Monday, August 26, 2013

One Door Closes... Gianni Maanaki Atelier

It would suffice to say that August started out a little bleak for me. After being turned down for my ideal internship here in Vancouver it felt as if I had little hope, no other prospects and absolutely no clue about what I wanted to do next. I guessed I would just spend the rest of my summer finishing up old knitting projects and watching bad movies.

But as it happens the old saying "When one door closes another one opens" has always rung eerily true in my life. Just when I thought absolutely nothing was happening my dream internship comes up and is basically dropped in my lap. The opportunity to work with an international couturier.

Gianni Maanaki Couture is the first of its kind in Vancouver. Located in Vancouver’s luxury South Granville shopping district – the city’s premier shopping and cultural destination – it's the first Haute Couture Atelier of its kind in Vancouver. The private Showroom features one-of-a-kind designs and Haute Couture garments and offters clients an exclusive shopping boutique experience, including a full range of services.

Gianni Maanaki is known for over the top, spectacular and jaw dropping designs. His use of vibrant colors and beautiful fabrics has gained him a very reputable clientele, including members of the royal Saudi Arabian family, and even celebrities from the Middle East. Having showcased his work in places such as Dubai, Lebanon and Qatar, it’s only fitting he finds his place in a beautiful and diverse city like Vancouver. I feel incredibly honored for the opportunity to work under and be mentored by him.

Working in the studio I'll get to witness and be apart of every aspect of the design process from conception, pattern drafting, samples to client fittings, finishing and completion. Maanaki even has his assistants do traditional fashion illustrations of his designs.  

Wish me luck on this amazing new endeavor! 

All photos credit to

Friday, July 12, 2013

Inspirational - Disney Couture

I don't normally do back to back posts in the same week but these images just needed to be shared. Back in December Harrod's department store released some beautiful concept illustrations for their Christmas window displays featuring Disney Princesses in couture gowns from an assortment of A-List designers (including personal idol, the Marchesa sisters). The final product was absolutely stunning, much unlike the controversial Barney's Disney marketing campaign, but I won't get into that.

Now they've released a series of photographs featuring live models posing as the famous damsels and they're absolutely stunning. Every little girl's dream come true.

Although Princess Jasmine has been my long time favourite Princess I'm actually most disappointed with this adaptation. Wholly because it diverts so much from her original costume, one I wore so proudly almost every Halloween as a child. Unlike the others, if you were to take this image out of context it would be recognizable as inspired by Princess Jasmine


Thursday, July 11, 2013

“Oh dire, dreadful death, you drag your heels. Why dawdle and draw back? You drown my heart.”

The images from the photoshoot provided for us from Blanche MacDonald Centre of our grad collections were finally released this week. I am absolutely in love with these gorgeous shots by photographer and Blanche MacDonald instructor Matthew Burditt featuring up-and-coming models James at Rad Kids and Ripley Freedom at Liz Bell Agency.

My only regret is that the chainmail piece of my collection wasn't ready for this shoot but I think the stylist did a lovely job of maintaining my aesthetic with a few simple accessories, giving the gown a very late 20s/early 30s vibe. 

Jacket also featured here by designer Nikita Coles 

And of course the fabulous image featured on the cover of the show program. The shots were done on medium format film - natural light and no post-processing. Another update with more current work coming soon.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Ulyana Sergeenko Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013

I'm pretty sure this is my favourite collection of all time. I don't like to use those words lightly, but when a collection send shivers up my spine every time I look at it, there's something there.
I recently discovered Ulyana Sergeenko through a co-worker but the 32-year-old, a Russian couture shopper turned designer quickly captured my heart. The designer first became known in industry circles when her theatrical, Soviet-inspired style—dressed to the nines outside every fashion show, much to the delight of photographers—landed her on every street-style blog.

Sergeenko was part of the new wave of beautiful, superstylish Russians omnipresent on the fashion scene. Born in Kazakhstan when it was still part of the USSR, she moved with her father, who owned a ceramics factory, and her mother, an English teacher, to St. Petersburg after the fall of the Soviet Union. Her fashion training started as a young girl, but more out of necessity than frivolity as children were required to learn to sew their own clothes.

Flash forward, as an adult in Moscow she would often ask designers to make her ensembles, but when they wound up in their collections without due credit, she grew frustrated. She figured, If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Two years ago, she launched a namesake couture label. She quickly became a sensation in her new hometown of Moscow, which is where her atelier and team of 65 are located. In July 2012, she started presenting during the couture in Paris.

Her Spring & Summer Couture 2013 collection is by far my favourite so far. Now for some eye candy <3

Elegant interpretation of a bustle back dress

Sunglasses with a crochet appliqué to them, I absolutely NEED these in my life.

The raw edges some how work with this, I love bits of purposely introduced 'imperfections' in couture collections

 Can you see the intricate detailing on from what looks like such a simple blouse from afar?

Beautiful take on a 'peasant boy' type look, and I love the use of this sleeve throughout the collection

 Peplums, corsetry & puff sleeves <3

 For some reason whenever I think of this collection this piece is the first that jumps to my mind. It's not my favourite nor do I think its the most extravagant but for some reason its just stuck with me

The playful jumpsuits add a certain innocence and light heartedness to this collection keeping it elegant but fun.

The bags are to die for.

 Loving the Edwardian inspiration of this piece, some of my favourite detailing and a choice of fabric I wouldn't have thought could look so amazing,

Tee hee, j'adore <3

 A use of sheer & nudity that looks so chic and classy it could rival the work of YSL. Yeah, I said it.

 Beautiful millinery, is there anything Sergeenko cannot do?

A woman's back is one of my favourite features to highlight so I appreciate all of the beautiful back detailing this collection has to offer whether flesh is exposed or not.

What I would consider the most wearable look of this collection, and I want it.

There's those glasses again <3

 And of course extravagant use of velvet!

 Beautiful velvet shorts with gold embroidery, I'm relatively certain this designer and I are soul sisters.

 One of my favourite looks

These bags are just so delightful

There's that beautiful button detailing again and the colour pallet of this collection is just perfect

Images and full collection from here. Although I included almost all of it as it was incredibly difficult to edit any thing out, I love it all.




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