Vancouver Fashion Week FW15 to open March 16th

Vancouver Fashion Week will be returning for its 25th consecutive season from Monday, March 16th through Sunday, March 22nd and returns to its downtown venue at Queen Elizabeth Plaza. The seven day event will launch Fall/Winter 2015 collections of designers from across the globe and will feature Canada’s most exciting talent.

The Opening Gala on Monday, March 16th will kick-start the week of nightly runway shows presenting over 30 designers from all over the world.

Vancouver Fashion Week founder Jamal Abdourahman is thrilled with the breadth of creative expression promised from new and returning designers.

“We are looking forward to sharing amazing talent this season. We love to celebrate the diversity of the fashion culture, and Vancouver provides the perfect platform to support emerging talent,” said Abdourahman.

Among the top returning designers is Noe Bernacelli of Peru, whose international style and exquisite designs have been greatly received by Vancouver audiences. He will be joined by Shravan Kumar of India who again wowed the VFW crowd last season with his extensive collection for men and women.

Also returning is South Korea designer Hong Kiyoung, who is widely recognized for his witty luxury streetwear, which experiments with silhouettes and colourful prints.

Designs from left to right: Noe Bernacelli (Peru), Connally McDougall (Canada), and Hong Kiyoung (China).
Designs from left to right: Noe Bernacelli (Peru), Connally McDougall (Canada), and Hong Kiyoung (China).

Every season, Vancouver Fashion Week continues to push its boundaries. The Fall/Winter 2015 installment welcomes Chinese designer ILOVECHOC who mixes cartoon designs with luxury fabrics. Also appearing will be Korean company JUKOjulie which has been greatly welcomed into the New York fashion scene; and designer Paloma Sanchez, recognized among the top 30 jewelry designers in the world (‘Unique Book; The Best Jewelry Designers’).

VFW continues to support the city’s homegrown talent with the return of local designers Connally McDougall, Grandi’s Atelier and Sara Armstrong.

Connally McDougall will be opening, and has become a local favourite.  “I am over the moon,” said the young designer who is based out of Vancouver, Canada and the UK.  “This is not only my largest and most ambitious collection, it’s my first season showing both mens’ and womens’ wear. It is also my most emotionally charged collection, and I am dedicating it to my younger sister, Morrigan.”  15% of her proceeds will go to Vancouver Island Health Eating Disorders Centre.  Check out her last runway show at VFW featured on  As one fan commented on her line, “Real clothes, for real women.”

Canadian Connally McDougall will be opening VFW FW15 and proceeds of her collection are going to the Vancouver Island Health Eating Disorder Center, in dedication to her sister.  (Photo: VFW)
Canadian Connally McDougall will be opening VFW FW15 and part proceeds of her collection are going to the Vancouver Island Health Eating Disorder Center, in dedication to her sister. (Photo: VFW)

Confirmed designers thus far for VFW FW15 are: Alex S. Yu; Aniimiism; Artees Wear; Atsushi Nakashima; Blushing Designs; Connally McDougall; Dervish Dubai; Fesvedy; Grandi’s Atelier; Hans Gallo Pohl; Haveney; Hong Kiyoung; ILOVECHOC; JFG Designs; JY Kim; Kate Miles; Laurence Pirnay; LaSalle College; Nadia + Zehra; Narumi; Nasty Habit; Noe Bernacelli; NIGHT X DAY; Ophelia Song; Paloma Sanchez; Paola Gamero; Rosey Couture; Sara Armstrong; Sofia Clothing; Sunny’s Bridal Gallery; Teresa Farese; Theresa Chen; and YKS by YongKyunShin.

Anyone can attend Vancouver Fashion Week and tickets are available from their website. If you are unable to attend, you can always catch the shows via Livestream. Keep up to date on VFW Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Vancouver Fashion Week was established in 2001 by Jamal Abdourahman. Sponsors for FW15 thus far include: Tentnology, LaSalle College, Loig’s Music Lab, Universe and Skye my Berry Pie.

Feature photo by Sylvester Law.

Photo: Fire Smoke Taunts Firefighter in Coquitlam

A firefighter from Coquitlam, B.C. stands at the top of a ladder ready to douse out flames  at an apartment fire  on February 16th at 2915 Glenn Drive said to possibly have be ignited by an exploding barbecue on a deck.  Over a hundred people were left homeless from the fire, but no lives were lost.

In this image, it’s as if the smoke face is looking confidently at the firefighter.   I had not noticed the smoke-face until I posted it online. Friends on Facebook alerted me to it after.  It’s always amazing to see what a camera captures!

To me this image depicts ‘the fight’ that these brave men and women go through to put out fires and keep our communities safe.  This fire team worked from approximately 4pm in the afternoon until 2am the next morning. Bravo!

Local news coverage HERE.

After the fire...
After the fire…

(Photos and video: Robbin Whachell)

Sunday’s Flowers…

Sunday-FlowersI bought this bouquet of irises today, and it made me remember a true story of when my husband and I were looking for our first home.  It was a Sunday like today and we went to view an old log house nestled up the waterfront of Indian Arm, North Vancouver, BC.

When the realtor showed us the house, there was a lovely bouquet on the table, and I remarked at how much I loved flowers. “Those are Sunday’s flowers,” she responded, and went on to tell me, that without fail, Len went out every Sunday to buy his wife fresh flowers. I was blown away by this show of love and devotion, as both of them were in their late seventies.

