Iconic Vancouver Fashion Designer: Shen Yun’s costumes ‘fresh, vibrant, beautiful’

February 5, 2012 Updated: February 5, 2012

Renowned Canadian fashion designer Rozemerie Cuevas fell in love with traditional Chinese couture at the Shen Yun Performing Arts on Saturday.

The legendary designer, who has won international acclaim during her quarter-century-long career in the industry, was at the matinee performance at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

“The show was fantastic,” she said.

“The costumes were absolutely beautiful. The selection of colour, and the choice of fabric, and how they flowed with the dance, was really very appropriate.”

Canadian-born, but trained in France, Ms. Cuevas created her first collection for a fashion show at age 18. At age 22, she graduated from ESMOD fashion institute in Paris and opened her first boutique in Vancouver’s South Granville fashion district in 1986.

She quickly attracted a loyal following and grew to be one of Vancouver’s most respected and successful designers, drawing international status and recognition with her signature line, Jacqueline Conoir.

Today she continues to reinvent herself with her edgy new JAC line and flagship 8,000 sq. ft. boutique studio, complete with professional stylists, in Vancouver’s east side.

Ms. Cuevas humbly said she knew “a little bit” about colour combinations and fabric, and that Shen Yun’s costumes were “incredibly special.”

“It was very fresh, very vibrant,” she said. “Beautiful.”

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s classical Chinese dance company. With a mission to revive China’s five millennia of traditional culture, the company travels to perform in almost every corner of the globe.

According to the Shen Yun website, every costume in the show is intricately designed to create aesthetic harmony in conjunction with the show’s trademark digital backdrops. The many characters that appear on stage—from emperors and warriors to heavenly maidens—are adorned with brilliant-coloured, luxurious fabrics inspired by traditional Chinese dress.

Ms. Cuevas said she enjoyed learning about traditional Chinese culture and its diverse history in the show.

“I’ve never attended a Chinese cultural show and it was really nice for me to see some of the old traditions of dancing and culture… Its beautiful,” she said.

“It was nice to learn about the culture.”

Ms. Cuevas said she was invited to the show by her father and would “absolutely” be recommending it to friends and family.

Reporting by Jeanne Ouyang and Justina Wheale

Shen Yun has three companies touring the world. The Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will continue at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until Feb 5.

For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.