Paul Hardy poses with his models after the show.
"Intellectual purity" is one of the guiding principles that Paul Hardy follows in his designs, and it was certainly in evidence in the spring/summer 2010 collection he presented at Vancouver Fashion Week. Drawing on a palette of white, white, and more white, Hardy's clothes struck a balance between minimalism and richness, simplicity and depth. The singular colour forced the audience's eye to look beyond the deceptively simple surface and focus on the details.
And what details these are. Fabrics in a variety of textures were juxtaposed one against the other--lace, jersey, silk, chiffon, linen, feathery fabrics. An armor jacket with tailored shoulder plates was softened by an empire waist and chiffon panels. Stiff wool was transformed into a figure-hugging floor-length sheath gown, topped by an exaggerated neck ruffle that was dramatic yet light. Large external pockets added visual interest to tailored trousers. Observant audience members also noted the tank tops styled upside-down as dresses.
It's hard to isolate and critique individual pieces in this collection because the white-on-white worked so well together in layered ensembles.
As beautiful as Hardy's clothes are, the higher purpose behind them is even better. Earlier this year, Hardy took a life-changing trip to Uganda which inspired him to found Reversal of Fortune. This project provides safe, socially responsible employment to victimized women in Africa: as members of Hardy's "privately funded 'green' production sewing units," these women produce Hardy's moderately priced women's clothing line. Revenue from the line will be used to create trust funds for orphans so that they, in turn, might "become future leaders of their nations."
Photo of Hardy with models by Tony Tsai. Runway photos by Wayne Mah.