The Opus Hotel launch of Carlie Wong's FW 2010 collection was a hit with its mix of strong, but feminine styles for women plus the debut of her menswear line. Sequins and studded accessories accented the luxurious garments created for those not afraid to be noticed. Elegance and edge blended together seamlessly to create a look that is sure to be required wear for A-list events in the fall.
By age 11, Wong already sported a daring style that caused more than one conflict with her parents and she knew a career in design was in the cards. After graduation, she chose to study fashion design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Wong remembers her last year of the program as the toughest. "The first term we had to design our collection. For me it was such a rushed thing. The teacher said, 'Carlie, this looks like something you would have done two years go.'...It was so true. " That was a breakthrough moment. She went on to create a stunning collection that included a long white coat with over 100 hours of applique work and graduated at the top of her class. Experience working with local designer Manuel Mendoza and at Mac & Jac/Kenzie helped fine-tune the strong couture skills she is known for.
In 2007 Wong was chosen to be on Project Runway Canada. "The fun part was just hanging out...but it definitely helped my career in the sense that I am [now] more confident in pursuing things." She went on to show in Toronto Fashion Week and the press began to take notice. Elle Canada, Flare Magazine and many more have provided exposure for the line. She had her first "star" moment when she was recognized in line at a Juno after party and escorted in ahead of the crowd. Sales continue to grow as an increasing number of celebrities are being seen in her garments. Carlie Rae Jepsen will be wearing her designs at the MMVA's and London indie artist, Florence, was photographed in her collection at a recent magazine shoot. With the brand gaining recognition so quickly, she has had to learn as she goes. "For me, jumping into this was kind of fast - it's trial and error. Each season I learn a little bit more about the person who is buying my collection."
Fall/Winter 2010 was inspired by the Jackson's 1984 Victory Tour. When Wong designs "...it's all about the silhouette...," so she took the 80's shapes and gave them a modern twist. Fabrics for the collection include sequins, liquid jersey, matte and textured jersey, wool blend suiting and faux leather. With women's wear she likes to, "...accent the things that make women look feminine even if they're wearing masculine inspired clothes." Every collection includes a matte jersey dress (her favourite), sequins and at least one dramatic piece there to create interest at the fashion show (something the press doesn't always get). When approaching men's wear, she designed fashion forward clothing she wanted to see them in. The looks are slim and European. My favourites this season are the his and hers Sergeant Pepper inspired jackets. Despite all the attention received, there is still one thing she craves. "I haven't seen my clothes on anyone walking down the street yet. That would be crazy - I would throw a party."
You will find Wong's designs locally at Lola Home and Apparel, the Velvet Room Boutique and Rubi & Kino. For more information visit the website at www.carliewong.com.