Raw-fabric talent

Atlantic Fashion Week's Emerging Designers Showcase always presents some of the city's best young alternative fashion talents

Wanna dress like the cool kids? Atlantic Fashion Week's Emerging Designers Showcase (Thursday, April 15, 8pm, O'Reagan's Mercedes Benz) always presents some of the city's best young alternative fashion talents---this time, 15 take the stage, mostly from NSCAD's fashion and textile program, though that's starting to change as the scene becomes more established and designers start to believe they can make a career here.

A new face on runway is Vanessa Furlong, best known as the charismatic singer for hip-hop crew Three Sheet. Furlong is as fresh as they come: Although she's been sewing for awhile, she only received a sewing machine at Christmas. But since that time she's designed her own ECMA gala outfit and a collection for the Button Up runway event at Argyle Fine Art, and is now looking to grow her clothing into a business. Tired of the Halifax street uniform of UGG boots and trackpants (amen, sister), Furlong hopes to inject an easygoing stage glamour into the city with her line Ness' pAs. Constantly running from work to a show, Furlong wanted something "you can throw on that makes you look hot, without effort and no fuss, that looks good with jeans or heels."

One of The Coast's favourites, Chloé comme Parris, returns with a "chic tomboy" fall collection inspired by menswear throughout time---in particular, 16th- and 17th-century "forms of protection, like armour," says Chloé Gordon, who partners with her fine jewellery-designing sister Parris for the line. (It's a family affair: the Gordon sisters' mother, also an artist, sells hand-painted bangles at Clothes Horse on Queen.) Chloé, who will be graduating from NSCAD, notably plays with texture and pattern: stitching on a pair of pants references King Arthur's full-metal armour, bleached-out paintbrush marks create a large swathing pattern over dresses styled with layers and cutouts. Parris' sleek, sheath-like rings look like they rose from The Tudors inner circle (modern Jonathan Rhys Meyers, not the original.)

The talented duo will also be showing a preview of their spring/summer collection at NSCAD's Wearable Art Show on Wednesday, before they take it to Toronto Fashion Week this September.

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