Two weeks ago, on January 10th, the Fox Cabaret was transformed into an opportunistic runway. The large room felt cozy with people crowded around pilons and caution tape. WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING was set to start at 9pm and it was 9:30pm. The room was packed but there were still people lined down the block waiting to cram in. Theair was buzzing with energy and the organizers, an incredible collective of eight, were ecstatic.
These eight, some of the brightest creatives in Vancouver, are: LillzKillz, Reece Voyer, Mescondi, Leflurk, Ripley Freedom, Jasmine Cambon, Emerencz, and Charlie. They are on a mission to create new art spaces in a city that is starving for culture and they, most definitely, achieved their goal. Together, they brought out the hippest youth imaginable along with a smattering of supportive and elegantly dressed parents. The show hadn’t even started and the room was already full of iconic outfits with surprising colour pairings and sky high creepers. LillzKillz’s Mom, possibly the coolest in town, was running the pop up shop along with Instagram and Facebook lives. The kilt wearing MC started hyping up the crowd and, all of a sudden, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING was rolling.
Here are our thoughts on the five designers incredible lines.
This line came out feeling minimalist and punk. The graphics were satirical with an emphasis on American politics. The models looked tired and had scuffling feet – but it’s the aesthetic. Overall the clothes seemed easy to incorporate into any wardrobe and great for subtle statements.
The music was an electronic whine and the models came out with a quicker pace. The pieces were made from a hybrid of fabrics giving the line a futuristic utility feel.
The clothes featured ironic prints with the words “fuck no,” “bottom,” and “top.” The unisex and vaguely Japanese feel of the line played on gender roles and used a lot of hanging elements. These pieces, while classic shades, have unique fits making them perfect for people who like to experiment with their style.
This line took a colourful turn from the previous lines, bringing some serious patterns and 90s vibes. The prints were bold and and should have feel overpowering. Yet, the elegant fit made the clothes look incredibly stylish. It almost feelt like a 90s runway was photoshopped with internet memes.
14 year old Isla started the line in a bright blue tee with a creepy caricature of a clown. Eerily childish drawings on pastel colours covered the models as they walked to upbeat music whispering “sex and photos.” One of the most iconic looks was a pant suit covered in intimate photos of people with clowns drawn on their faces.
At long last the most anticipated finale by Lillz Killz. This line, first showcased at Vancouver fashion week, went on to Tokyo fashion week and Berlin in 2017.
The room was bathed in electric yellow lights and the tunes turned to a wild hiphop metal. The clothes were no less eclectic – comprised of an ingenious mix of mesh, chain, pvc, velcro, and canvas. Checkered fabrics and blue snakeskin seemed to be a theme along with colourful graphics, red, yellow, and neon green. None of it looks like it should work but it does and it’s a goddamn look. All in all, an excellent showstopper.
Needless to say, the show was a resounding success. The Fox Cabaret was at its full capacity and people were eager for more – they were not disappointed. After the show was a line up of musicians. Unfortunately Grounders was unable to stay for the full show but we suspect it was equally fantastic. Definitely keep your eyes out for future events by this crew.
Here are the musicians also at the event:
All runway photos are by Kirubel Asfaw and other photos featured are by Alison Boulier. More pictures can be found here