Before the VAWK Fall 2010 show yesterday, I had a quick chat with Business Director Ben Barry, who informed me that they were very excited to have me backstage. Them, excited? Over this here little site? I was floored. But I really shouldn’t have been surprised at how welcoming Ben was, because his VAWK partner and Creative Director, Sunny Fong, who I had the chance to interview last season, is just as down-to-earth. In an industry where a bit of cockiness is never out of style, Fong and Barry come across as the guys next door. If they were to exhibit more of a diva attitude, though, it would be completely justified; not only was Fong crowned the Project Runway Canada Season 2 winner last year, but that man can design.
To be able to see the collection up close and personal and experience first hand the magic that Fong and stylist Tricia Campbell Hall whipped up together was such a privilege – I felt extremely honoured and grateful. As someone who normally can handle only small doses of leather and fur at once, I became a convert right then and there as I watched the models being dressed in gorgeous piece after gorgeous piece. I overheard the models themselves admiring the designs and commenting on how the fur was the softest they’d ever felt; I so badly wanted to touch everything, but managed to restrain myself so my backstage access wouldn’t be revoked.
Fong described the VAWK woman as someone who is “adventurous” and “loves fashion”. I’m certain I speak for every woman in the room, regardless of age or shape, when I say that I would die to don Fong’s designs. Sure, some of the pieces were not for the faint of heart, but there was something fabulous for everyone. The pieces that rather unexpectedly made my heart stop? The grey cigarette pants with black leather panels – the fiercest pair of pants I’ve ever laid eyes on. And if the occasion was right and I was brave enough to push out of the proverbial box, that leather hip bone accentuated skirt with fur trim would be mine.
After the show, I asked Fong what was up next and he jokingly said “Food!” When I pushed for a less immediate response, he declared that he was ready to work on his next collection, but that he wasn’t going to reveal the theme this time around. During an interview after his Spring 2010 show, he explained, he’d divulged the mushroom theme and later felt obliged to stick with it. Lucky for us all that he did.