Mars-inspired gowns orbit into Vancouver Fashion Week

Mon, Sep 18, 2017

Designer Sam Stringer’s latest couture gowns are out of this world.

Inspired by sunset on Mars, the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) graduate’s second collection to be included in Vancouver Fashion Week consists of futuristic custom-made evening gowns in metallic rust, teal, charcoal, and gold tones.

The collection, Embers and Ashes, will first appear on the runway of Vancouver Fashion Week Saturday, Sept. 23 before being released at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo in October. One of Stringer’s gowns was also selected as a designer feature in Eco Fashion Week Australia's Upcycling Challenge.

“I am so thankful to have such a public platform to share my work, and the support of KPU and the Wilson School of Design has been my biggest aid in achieving this,” said Stringer who is a fashion design and technology program assistant at KPU’s Wilson School of Design in addition to graduating from the same four-year degree program in 2016.

Stringer designed Embers and Ashes to showcase a variety of body shapes and sizes through luxurious and ornate couture dresses.

“This season I am extremely excited to be releasing a collection of custom-made gowns for some incredible women,” said Stringer. “I want my designs to provide entrepreneurial self-made women with an artistic extension of her brand at formal black-tie events.”

Growing up in a family of artists in Victoria, Stringer spent her formative years around creative energy and inspiration. Her mother is a painter, her father a photographer, and her brother a musician. Moving seamlessly between the worlds of fashion and photography, Stringer is as accomplished in editorial fashion photography as she is a designer. Her photos have been featured in over a dozen print and online publications including Vogue EU and Elle Mexico.

Embers and Ashes is the second collection of the KPU alumna’s to be part of Vancouver Fashion Week. Her debut collection and capstone project for her bachelor’s degree in fashion design and technology, Vesuvius, was included in the fall 2016 show.

“Sam is a gifted designer, photographer and artist with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion to celebrate the diversity of women,” said Andhra Goundrey, associate dean of the Wilson School of Design. “I’m not surprised she was invited back. We consider ourselves lucky to not only count Sam among our alumni, but also in her continued capacity at KPU as a collaborative and inspiring team member. We are so proud of her and are excited to see what the future will hold.”

Photos of Sam Stringer and her collection Embers and Ashes is available on Flickr.

To learn more about Vancouver Fashion Week or buy tickets to Sam Stringer’s show, visit

Story by Tatiana Tomljanovic

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