For the first time this March, South Asian Fashion Week brought a fresh kind of fashion to the runway in Vancouver. Local South Asian designers showcased a combination of traditional opulence and mainstream contemporary style, featuring rich fabrics, ornate beading, intricate embroidery, and bespoke cuts: all to the delight of fashion-forward on-lookers.
While we’ve had the opportunity to see South Asian designs on the runway in Vancouver before, those runway shows often come in the form of custom bridal shows. What really set South Asian Fashion Week apart was its versatility, and its ability to foster an atmosphere not only celebrating those traditional styles, but also incorporating inspiration from modern streetwear. The combination created a fresh new take on South Asian style – something both the South Asian community, and those outside of it, could see themselves wearing (including us!).
Regardless of cultural background, South Asian Fashion Week made it clear they wanted all to freely explore wearing South Asian apparel, and support the incredible community of local South Asian designers and retailers by investing in their fashion creations.
And who wouldn’t want to wear them? With 19 different designers gracing the runway with their unique designs, it wasn’t hard to find something for everyone – traditional or mainstream, womenswear or menswear. Here’s a look at a few of our favourites:
Essence of SAFW, Styled by Rony Walia
Aptly named, this show was meant to showcase what South Asian Fashion Week was all about. Local stylist Rony Walia pulled pieces from local South Asian designers, to create entirely unique outfits that show how any modern woman can incorporate South Asian flair into their everyday lives. We’ll definitely be channeling some of this outfit inspiration for Spring/Summer 2018!
For the first look below, Rony styled a crisp white button-down and ripped jeans with a South Asian blouse over top from House of Raina, designed by Payal Singhal.
For the second look that caught our eye, Rony worked directly with local designer Dave Singh from Well Groomed to create what he envisioned as a modern take on the Saree – without the traditional bottom. Thanks to this outfit’s versatility, the wearer can style it more traditional or more western, depending on their desired look. Who doesn’t love a little versatility in their wardrobe?
House of Fida
The runway was graced with glittering gold during House of Fida’s runway show. Gold plays a prominent part in many South Asian designs – and for good reason! The opulence of gold sequins and embroideries made each and every model look like a goddess. Again, lots of modern style influence here, with items like shorts and skinny jeans peeking out from under the gorgeous, flowing South Asian-inspired pieces. Summer ’18 patio parties are about to get a whole lot more glamorous.
House of Raina
This outfit was hands-down one of our favourites. The houndstooth pattern, and black and pale pink colour combo, gave this outfit a fun, modern twist to a classic South Asian Lehenga. We’d want to twirl around in this all day long!
Baynes + Baker
We are under the firm belief that every man should have at least one bespoke suit in his wardrobe. It’s no surprise the models looked like a million bucks, all decked out in tailored, custom suits made from the finest fabrics from Europe and Asia. The best part? Baynes + Baker suits cost far less than a regular custom suit – and are made in a fraction of the time! Better tell all the men in your life.
Sunny’s Bridal may be most well-known for their bridal collections, but at SAFW, they showed they’ve got the chops to create killer streetwear designs too. Styled with a pair of sneakers and sunnies, we can’t get enough of this monochrome red look. All-out-red is right on-trend right now, but we love how Sunny’s also kept South Asian style at the centre of this outfit, with a modern Saree.
Feeling inspired to add some South Asian style to your wardrobe? We hope so!
PHOTO CREDIT: Images by Iconic Pictures: http://www.iconicpictures.ca
What to read about other Vancouver Fashion Happenings:
Britta is the founder of VancouverVogue.com, a fashion and beauty blog based out of Vancouver, Canada. Britta is a prominent member of the Vancouver fashion and beauty community, and is also a luxury and lifestyle brand PR specialist with White Rabbit Communications.
Last modified: October 19, 2022