A cold day two of Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week had attendees sporting last season’s winter coats or shivering in this season’s diaphanous dresses, which was fine by Indigenous Designs, who showed first. The California-based label, which uses fair trade and organic materials, sent out a succession of cozy knits in all nature of rich fall colours and patterns. Topping off every look was a very Spring ’12 Miu Miu-esque red eye.
Next Kreati-Ka, designed by French Seattleite Kathy Sabin-Mensah, brought far dressier fare to the runway. She succeeded most with some wearable yet sexy shifts with sheer insets or overlays. Her last grand, voluminous gown got some oohs and ahhs and then some oh nos as the model wearing it tripped a number of times on its extra length.
There was also the relatively new Vancouver line Standing Armed. Designer Lindsay Walsh used some achingly beautiful Monet-like abstracted watercolour fabrics, and while they felt more spring, seemed worth breaking the rules for. I also loved a more wintry grey vest with a peplum and a cropped olive green pant, both woolen.
Sweden’s eco-friendly Svensk followed, providing chilly front-rowers with toques (good call) and bringing out more knits, most covered in bows, the line’s signature. For those who don’t do bows, there was a heart print, coolest when covering a fringed poncho.
Then it was Van-favourite Adhesif by Montreal-born Vancouverite Melissa Ferreira. She didn’t stray for her signature whimsical style. Most whimsical of all were the skirts attached with bustles made of the bottoms of western shirts. Contrasting elbow patches were also a big theme, and gorgeous tartan coats with fur collars.
A couple of handbag lines showed their wares as well. All the accessories by Ollin Arm Candy are made of defective and recycled candy wrappers woven together. Girls wore branded burlap sacks shaped like ‘60s shifts. My favourite totable was a carry-all with a mix of Mondrian primary colours. Then later, Lincoln Heller’s fiveleft, a line of tough yet structured vegetable-dyed leather bags. Of his, a briefcase with distressing that mimicked wood grain caught my eye.
The final walk belonged to Prophetik by Jeff Garner, who rolled out the linen carpet to show a selection of the same “Courtly Love” collection of 19th century-inspired garb he took to London Fashion Week. Sponsored by eBay.ca, these runway samples are headed to auction on April 15, 2012 alongside Esperanza Spalding’s Oscar frock. In an effort to become more like Mary Crawley, I’d snap up a riding jacket and jodhpurs. But who will snag a billowy-sleeved cropped white vest (so cropped in fact you’ll have to be fine with showing some underboob) I wonder?