Edmonton’s Fashion Festival: Fall/Winter 2007

Amanda and I headed to the last runway show of Edmonton’s Fashion Festival tonight. The event moved from Planet Ze Design in Old Strathcona to the more visible and central location of Churchill Square.

While the website recommended attendees to “dress creatively,” due to the venue being a tent in the urban outdoors, the slogan really should have been “dress warmly,” as my sister and I were quite cold by the end of the nearly two and a half hour show (my flats really were not the smartest shoe choice).

We had decided to line up quite early, which in hindsight was a great decision, as we were able to secure front row seats. The poor souls who arrived too late were relegated to stand in the crowded areas behind the chairs, not fun on the hard concrete Square floor. I didn’t blame those in the back for leaving early, as nearly half the crowd had gone by the time the last designer hit the runway.

Amanda and I wait for the show to begin
The Festival’s Creative Director Sandra Sing Fernandes opened the show by welcoming everyone. She’s a rather imposing lady, with a radio-friendly voice and a daring fashion sense. While it is likely because of her due diligence that a fashion festival exists at all in the city, perhaps from a PR standpoint she should have taken the time to, for example, learn to pronounce the names of sponsors, remember who donated the door prizes, and be able to properly introduce performers.

Sandra Sing Fernandes, MC for the evening
First up wasn’t a runway showcase, but an Edmonton-born country singer, who performed “Lady Marmalade”, for what purpose I don’t know. Later on in the show, a troupe of ballet dancers took to the stage. Neither of these seemingly impromptu additions were advertised in the program, and though it is a nice thought to provide members of the artistic community with a venue, in the grand scheme of things, such inclusions ultimately detracted from the evening’s fashion focus. Superfluous interruptions like these really highlight the assumption that fashion cannot survive on its own in Edmonton.

Of the four collections, I thought Nylon by Dex had the most “wearable” designs, while Nokomis‘ whimsical hair and makeup choices emphasised the expected femininity and organic nature of their designs. I thoroughly enjoyed Morse Code‘s portion of the night – entertaining and visually slick, the models were cheeky, with a 70s sensibility in their outrageous wigs and movements, supported by funky music choices (including remixes of Batman and Spiderman theme songs). The show closer, Stanley Carroll, opened with a spooky Halloween theme, dressing the first few models backwards, and affixing wigs over their faces and attaching a mask to the backs of their heads. While memorable, the clothing ended up playing second fiddle to the stunt. The rest of the collection was showcased with the lights on, fortunately, but really was much too long.

Ultra Ego

Ultra Ego



Morse Code

Morse Code

Nylon by Dex

Stanley Carroll

Stanley Carroll

Stanley Carroll

This was my first fashion show, and I must say it was enjoyable as a whole. Sitting so close, I was able to notice some of the “seams” – padding under shoes to prevent scuffing of soles (and allowing for shoe resale), and really, in many cases, the shoes being much too big for the models to walk properly. On another note, Amanda and I talked about the need for a bigger (indoor) space, but the halls of Shaw Conference and Northlands are all too mainstream. It will be interesting to see where this takes place next year.

Goaded by an exposure to America’s Next Top Model, but helped by the “glamour” of flashing bulbs, pumping base, and the irresistible sound of high heels hitting the platform, I will be back. Look for Spring/Summer Fashion Week in April 2008.

2 thoughts on “Edmonton’s Fashion Festival: Fall/Winter 2007

  1. I knew Sandi before she went to New York, and am so happy to see how successful she’s become…She is a neat girl who the camera loves, and can look so different ..She did a spoof of Loni Anderson when SCTV filmed in town..eons ago…

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