Vancouver Fashion’s Night Out:

The Styling Competition Part 2

By Joshua Langston

Florence Leung took the floor and introduced a video showing what the competition had looked like up until this point.


On the previous day, the contestants had gone to the Jacqueline Conoir studio to pull pieces to style into two looks.  For the brief the first look was to be commercial while the second was geared towards a high fashion editorial. The contestants were given Carte Blanche in what they wished to pull for their looks, keeping in mind their overall concepts. To help complete their looks on the day of the show they consulted with the hair & makeup team from La Biosthetique.  During the shoot they were only given ten minutes to get their shot, which would then be viewed by the judges.  I appreciated the realism demonstrated in the competition: this is what it’s like in the real world people!  It’s either hot or it’s NOT.


Naturally the FNOV team was not going to let them get off easy, as they threw in a curve ball at the very last minute.  Contestants had to pick a prop from The Urban Tea Merchant (a VFNO sponsor) and incorporate it into their look.  Again, extremely parallel to how it happens in the industry of styling.  I can’t even begin to count how many times a art director will demand a prop in a shot, and you The Stylist, HAVE to make it happen.


The show started with a mini-fashion show of their first looks and one by one the models took to the runway. After the presentation, each of the finalists came up and described their interpretation of the general brief.

The judges weighed in after seeing all the looks, giving very thoughtful advice to the contestants.  The judging panel included a well-known roster of Vancouver’s fashionable finest: Jason Matlo– one of Canada’s most notable designers, Mana Mansour– the award winning host of West Coast Style, and @THEYrep Fashion Stylist Patricia Lagmay. The judging panel was like American Idol.  Jason was our “Simon”, providing unfiltered and constructive real advice to the contestants. Mana was our “Paula”, lovable yet sweetly honest with any of the criticisms she may have had. Patricia was our “Randy” by connecting with them on the artist level, and applying it to her own experience as an agency represented fashion stylist.


Jason Matlo gave one of the best pieces of advice to these future style makers. He told them to “pump up the volume” and most of all to “be fearless, take chances and have a distinct point of view”.


As the judges deliberated over the pictures from the shoot and after the show, the contestants and models waited, for what I’m sure felt like decades, to hear the results.

The judges decided on two finalists to move on to the next round.  Ashley of the John Casablanca Institute and Danni from the Blanche Macdonald Center made it through. Now the challenge was to create a completely new look, right down to the accessories, in just three minutes.  With no time to wrap their head around it, the clock started and the girls ran backstage with their models in tow.  I think it’s pretty safe to say they were shocked!


The girls did a remarkable job considering the time constraints; both did a look that could not have been more different.  Ashley stuck to a more conservative and clean aesthetic, pairing a shift dress with a blazer and long chain, which definitely spoke to the Jacqueline Conoir client. Danni took Jason’s advice on “taking risks and being fearless” and ran with it. She used articles of clothing in a non-traditional way and developed a “Comme des Garcon” inspired look.  Danni’s execution was brilliant.


After a quick deliberation, the judges announced that Danni Zhao won top honors at the competition. As the winner she now gets to join the styling team for the main show during FNOV!  She also received an overflowing gift bag from one of my favourite local beauty shops, Beauty Mark.  Congrats to you Danni!

Danni, the winner

Thank you to FNOV, VCAD, Jacqueline Conoir and all the other sponsors for such a lovely event. I love having the opportunity to see fresh faces and young talent being given the chance to live out their dreams. Kudos to your efforts.  I look forward to the next event in a couple weeks for up and coming fashion designers.

Check out the website for more information about this event. Until next time. Joshua xx

Vancouver Fashion’s Night Out Sponsors:

VCAD, Jacqueline Conoir, Beauty Mark

Photo Credits: KUNA Photography, Joshua Langston

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