Atlantic Fashion Week landed in Halifax this past September. Models donned capes, drew swords and flaunted billowing dresses at three different showcases.
On Sept. 19, the runway was rolled out between stores at the Halifax Shopping Centre. Friday and Saturday nights’ showcases were held at Pier 21, where almost 20 fashion labels debuted clothing lines. This year marks Fashion Week’s 13th season.
On Friday night, as the lights dimmed and ominous music boomed across the crowd, models dressed in military fatigues walked down the runway carrying national flags.
Suddenly, the music shifted to an uplifting, atmospheric melody as models wearing white capes and flowing garments strode together down the runway with messages like “choose unity” written on them.
Designers like Kamen McKay, whose costume design and cosplay background influenced his line, debuted styles that stray from stereotypical fashion. His line “Perseverance” was introduced by the show’s host as influenced by paganism, gender identity and nature.
Gender and empowerment were themes throughout the show. Heather MacMillan, who created the Sun Kissed Divas label, showed off her “Brave Girl” line’s inclusive sizing, with swimwear sporting vivid colours and patterns.
As the show progressed, Chavah Designs, a fashion label from New Brunswick, debuted “After the Storm” – a collection of lavish colours and flowing dresses, which celebrated optimism and life.
Trevor Silver is the designer behind tREV Clothing. He says Fashion Week is more than just a stylistic showcase.
“Fashion Week really helps my brand, it builds me up, it builds up the community,” says Silver.
His work was showcased at the Halifax Shopping Centre on Thursday night’s runway. His work included eye-catching twists on modern urban apparel with monochromatic geometric accents.
Fashion Week has become a celebration of East Coast couture and perhaps a marker of the industry’s rise.
“It’s booming,” says Sarah Martin, the designer of Sarah Lauren Co. “It’s really the community, and everyone builds each other up. This event is huge for that.”