the end of the runway, she gracefully arched her arm up as if she had planned to do this the whole time and slid that shoulder strap back on like it was just part of the show. Captivating. I didn't take her picture- I wish I could've seen her after the show to tell her how much I loved her. She was FINE.