Milan, Paris, London … and New Westminster? Well, it may be a little while before the Royal City is commonly thought of in the same rank as those other famous bastions of fashion! But there are nevertheless more people working the fashion and modelling industries here in New West than you might think. Models, photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, wardrobe stylists, you can find them all here, ranging from experienced professionals to aspiring beginners and even quite a lot of people who do it just for fun!
Yet the truth is, a lot of the time, those of us involved in this industry in New West don’t wind up practising it here. So a few weeks ago I had the idea of pooling a cross-section of our local talent, and putting together a series of photoshoots to highlight the “New Westiness” of our work. The rules were simple: everyone involved in the shoot had to be from New West, and all the shoots themselves had to take place in New West – and if they just happened to take part in a well known part of New West, well, so much the better!
Twelve intrepid souls volunteered their services, and we quickly split up into six teams, each doing their own photoshoot (there was some overlap between the teams – we didn’t have six photographers, for instance!). One team went to Queen’s Park, another to the Quay, and one even ventured out to Victory Heights! But all the teams strutted their stuff and took their pictures, and we can now share the results!
You will find six pictures below, one from each team. Each picture is linked back to a gallery where you can see some further pictures from that photoshoot, if you’re curious. And each picture also lists the participants who took part; we have provided some short biographies at the end as well. We hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed making them!
And if you are organizing a local fashion event, you might do worse than think locally!
Ava Rose Murphy (ModelMayhem, Downtown): part-time model and aspiring filmmaker. Always looking for a new challenge, she enjoys working with other artists to create interesting and creative images.
Carolina Jean Webber (carolinajean, Uptown): Make-up Artist and hair stylist specializing in glamour, fashion and bridal. Starting to expand into commercial, film and television.
Casie Layne Morrison (CasieLayne): Experienced makeup artist and graduate of the Vancouver Film School. Has worked in films, photoshoots and weddings.
Chevvy Piston (Morrismore, Queen’s Park): a Key Leader for Lululemon Athletica and Supervisor in Traffic Management, as well as part-time model for Morrismore Models, the only alternative model agency in the lower mainland.
Dannielle Levan (aka Miss Murder): specializes in horror and alternative concepts, events and weddings. Published locally and internationally in magazines and posters, considers this the best and most time consuming job ever!
Donald McKillican (Donald’s Eye, Victory Heights): portrait and fashion photographer. Creative, articulate and a good listener, he puts his passion for light, colour and texture into realizing his customers’ visions.
Harry Pehkonen (ModelMayhem): Portrait, lifestyle, and art photographer – thinks reality is not nearly glamorous enough!
Hayley Marie O (ModelMayhem, Queen’s Park): a versatile model who can go from girl-next-door to sexy/glam. Has done mostly pin-up and glamour, keen to try fashion, editorial, promotional and fitness work. Also enjoys kick-boxing, soccer, rollerblading and yoga.
Samantha Wilson (MizzSammi, Uptown): Model, Creative, fun, easy to get along with; likes to create images that make people WOW and have to look twice!
Steve Tsonev (ModelMayhem): Model, energetic and easy to work with. Mostly into runway and high fashion modelling.
Tania (Morrismore, Queen’s Park): Nationally published model and actress, co-founder of “The Bark and Meow Society”, a non-profit organization to help animals. A dynamic and creative individual, she is fiercely passionate about her two careers.