fashion magazine
Preparing to Take Flight
Illustrations by Beverley Huynh
Photography by MELANIE JANE of Sugar Creative
Makeup Artist - CHRISTA MONROE
Hair stylist - Jessica Ryan
Creative Director - GERRY CENTANNI
Models - Maya @Richards Models, Natalie, Jessica Yee
Beverley Huynh's interest in fashion lies towards the avant-garde and couture, delicate and intricate things. She is drawn to complex constructions like corsets and crinolines - the painstakingly meticulous art of couture, a dying craft in these parts of the world. Looking to designers like Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Viktor & Rolf for motivation, the complexity of her garments is astonishing for someone that has only been designing for two short years, and as a student to boot.

Her graduating collection for the Art Institute of Vancouver is certainly a vision. One expects the models to morph into birds and fly away. Not in a creepy Alfred Hitchcock's Birds sense, but in an elegant avant-garde version of Swan Lake. Huynh spent a small fortune buying up exotic bird feathers to combine her life-long intrigue with birds and her own personal biography into three stunning dresses. This curiosity about birds came from having them as childhood pets, and Huynh has developed an interesting view of them: "They are perceived as being so happy and serene but there is a really dark vulture side to them." Multi-layered and complex, each dress takes the form of a bird: the swan, the raven and an exotic ostrich-like bird. Each plays on Huynh's memories of her own childhood as well: the Swan reflects time spent as a young dancer; the Raven reflects a very dark period in her life and; the exotic Ostrich-like bird reflects her own growth and discovery. The collection is aptly titled "Fragile Sovereignty."

The Swan dress is composed of a four layer low-cut sweetheart bodice polished off with a layer of lace and a ballerina crinoline shaped with ten layers of tulle covered with hundreds of hand-sewn ostrich layers. The Raven, a darker and mysterious gown, is constructed in white silk and covered with layers of rouched black chiffon blending into a mermaid crinoline covered in rooster feathers. The exotic Ostrich-like bird dress is the most striking due to its juxtaposition of a white silk duchesse satin, geometric-woven sweetheart bodice and a bubble skirt against a loose array of bright forest green peacock feathers lining the skirt.

Huynh hopes to further her construction skills into a bathing suit and corsetry line within the next few years, a progression that should be a natural one for the young designer. Knowing that a career as a fashion designer is an uncertain one, she is also currently working as a stylist for commercials and as a costumer for film. With her collection making its runway debut next month, Huyhn is certainly set to take flight. It's just a matter of time.