Top 10 Designers from Vancouver Fashion Week

With six days showcasing Vancouver’s rising up comers in the fashion world, Vancouver Fashion Week brought out what seemed like a consistent theme of an array of colour for the Fall/Winter 2016 collection season. Among the 96 designers showcased throughout the week, Novella has their eyes on 10 designers that seemed to make the cut in colour, design, and overall aesthetic when they graced the catwalk during Vancouver Fashion Week.


VFW 2016-03-16 Photo by Dale Rollings- IMG_0301
Ed Ng Photography

Showcasing evening elegance with a hint of sexy, Lesley Hampton shows the runway how to work sequence and patterns cohesively. ,making what looks like liquid metal as the gowns cascade down the runway, Lesley Hampton dresses male a great choice when wanting to stand out in a crowd.


VFW 2016-03-16 Photo by Dale Rollings- IMG_9268
Ed Ng Photography

Showing everyone how to layer for the chiller seasons, NOCTEX brings the layering aesthetic to the runway with the use of neutral tones such as beige, black and grey. Even though these shades may seem like a major bore, the way NOCTEX blends the shades with the use of flowy fabrics and layers creates an aura of comfy chic.


Bernardo Moura Photography

Bringing South Asia to the catwalk, Akshay Wadhwa exudes a sense of royalty in her Fall/Winter 2016 collection with the rich colours of gold and navy blue. The traditional South Asian embroidery on the various pants, skirts and tops, with the accompaniment of draping in the pants and capes gives an international feel that is needed on North American runways.


Bernardo Moura Photography

Cut and sophistication are the two words that come to mind when looking at Danya Weevers Fall/Winter 2016 collection. Giving off a “first lady” appeal with the use of structured coats, skirts and culottes, the eclectic collection would be admired by the elegant woman wanting to make a statement with bold and solid colours.


Vancouver Fashion Week
Bernardo Moura Photography

Fusing the male tuxedo aesthetic with the femininity of the female dress, Melanie Dylis flawlessly combines the two in her collection for Vancouver Fashion Week. A highlight piece of the collection is a button down, long sleeve pleated dress that has velvet accents and an array of other material aspects.


VFW 2016-03-19 photo by Dale Rollings-IMG_1787
Dale Rollings Photography

Fur, tassels, and intricate embroidery is the eye opening and jaw dropping factor that had many at the edge of their seats for Noe Bernacelli collection during Vancouver Fashion Week. Reminiscent of Balmain’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection with the use of layers, embroidery and textures, Bernacelli puts his own twits on the collection by staying with dark colours with the pop of neon greens and pearly whites. Still very chic and show stopping, Noe Bernacelli is definitely one to watch!


Kerp Photography - Encima_97A5086
Kerp Photography

Not forgetting about the men collections during the week, Enicma brings traditional pieces with a homegrown label. With trench coats, long sleeves, and a variety of basic everyday essentials, the collection is one of timelessness and practicality.


VFW 2016-03-20 Photo by Dale Rollings- IMG_9358
Dale Rollings Photography

Think modern western with a couture aspect and you have Evan Clayton’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection. With ruffles and off the shoulder styles being a consistent theme, the brand uses a lot of neutral colour such as olive green and white to show versatility with the pieces in regards to switching up the style and making them your own.


Kerp Photography - Heill_97A7314
Kerp Photography

By designers Nicole and Nathan, the duo want to showcase the versatility of the tuxedo, for both men and women, and that the traditional piece can be styled and combined in a variety of ways. Ranging in patterns and textures, the brand showcases the potential that a traditional suit has when cut to the body and accompanied by stand out accessories.


Kerp Photography - Samuel Yeung - _97A4018
Kerp Photography

Continuing with the print and textile theme of the week, Samuel Yeung brings his take of graffiti art on dress for his collection for Vancouver Fashion Week. And not just keeping with the bright colours that the textiles bring, he also incorporates a woven textured dress to begin the show. The see-through frock with a ruffled bottom is a staple for the warmer season despite its Fall/Winter collection debut. Paired well with either a trendy sneaker for a day on the town or heels for an evening out, the versatility of the dress goes above and beyond for any season.

How to do Valentine’s Day in Toronto

Whether you legitimately detest Valentine’s Day or secretly adore it, Toronto is planning a whole slew of events in celebration of L-O-V-E. From heart themed raves to card making workshops, you’ll want to check out at least one of these — no matter your relationship status.


