I am very proud to say that this is my first INTERNATIONAL post! I was very excited to hear about Eco-Fashion Week in Vancouver and even more excited that I was able to conjure up the dough to fly up there to experience it. I had such an amazing time exploring the city and the weather was absolutely gorgeous! I met some fellow bloggers, including: Tracey of FashionForward40, Tori of Eco Fashionistas and Sasha of Haute Verte Couture. I was introduced to a couple Vancouver brands, such as: Obakki and Fluevog. Obakki is located in historic Gastown and offers folks trendy yet contemporary womens and mens fashions. Fluevog is a popular shoe brand based in Vancouver and its flagship store/design studio is also located in the heart of Gastown. What caught my attention to peek inside the store was the “No…You’re weird…” slogan on the storefront windows (and the rather large equestrian statue near the entrance where the mens shoes are found). The Fluevog design studio was also located in the loft-style boutique on the upper level. Unfortunately, the head designer-John Fluevog was on vacation at the time of my visit. The shoes were very mod-meets-70’s-meets-semi Victorian chic. The heels on some of those shoes are quite unique, which is also one of the reasons that brought me into the store. So next time you’re in Vancouver, be sure to check out the store and meet the friendly staff. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a chance to meet John… (Attention Angelenos- Fluevog has a store on Melrose! 7475 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. 90046 (323) 951-9555. Hours: Mon-Thur: 11-7 / Fri-Sat: 11-8, Sun: 12-7)
So, switching gears to the main reason for being in Vancouver…Eco-Fashion Week! Comprised of four days of a press conference, seminars, runway shows and a tradeshow (along with an opening and closing party). I attended the opening gala, hosted by Aveda Canada. It was a fun fete that kicked off the start of VEFW. The press conference introduced the visionaries behind the first annual event: the president- Myriam Laroche (who always looked fabulous in every vintage outfit she had on); Ray Civello-president of Aveda Canada; designers Nicole Bridger and Jeff Garner (Prophetik). There was a seminar on “Eco as Movement, Not Trend” hosted by Carly Stojsic of WGSN.
The shows were amazing and luckily I either got a front row seat or perfect spot in the photographers pit so I could capture the action. Emesha was a fun brand. The designs were made from cottons, silks and wools, and were very geometrically structured. One of my favorite pieces was the short black dress with brown straps. The skirt had origami-esque accordion pleating. According to the designer, her inspirations were hanging puppets, like Russian artist Alexandra Exter’s geometric marionettes from the 20’s. The belts, tassles and lace tie-ups were were reminiscent of the puppet strings. Emesha is sold is boutiques all over the UK, Sweden, Belgium and Kuwait. Prices range from 100-750 pounds. The designers from Lav and Kush chose an island/holiday theme for their s/s11 collection. Their signature pieces include linen jumpers, silk voile printed shift dresses and cargo pocket dresses, while the rest of the collection is comprised of silks, hemp/organic cottons, bamboo, modal and linen blends. Lav and Kush retails for around $140-190 and can be found across Canada and coming soon to the US. Buyers may also contact Angela Saxena at email@example.com, (604)742-9895. The showroom is located in the Fashion Exchange Building- #131-1951 Glen Drive. Chicago-based designer Lara Miller showed her collection of sophisticated knit and woven sweaters, leggings and dresses that can be worn in a variety of ways. Her line is sold at boutiques all over the world. Nixxi designer- Jada-lee Watson found inspiration in the textures and colors of the fabrics; which range from organic cottons, soy, bamboo, tencel, hemp and linens. She starts off by designing five to seven strong pieces and then adds basic styles that mix and layer well. Her favorite pieces include in the collection are the “Empress” dress, ruche dress, rectangle wrap and the cropped zip pant. Nixxi is sold in over fifty boutiques across Canada, the US and Australia and retails from $48-160. Buyers may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (205)537-5167. Designer Margarita Angelatos showcased her two brands: Red Jade and Peridot Kiss. After learning that most fabrics were processed using harsh chemicals like formaldehyde and petroleum, Margarita felt that using natural and organic fibers was the way to go. For Red Jade, she uses hemp/organic cotton wovens for pants, Merino wool for bottoms as well, Tencel, organic cottons and linen knits for tops and dresses. She uses Hemp jersey for her Peridot Kiss line. For the s/s11 collections, she was inspired by an individual she had met on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. “There was something about her style I loved and it put me on the path to design the Red Jade Collection.” For her Peridot Kiss collection, however, it was something as simple as the beauty of color. Best-sellers of the Red Jade collection would be the Linen Shrug and Poncho and the Hemp/organic cotton pants. The long sleeveless