Lifestyle

Vancouver Fashion Week Experiences – Part 2

IMG_2655This is part two of a three part series, detailing my experiences at Vancouver Fashion Week. If you missed part one be sure to go back and read it HERE.

So with my first Vancouver Fashion Week under my belt, I was excited to receive my invite to attend the Fall/Winter 2011 shows.  But, as time ticked away and the event got closer I realized an invite was not coming.  Perhaps I was still a little under the radar?  Maybe they didn’t see all my work?  After all no one sent me any feedback so they must have been unaware of my awesome posts.

No worries, I emailed the media liaison for VFW and asked for a media pass for myself and my photographer.  I was surprised to see the process had changed.  I had to send links to my previous work  and give them information on my readership.  After doing this and filling in some forms, I waited.   Only a few days before the event I received my email letting me know my passes would be waiting for me at the door.  Ok.  It’s kinda last minute, but at least we’re in.

My loyal photographer and I both got to attend the opening gala this time.  It was a smaller event than the year before but at least I wasn’t going solo this time.  The following day was the opening night of VFW.  This time our passes were in fact waiting for us and checking in was quite easy.  We entered the ballroom and I asked a staffer where the media area is.  I was told there was no media area and that I was to stand in the pit with my photographer.  So I’m trying to  picture myself in my stilettos standing in the pit trying to watch the shows and make notes while holding my purse and coat (as there are no seats in this area).   Does this seem right to you?  Me either.  So after chatting with my boyfriend, I decide to go ask the one girl who seems to be a bit more in the know.  Sure enough, there is a designated area near the top of the runway and I am escorted to my seat.  Hmmm….once again more confusion with seating.  I had actually directed another other media person to this area via twitter after seeing tweets about there being nowhere for her to sit.

The rest of the week was similar to the previous season with the constant shuffling of people in and out of the front row.  The one positive change this season, was the media people were left alone.   I was in the same seat for the whole week.  So naturally over the course of the week I would strike up conversations with different media people and photographers and see what brought them to VFW.  I was quite surprised that many of the people who were there were “media” who were there “just for fun”, as they put it.  This was confusing to me.  They had a pass that looked just like mine which means they too would have had to show samples of previous work and give information on their readership.  But, when I looked up some of these blogs, during and after VFW, I saw no mention of the shows and often nothing even pertaining to fashion.  So how were they approved as media  to review and promote the event?

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Some examples of my photog’s “terrible” work.

Shortly after VFW ended I received an email from one of the VFW staff photographers.  Her email was feedback on my photos.  She told me she was contacting me to critique how they were taken as the event wants to ensure that all photos of the event

were of the highest quality.  I guess our photos weren’t to their standards even though we, once again, had several models contacting us for photographs as ours were accessible and didn’t come with a big VFW watermark on them.   I explained to her that by no means did I ever advertise my photographer as a professional.  I explained that I have a blog and my boyfriend was there taking photos for me to give my written content more meaning.   She became quite defensive and went on to explain her position and that she was “only trying to help”.  While I do believe feedback is necessary for growth, I don’t believe she went about it the right way.  I went home to share this info with my boyfriend.  He was infuriated to hear about this email.  He in fact remembered this woman and heard her say several times that she was there to ensure that only the photographers who were there to promote the week would be given prime spots.  Those there for their own benefit and to add to their portfolios would be pushed to the back.   If this was true, he wouldn’t have been continuously asked to move while she placed friends of hers front and center to get the best photos.

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My photog's pic. Colors are vibrant. Perhaps a little too much magenta. Not bad for an amateur.

VFW provided pic: colors are washed out, blurry, way too much blue & a giant watermark

By this point we were tired and turned off so I decided not to post my coverage of the final night.  It was clearly not appreciated and now my work was under scrutiny when others were there “just for fun”.  Gotta love the consistency!