Try your hand at DIY Valentine’s cards at the Todmodern Mills Heritage Museum ($15 per person) or at Toronto’s First Post Office (free).

Whip up some-old fashioned treats from the 1840s at Mongromery’s Inn’s “Hearts and Kisses” baking workshop. ($25 per person). Bonus: you can even make your own Victorian box to present them in.

Le Dolci is hosting a series of love-themed baking classes from Feb. 12 to Feb. 14 ($150-$180 per class, per couple). The Valentine’s Macaron Class is sold out (boo), but you can still register for the Valentine’s Pastry, Pie, Cupcake or Chocolate Truffle making classes!

Mackenzie House is teaming up with The Gravenfeather Studio for their “Wish You Were Here” love letter-writing workshop ($15 per person). Craft your own postcard using an old-fashioned pen and ink, watercolours and images from the house’s own print shop.

“Art and Wine with Your Valentine” at Paintlounge ($70 per couple) lets couples (or BFFs) sip their elixir of choice while working on some masterpieces. Price includes two drinks and two freestyle painting sessions (one for each of you).


The Winter’s Tale is playing at the Coal Mine until Feb. 20, so you can celebrate the day of love with a dose of dramedy.

While it’s not really a Valentine’s thing, Wavelength Music Festival is on from Feb. 12 to Feb. 14 at the Garrison and Markham House, featuring Calvin Love, Foxtrott and a bunch of other gems from the indie scene.

Toronto burlesque groups Skin Tight Outta Sight and Boylesque are putting on Be Mein Valentine ($25 — $40), a deliciously raunchy Valentine’s show at the Gladstone Hotel. It’s a must-see.

For a more sophisticated night of romance, “Serenades for Special Hearts” ($50 per person) is a benefit concert taking place at Loft404. The intimate soiree will feature drinks, appetizers, and of course, love songs from Jory Nash, Laura Tremblay, host Murray Foster and more. Proceeds will go towards SickKids’ Camp Oki.

The Valentine’s Big Band Dance at Palais Royale ($50 per person) promises a classic Valentine’s Day experience. Swing with your SO to the sounds of a live band, all while overlooking the lake. You can choose to add a dinner to your night, bringing the total cost to $100 per person and bumping your ticket to VIP.

“Dinner and a Show” ($125 per person, which includes a $25 tax receipt) at the Banknote Bar treats you to a three-course dinner and a performance of Chelsea Hotel — The Songs of Leonard Cohen. Yum.

>>> EATS & TREATS <<<

Bring your #1 to the Victorian-inspired “Sweetheart Tea” at the Gibson House Museum ($20 per person).

A romantic dinner at the zoo? Yes, please. “First Comes Love” ($160 per couple for non-members) is a quirky Valentine’s date idea, including an intimate sit-down dinner before getting to meet some of the animals.

A South African wine tasting? Yes, please. Hosted by iYellow Wine Club, “i Love South Africa” ($59 per person) lets you sample over 20 wines and pair them with delectable snacks at this cultural culinary experience.

“Valentine’s Fireside at the Inn” ($40 per couple) actually lets you cuddle your person in a stunning historic living room at Montgomery’s Inn. Sip mulled wine and savour sweet treats in the cosiest setting.

Valentine’s Brunch at the Old Mill Inn & Spa ($39.95 per person) has become a lovely little tradition for couples, families and BFFs. The romantic setting and delicious menu makes for a relaxing and fun Valentine’s afternoon.

Ripley’s Aquarium is hosting a romantic Deep Sea Soiree ($50 per person). Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and aquatic life! It’s like the perfect recipe for romance.  

>>> PARTIES <<<

Bond with your fellow V-Day haters at Toronto’s Largest Anti-Valentine’s Day Party at Union. Everyone gets a complimentary drink between 7 and 8 p.m.!

For those who like a good rave, the Promise Heart Party ($35 per person) *promises* to be an unforgettable one. Set inside an abandoned warehouse at 35 Strachan Ave., it’ll feature mind-bending decor and great music.

Toronto sex club Oasis Aqualounge is hosting “Lovers’ Paradise” ($80 per couple). An RMT will be on-site for sensual massages and a Heart Opening Tantra workshop will take place at 9:00 p.m. Or check out some of our other favourite sex clubs here.


Fashion Week is a huge deal in both Toronto and New York. A variety of events and shows take place during that week, with designers showing off their hard work and talent and beautiful models presenting different pieces to us as they strut down the catwalk. Through all the behind-the-scenes chaos, the paparazzi and maybe even a few celebrity mishaps, Fashion Week is always a smashing success.

