Your Voice in My Head and VFW Wednesday Night Review

I finished reading Emma Forrest’s Your Voice in My Head the other day and it is the most hilarious memoir on depression and suicide you could ever read. Sometimes it feels like the text is haphazard but that’s part of the mania of her depression. It is written almost as a tribute to her psychiatrist who died unexpectedly, just as her greatest relationship was about to terminate just as unexpectedly. I have no idea how one can write so comically about depression but her self-deprecation and dark humour is so damn witty. This is a woman who can write — and she has been since she was 16, writing for the Sunday Times. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a non-fiction read. Of course, there’s always my bible Bossypants written by my Jesus Tina Fey.

Faux fur vest from H&M, sweater and print jeggings from the Gap, green tank from Zara, tribal necklace from Nasty Gal, suede ankle booties from Joe Fresh, denim purse is Fendi, sunglasses from Mintage

On Wednesday night I caught the second day of Vancouver Fashion Week. I was really excited to go with my girlfriends, one of whom scored us free passes. We went for dinner at Phnom Penh and OF COURSE we got the chicken wings and walked over to the Chinese Cultural Centre.

To sum up my first experience with VFW, it was terrible. We got there at 7pm which means we missed the first show and started with Little Houses which was alright. It didn’t amaze me but it didn’t provoke the rage that the collection after ignited.

Before I get to that, let’s start with what I did like. I appreciate that the models were diverse: not just racially but in body-type as well. While they were on the whole still skinny, I didn’t feel like any of them were waifs that I could break. Not being a 00, I really do appreciate that and many of the models had real hips, breasts, and bums; a rarity for fashion shows.

However, some of the clothes didn’t fit properly; they created a fold right across the hips, or were too tight across the stomachs, etc. I’m all for pro-diversity of body types, but the clothes have to fit the models. If you want to make a statement about including people, then make sure the clothes fit and flatter these different body types. Otherwise, it completely undermines the cause.

To get back to that horrendous second collection, I found it appalling that it was even included in Vancouver Fashion Week. There was absolutely nothing redeemable in the entire collection. It was all made from cheap fabrics that curled in at the ends, there was absolutely no craftsmanship, let alone an eye for making fashionable clothes. It was an assault on the eyes of fringe after fringe after fringe sometimes embellished with glitter.

That second collection was the worst I had seen the entire night. It got a little better after that (because you really can’t get worse than that) and I could go on about how terrible it was but I think you’ve gotten the point. Even with the collections that followed it, there was a general quality of amateur. There was one collection that kept tying ribbons around the waist of the dresses that looked like the kind of ribbon you get from the dollar store to decorate your presents. The whole thing was just so disappointing and at some points, offensive.

It is appalling that this is what constitutes as a show worthy of Vancouver Fashion Week. I know we’re ‘just’ Vancouver, but there was a standard of merit that was entirely missing. If this is what VFW is trying to fill up a whole week with, then why not cut VFW to a weekend event and raise the quality of the shows? After this experience, I have absolutely no intention of coming back or recommending the show. Within a whole week of shows there must be some gems. Showcase them and condense the week and work from there to build and attract better and actually talented designers.  From there, then you’d get actual buyers which would therefore make the entire show worth putting on. Cut the show down, raise the quality, and raise the reputation. Build from there the years thereafter instead of trying to fill the week up with collections that can only be eviscerated. It is unfair to those designers that are actually worth seeing to be drowned in shows of mediocrity — or worse.

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