PORTRAIT IN STYLE: Sunny Fong

Sunny Fong captured the hearts and minds of the judges—and the public—on the (sigh) final season of Project Runway Canada. For the Fall 2010 showing of his VAWK label, Sunny chose the loveliest off-site venue of the collections: the courtyard at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The show featured Sunny’s signature ladylike sophistication—slim-fitting suits, shifts and pencil skirts punctuated with luxe details like fur trimmed collars. After the show, Sunny talked inspiration, Red Bull and Lady Gaga with The Style Notebook.

Did you have a person in mind when designing this collection?

“First I design with Tori in mind (the model I had on Project Runway Canada), and then I think about every woman who loves fashion, and I examine my designs to see if it can be translated from the runway to the street.”

What were the top three items on your inspiration board for this collection?

“Images of cars, mushroom-related images and close-ups of fashion images, focused on clothing construction.”

Do you have any aids/vices that help get you through the madness of putting it all together?

“Red Bull, oolong tea, and Danone Activia vanilla yogurt.”

Do you have a favourite piece?

“My favourite item is the ‘first jacket’,  a military-style black cashmere jacket trimmed in fox fur. It’s the first piece that I designed and the key piece that inspires the rest of the collection.”

What’s your favourite part of putting on a runway show? Least favourite?

“My favourite part is when the models all line up before they walk onto the runway. That’s the first time that I actually get to see the entirety of the collection before the audience does. My least favourite is the fear of a bad review.”

Who would you love to see wearing this collection?

“I would love to have anyone wear my stuff. To see my clothes off the hanger and on a body is ideal. Clothes are to be worn.”

How do you know when a collection is finished?

“The collection is finished once it’s packed and delivered to the show. Once the collection is revealed, the research for the next collection begins.”

What’s the first thing you do on the morning of your show?

“My last stitch.”

How do you dress for your own show?

“I figure it out the morning of the show, and I make sure it’s clean and nothing that I’ve worn before that may have been shot.”

Do you get nervous?

“No—too tired to get nervous.”

What’s your favourite track from your runway show playlist?

“The Lady Gaga ‘Bad Romance’ remix—it was our tribute to McQueen.”

During the process of designing the collection and staging the show, who is the most important person to you?

“The most important people are my close friends, my interns and most of all my business partner, Ben Barry. Without him the show would not have come together. He allows me to focus on the design of the collection. He takes command of the show production. Thank goodness for Ben.”

Below, a selection of looks from VAWK Fall 2010 by Sunny Fong. Photography by Jonathan Loek.

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