Global Fashion Collective (GFC) showed for the fourth time at New York Fashion Week this month. Led by Jamal Abdourahman, director of Vancouver Fashion Week, the second largest fashion week in North America, GFC has quickly become one of the top showcases of new talent from around the world, producing runway shows in various fashion capitals. Global Fashion Collective launched at Tokyo Fashion Week in October 2017, followed by a presentation at New York Fashion Week in February 2018 and Paris in 2019. This month GFC will add Milan to its impressive roster, followed by a showcase at London Fashion Week in February 2023.
Since its conception in 2001, Vancouver Fashion Week has been dedicated to cultivating the success of both established designers and award-winning emerging designers with its global perspective and highly multicultural approach. Global Fashion Collective follows the same clever approach with its international fashion shows.
This innovative fashion producer continues to surprise and delight with its choice of designers. Twelve international talents were in the spotlight during four exclusive Spring/Summer 2023 runway presentations at New York Fashion Week at a chic Fifth Avenue location. Designers for this month’s showcase in New York included UNSERTEN (Japan/Unisex), Samantha Darryanto (USA/Women’s), Kylie Michelle (USA/Women’s), Shivajothi (Canada/Unisex), LUNALEE (USA/Women’s), DR Mayaa (Japan/Women’s), Ay Lelum (Women’s), TheRealB (India/Women’s), Metamarstowns (UAE/Women’s), Alex S Yu (Canada/Women’s), Ruby or Not Ruby (China/Women’s) and Carlton Jones (USA/Women’s).
Founded in 2020, avant-garde Japanese brand Unserten, is led by a diverse team of designers who aim to create elegant, inclusive designs. This new collection was inspired by the black and white photography of Japanese photographer Moriyama Daido and the harsh blurry “Are‑Bure‑Boke” style. The 16 looks presented are an artistic yet wearable collection; avant-garde elements like hardware and ruffled asymmetry are applied to blazers and trousers. Photographic images printed on various tops and a poem is embroidered onto the sides of blazers adds an intriguing dimension to this strong new collection.
Carlton Jones is an eponymous New York City-based label that showcases highly covetable resort wear for men and women. In New York, Carlton showed 15 gorgeous new looks in a color palette of white, tan, pink and peach. Standouts included a canary yellow cropped long-sleeve top and matching skirt with a high thigh slit and a luxe silky tan jumpsuit with a sheer cropped jacket layered on top.
Self-taught women’s wear designer Samantha Darryanto started her eponymous brand while still studying mechanical engineering at MIT, altering vintage clothes from thrift stores. Today her brand offers a contemporary twist on traditional Asian clothing and she still uses materials like a blue quilted moving blanket. Drawing from her Indonesian heritage, she uses custom-designed black and white patterned batik fabric to create some robes and tops. The softness of the fabrics and silhouettes provides an interesting contast with tech elements and streetwear styling. An asymmetrical blazer with two black buckles is an homage to Thom Browne.
Newly graduated from Parsons School of Design, Kylie Michelle Miller showed her graduate collection, a fun, bright, inventive series of designs inspired by the five senses and the natural landscape. A stunning red coat used a paper raffia technique and the multicoloured three-dimensional element on her closing dress was actually created from cut-up elastic bands. A cropped pastel green vest with lavender inside incorporated an element of the “smell” sense. Another look featured sound and hearing, with Miller sewing shells onto rounded sleeves that jangle with every step.
Sri Lankan-Canadian designer Sujitha Shivajothi creates gender-inclusive garments by hand in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her latest collection, “Capsule: 02” is a stylish and stripped-back. Shivajothi merges traditionally tailored techniques with South Asian aesthetics that honor her cultural background. This collection includes 12 looks in a muted color palette of black, white, gray and cream. The designer also showcases her take on classic white button-ups; using banded and asymmetrical collars and featuring columns of buttons. A standout look was a cream cropped jacket with black tulle elements, layered over a simple black tee and white trousers.
Luna Lee, a Korean-American designer based in Los Angeles is Parsons BFA graduate. Her brand showcases her take on American sportswear and features a clever padded zigzag panel technique, seen in a tank top dress and an oversized hoodie with chest cutouts. Besides the bright pop of mustard yellow, Lee uses a simple and neutral color palette. This collection is cozy and wearable, pairing baggy tops with shorts, asymmetrical tank tops with a long skirt. or an oversized brown hoodie with long drawstring ties and styled with white shorts.
Dr. MAAYA is a colorful, zany label created by a Japanese neurosurgeon who also studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London. A voluminous dress uses smaller dresses as a cap sleeve and is layered to create a skirt. Wacky “clothesline” looks showed models walking with their arms outstretched to reveal a hanging assortment of miniature hoodies and rainbow garments on tiny hangers. She also designed special rainbow shoes to pair with every look.
Ruby or Not Ruby, based in Los Angeles, is a label created by Jiarui (Ruby) Cai, a former stockbroker. Her garments draw from hip hop culture and the freedom of L.A. style. She uses huge googly eyes, oversized mittens with reverse-stitching details and a bright color palette of peach and yellow to create a playful vibe.
Alex S. Yu, an eponymous Vancouver-based label, launched in 2014 features colorful, minimal garments with a dreamy, fantastical aesthetic. This season, he added cute children’s pieces to the collection for the first time, in gingham and tulle. purple. Highlights included casual womenswear, with harness elements layered over neutral maxi dresses, a cream colored three-piece set with a stunning cutout skirt and a show-stopping metallic blue oversized dress.
TheRealB is an India-based luxury fashion label from Binal Patel, who studied at the Istituto Marangoni in Milan. Bold styles and flowy silhouettes in bright reds, pinks and oranges are a feature of this highly feminine brand. An electric orange dress hugs the waist perfectly, with hand-embroidered black flowers scattered across the skirt. This collection also features two bags handmade by Patel using khatli work techniques: a shimmering silver clutch and pink-tasseled bucket bag.
Ay Lelum is a design house from Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, B.C., Canada. Sister design duo Aunalee and Sophia Boyd-Good highlight the beauty of Coast Salish culture and aesthetics through gorgeous fabrics, vibrant colors and elegant silhouettes. Their flowy outerwear and array of gowns came in muted greys and tans but also hot pink, electric orange and a rich scarlet.
MetaMarsTowns has the ambitious objective to build the first city and self-sufficient society on Mars. Their runway debut this season is from Z, a subsidiary brand featuring innovative new-age designs. Among the looks inspired by mathematical equations used to calculate chaos on Mars are a bronze bodysuit with a swirling mass of shiny copper wires, an orange and pink mohair coat with yellow details, and a flowing train of sheer grey fabric over top a tight white dress and a computer-generated silver chest piece.