This week, Toronto is presenting African Fashion Week from August 13th to 16th at Daniels Spectrum. African Fashion Week has been taking place since 2009, and has already reached an audience of over 100,000 worldwide. Because of the great diversity that the event brings, it is recognizable throughout different countries, and continues to grow as a platform each year. The philosophy of AFW is all about, team spirit, honesty, reliability and quality. Their mission is to continue progressing the African Fashion Industry with quality and taste, to create and build strong business relationships that will lead to further business opportunities for models and other fashion professionals, to continue expanding the growth of African Fashion Industries in Toronto as well as the Diaspora, and lastly to banish the misconception surrounding Africa by showcasing it in a different light — through luxury fashion initiatives.


The four-day event will be filled with excitement, as each day has something new to bring to the table. Thursday August 13th from 7 p.m. to midnight is the Opening Soiree and will be hosted by Angelina Williams at the Drake Hotel. There will be music by the award-winning DJ Nana and live band Juice Money Collective.


Friday August 14th at 7 p.m. is when the real fun begins. It is the night of the show where it will be showcasing the student designer competition and the high fashion designer showcase.


On Saturday August 15th 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will be a free registration period for the Fashion Marketing Seminar, which is to help develop “marketing strategies to grow your brand with successful industry professionals.” Then starting at 1 p.m is the High Fashion Designer Showcase. There are three shows in total, with the following two at 4 p.m and 7 p.m.


 Sunday August 16th is the finale of the function, with the red carpet starting at 5 p.m. and the achievement ceremony taking place at 6. It will be hosted by Ivy Prosper and she will be honouring Alex Wek and Alphadi.

About Last Night: The Stirling Room’s New Patio

‘Tis patio season, and last night the Novella team hit up the Stirling Room in the Distillery District to check out their brand-new patio. The Stirling Room, which was also celebrating its 5th anniversary last night, was classy already, but with this chic new outdoor space, the place is sure to become even more of a summertime hit. And it opened just in time — Toronto is full of patios, but we’re midway through the summer, which means I’ve exhausted pretty much all of them already.

While sipping cocktails and munching appetizers, guests crowded the new patio, but there was plenty of sitting room so the comfy factor was not sacrificed. It has a totally different feel than the El Catrin patio, which is right around the corner and is famed for its awesomeness. While El Catrin’s is ideal for downing some dinner, the Stirling Room’s has a more intimate feel and is the perfect place to chill with some chums and a cocktail.

The patio opens to the public today, which means all you beautiful people should flock to the Distillery right now (despite the Pan Am madness, it’s not as crazy as you’d think) for a drink or two!


About Last Night: Gilmore Girlprov

Okay, you caught me. This wasn’t actually last night. But the night before last night was a ton of fun at Gilmore Girlprov, the monthly improv comedy set put on by Hot Cousin Productions Comedy. As one might have guessed, the whole thing is inspired by Gilmore Girls — as if improv could have gotten any quirkier.

At the beginning of the show (which takes place at Comedy Bar, by the way), host Chelsea Jayne Bray engaged with the audience, collecting their suggestions for various calamities the characters could find themselves ensnared in. Once the viewers’ ideas were in, comedian Amanda Brooke Perrin, who’s set to appear on Just for Laughs soon, stepped onto the stage and was, of course, hilarious. Once she’d whet the audience’s comedic palates, the show began.

Image Courtesy of Hot Cousin Productions
Image Courtesy of Hot Cousin Productions

The whole thing was as adorable as it was funny, with actors who embraced their characters with the skill of true Gilmore Girls fans. Not like I would truly know, since I’ve never personally seen an episode — but despite that, the series of skits were a hoot. Although, future attendees, take note: if you want to up your chances of winning cupcakes and Twizzlers and chips during the mid-show trivia break, I’d binge-watch the entire series beforehand.

I was particularly intrigued by Adele Dicks and Kristy LaPointe, who played Lorelai and Rory Gilmore respectively, and happen to be the leading ladies of Hot Cousin. Before the show even started, I could tell it was going to be good just by reading their words in the pamphlet: “When we set up the first Gilmore Girlprov, we hoped it would be a fun, weird, one-time thing,” they write. “And then we did another. And another. No one is more surprised than we are at the success of our little show.”


Yes, this was Girlprov’s sixth month in existence, and it’s still going strong. The freshness of the concept and the talent that come together to make it happen have stolen the hearts of Torontonians over the past half-year, making this monthly show the perfect pick-me-up.