Leonard and Barbara Altree were one of the sweetest old couple’s I’d ever met. We got the chance to have tea with them a couple times before assuming the house, and they were excited to have us buying it, as we were expecting our first child.  They had one son, but had lost him when he was in his early thirties and there was no other offspring from their marriage.

Ever since seeing that bouquet I held the dream that I too would have flowers once per week at some point in my life. I have had to go fetch them myself for the most part, but the purchase and time is always worth it. I plan to have a standing order one day, so flowers can be delivered to my home, once a week. Not solely because of Len and Barb, but simply because I enjoy the beauty of flowers, and I feel I am worth it.

Until then I am glad to be back in Canada where we can so readily get flowers, either wild ones growing along the road, or from the flower or grocery shops.

There is a touching end to this story. After we took over the house Len died within the year and his wife a couple months later – like so many old couples often do. We found out Len felt he was going to die soon, and he did not want his wife to have the burden of being left alone with a house to take care of or sell. He’d taken care of everything, so she wouldn’t have to.

“A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.” – Max Muller

Morning mist on Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam

The early bird catches the worm!

My first thought when I woke up today was to get outside and go for a walk. I usually get up, and grab a coffee, check the latest online, but today something pulled me to get outside before the morning waned.

I put on my coat and the first thing that grabbed me was the mist in the air when I stepped out into the morning. The damp heavy air covered my body like a cloak, and went deep into my lungs like a drink of water.

I walked through the woods enjoying the shadow and light displays that are unique to that time of day and to the specific weather conditions. Walking beside Hoy Creek, I took photos along my way, enjoying the sounds and sights of morning. My ears were filled with the soft sounds of the creek,  birds chirping, and the odd ‘good morning’ shared between people I passed on the path out walking their dogs.

When I got to the first large clearing of Town Center Park, and Lafarge Lake the misty morning fog was most evident there, likely due to the body of water. I could see the orb of the sun trying its best to burn its way through.

I took these photos with my Samsung cell phone and they turned out like black and whites stills, yet I altered nothing. They went direct from my phone  to the web.

By the time I got back home, the sun was out in full force and the mist had gone. It became a glorious day.


Canada’s Flag Turns 50

flag_canadaI’ve always loved our Canadian flag. It stands out against all other nations, and uses the leaf of a maple tree, making us one of the few, if only country to use a plant image as our motif.  I feel it connects us to our native heritage where the earth is honoured in all things. it’s considered one of the most beautiful flags in the world.

I remember feeling patriot as a child when looking at our flag, as it definitely gave me a sense of connectedness and feeling of pride toward my people and country. Imagery is a powerful thing and this flag is a part of my sense of identity.

I had no idea until today that I am only  one year older than our flag as this year it turns 50!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark National Flag of Canada Day:

“Today I join Canadians across the country in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada.

“While our flag dates back half a century, the use of the maple leaf as a proud Canadian symbol goes back much further to the early 1700s. A few of the highlights of the maple leaf’s storied history in Canada are: its use as a logo by many organizations, including the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society who had it as their emblem in 1834; the use of it as a central and unifying theme in song, such as the ‘Maple Leaf Forever’ penned by Alexander Muir in 1867 as a tribute to Confederation; its use by Canadian military units, both pre-Confederation as well as during the first and second World Wars; and its use since 1921 in the Royal Arms of Canada as a distinctive national emblem.

“The Canadian flag is a symbol of the values of peace, democracy, freedom and justice that define and unite us as Canadians. It is a common rallying point for great moments in our country’s history and a testament to our ingenuity and achievements, both at home and on the international stage. Whether on the backpacks of Canadian travellers, the uniforms of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, or above the podium at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, our flag means home to all Canadians and inspires a fierce sense of national pride.

“Since it was first raised on February 15, 1965, our national flag has proudly flown on Parliament Hill, in communities across our nation, and at Canada’s missions around the world. It can even be found on the International Space Station.

“Our Government has made it a tradition on National Flag of Canada Day to present a Peace Tower flag to Canadians who exemplify the values that we hold most dear.

“I am therefore honoured today to present this great symbol of our country to the Canadian Museum of History for posterity and the enjoyment of all our citizens. I am also proud to mark this very special semi centennial by presenting 50 Canadian flags to 50 Canadians and organizations across the nation in recognition of their tremendous contributions to our great country.

“On this special day, I invite all Canadians to take part in activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag and to learn more about the history of this unique, enduring and remarkable symbol of our national identity.”

Oh Canada!

My lucky penny…

I walked past this dead wet leaf on the sidewalk the other day, and I had to return to it to take this photo.

It reminded me of a penny, the Canadian penny, which is no more.

How can something so dead look so beautiful I often think when I walk in nature here in beautiful B.C.

One day my children’s children will have no memory of the penny, whereas my memories remain rich…

Learning to count with pennies. The feel of one in my hand, or even in my mouth.

The penny candy… saving up pennies to buy 5 cent candy.

Putting pennies on the train track to have them flattened.

Checking the year on a penny to see how old it had become and how its colour had changed.  Bright shiny new pennies like this one below.

As a teen I filled bottles to save them, as they’d  become a bit of a burden by their weight in my purse.  Today, I have none.

pennyRest in Peace   1858 –  2013