Read Part 3, my final summary of my experience at VFW.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Niki
    November 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Honestly, I don’t even bother with VFW. They’ve tried to bribe me to come to their shows in the past (I’m not even kidding) which I took as a huge insult to both my integrity and my intelligence. They’re asshats. Is it what it is but I sincerely wish that it wasn’t; there are so many talented people in our city that deserve better. And how nice would it be to blog about an event like this and be really proud of it? Anyway, thank you for writing about your experiences with the organization and I sincerely hope that your feedback and others’ like it will drive the event to make positive changes for the future.

    • Reply
      PrairieGirl
      November 17, 2011 at 12:09 am

      Bribes! Wow. Classy.
      I’m totally with you Niki. Maybe we need to create our own VFW??? You in?

    • Reply
      Kelsey
      November 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      You guys clearly have no idea how the real fashion world works or you wouldn’t be commenting like this. Sure VFW has had it’s downfalls, like any large scale production. Vancouver is pretty low on the radar when it comes to fashions to even has this is a blessing. We are not Toronto, nor are we New York so you guys shouldn’t have those attitudes.
      It’s a business, a growing one at that and everything has its blips. if you guys are going to do a fashion week with absolutely no knowledge of all the background work that goes into it i say go for it..but watch your back because I can guarantee you it will not be perfect and will people like you guys slamming a show you worked so hard for.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    November 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I am speechless right now. I can’t believe what I’ve read so far. And for the record, Remo’s photo you posted was much better than the “professional” photo.

    Can’t wait for part 3.

    Melissa

  • Reply
    Carmen Cruz
    November 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I agree with the last 2 comments.
    A) Your photos are waaaaay better (image is more crisp and sharp, colours are more vibrant, nice angles)
    B) VFW is turning into a bit of a joke. Most of the people there are volunteers who have NO IDEA what they’re doing! I know this first hand as I was hired as a reporter for the gig, then wasn’t paid and was told I was going to be given ‘swag’. I got nada.
    Don’t let these ‘critics’ bring you or your hubby down. Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s a great and informative read and if you ever want to team up on something, let me know.
    Best of luck to you chica!
    Besos,
    Carmen

    • Reply
      PrairieGirl
      November 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm

      Wow! Didn’t pay you and didn’t give you swag??? Brutal. This is why I’m trying to get some conversation going on this event. I want to support events like this but changes must be made.

      Yes, I’d love to work with you sometime. If you’re ever in need of a fashion chic, give me a shout:)

  • Reply
    Kim
    November 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I’ve thankfully never set foot into one of these. It pains me that this is what Vancouver has to offer as a fashion event. It’s a sham and an embarrassment. This coming from a girl who slangs giant over-sized sweatshirts. At least I’m not trying to PRETEND to be anything fashion related. Someone should take it over, or it should just go away.

    • Reply
      PrairieGirl
      November 17, 2011 at 12:24 am

      Thanks for commenting:) I think your products are awesome! I totally need to buy some Thuggies and Chuggies from you for Christmas prezzies. I’m a fan.
      PS. Who knows? There my even be some Thuglets in my future;-)

  • Reply
    Bella
    November 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Wow, quite the hate on here… Yes, I agree VFW is nothing to brag about, but it has to start somewhere.
    Okay so ‘unfabulous’ people are trying to make this event, while the ‘fabulous’ people sit back and complain about it…. Why don’t you all get your sh*t together and do something about it? rather then complain about how awful it is and how beyond it you are….
    Use your time and effort to make it better instead of picking it apart.
    That is just my view.
    Bella xo
    http://www.chicinvancity.com/

    • Reply
      PrairieGirl
      November 17, 2011 at 12:06 am

      Thank you for your feedback Bella. As I said in my article I don’t have a hate on for VFW…I’ve actually tried to support when others wouldn’t. My hope is that my feedback will get a conversation going and improvements will be made to this event and events like it. I have heard wonderful things about Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week. It is a much newer event than VFW but appears to be run much better.
      Thanks for your views.

  • Reply
    anya
    November 30, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I haven’t attended this ridiculous event in a couple of years. Last time I went, they forgot to turn the lights on for Carolyn Massey, who was actually the only international designer of note showing at VFW. She did not return, and neither did I.

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