cardigan dress, two-tone tunic dress and shawl are the best-sellers for Peridot Kiss. The collections are sold in stores across the US and Canada. They are in Planet Claire, Hum and Tenth and Proper in Vancouver. Red Jade retails from $100-300. Peridot Kiss retails for under $200. Nicole Bridger showcased her line of draped dresses and skirts; as well as tops and bottoms. Her collection was titled, “Reconnect” and was all about reconnecting with her spirit to find her true happiness. She used a variety of materials, such as: woven linen, jersey linen, silk crepe, Modal jersey, organic cotton voile and organic cotton jersey. Her favorite piece from the collection? The “Surrender” dress. Nicole Bridger is sold in select boutiques across North America and online. One menswear collection took to the runway- Eden Organic Fashion, which happens to be the first Canadian organic menswear collection. The entire collection is made from organic cotton and is naturally dyed. The designers are inspired by divine creation and the elements of nature. Lara Presber used her background in architecture, while selecting the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton) as the base for her Spring ’11 collection. She used silks, linens/cottons, organic cottons, eco denim (ramie) and silk/cotton voile. Her signature pieces are the structured linen/cotton sheath with a contrast pleated panel in front and back, which helps create movement; as well as a silk print dress with crossed pleated panels in front and back. Her collection is sold at her flagship boutique/design studio in Calgary (205, 805 1 Street SW Calgary, AB T2P 7N2), AWEAR in Edmonton and Body Politic in Vancouver and retails for around $165-490. Buyers may contact her at email@example.com, by phone: (402)237-6100. The English countryside, cottages and laid back decadence were among Elena Garcia’s inspiration for her s/s11 line. The clothing consisted of organic georgette, satin and organic wool fibers. My favorite piece from the collection was the short, sleeveless bubble dress. It was very feminine, and the tie at the side added that touch of flirty. The designer’s signature piece is the green cutwork halter neck dress, which can be worn in different ways, such as a top, jacket and dress. Elena Garcia is sold at www.thenaturalstore.co.uk, www.eco1start.com, as well as various boutiques around the world and at Fivetwo (52 Adelaide street Winnipeg, MB Canada R3C 0V7) and retails starting at $250, with the most expensive item being a felted jacket at $1500. The London-based company By Stamo showcased a fun line, such: as a bright yellow asymmetrical jacket with fringe, jackets that had contrasting fabrics, simple suits and dresses that had playful bright rosette accents. Being a designer who dabbles in deconstruction and draping, I fell in love with Kim Cathers dress collection. Kim started her design career ten years ago by recycling vintage clothing and reclaimed leather; and was recently a finalist for Project Runway Canada. Her VEFW collection was inspired by the break of dawn, the first light of day, the magical time when dreams are released into the world and the idea of a dreamcatcher-(someone who collects and stores those dreams) and used reclaimed fabrics that were provided by Our Social Fabric. Kim Cathers is sold at Planet Claire in Gastown (Vancouver), online and in her studio and retails from $80-350. The last line to show at EFW was the Franklin, Tennessee-based line Prophetik. The show began with a small documentary on the brand, followed by the runway show, which was accompanied by a Bluegrass band and vocalist Viviane Houle. The clothes were breathtaking and took me back to an era of a nation divided and where there were genteel Antebellum Southern women and chivalrous men. According to the designer, Jeff Garner, he was inspired by, “a meeting of the reality of life and the ideal of the soul…the men’s line driven by adventure and exploration with safari themed button downs and johdpurs and upcycled leather vests..discovering upon their journey the women’s muse dressed in free-flowing dresses of hemp silk dancing to the sound of the orchestra by the light of the midnight moon.” He transformed recycled bottles into fleece, herringbone hemp, peace silk, linen and hemp jerseys. Jeff believes the signature look of the brand is, ‘romantic of times past with a natural dye uniqueness with women’s focus on full length dresses and men’s crossing the boundary into a unisex style that brings back the notion of a romantic poet.’ Prophetik is sold in the US at Fred Segal LA, Bill Hallman Atlanta and Posh Nashville; in the UK at My Sugarland and E
co Age in London; coming soon to Canada.
Many thanks to Kristin and Ashleigh of The Vanguard PR, Nikki of A Haute Mess, Myriam Laroche, Ray Civello, the designers and models, hair and make-up by Aveda, SIGG (for the special edition EFW bottle designed by Gisele Bundchen), the guest speakers and sponsors, the lovely and helpful front desk reception at the Plaza 500 Hotel (500 12th Avenue West. Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M2, Canada (604) 873-1811). The helpful and kind people at Obakki and Fluevog (shout-out to Angel). For more information on VEFW, go to their website here.