Eco fashion runway

Vancouver Fashion Week for fall-winter happened when we were in New Orleans. After missing it last autumn, I had told myself that I would go to at least some event in the spring show. I must say, though, that a week in New Orleans was an excellent trade for fashion week.

Fortunately, all was not lost for the seasonal shows. Eco Fashion Week was yet to come. Eco Fashion Week is really where my heart lies. Things like sustainable fabrics and fair trade are very important to me. One of my favourite Vancouver designers is Nicole Bridger, who was at the forefront of the eco fashion movement.

I got in touch with a very stylish young friend who said she was psyched to go. I got tickets for Sweetie, my friend, and myself to the runway show at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

It was certainly an evening for a fall-winter show! After a colder than normal early spring, the weather had improved over the last few days. But not Wednesday evening—rain with a high temperature of about 10°C, if that. I wore not the sleeveless Nicole Bridger dress I had wanted to wear but a plum-coloured half-sleeve dress from her fall-winter 2011 line—with tights and a jacket. A tough night for fashionistas, especially since the show took place at the Robson Square ice rink. No ice, of course, and the rink is covered, but it's basically outdoors. Brrrr.

I wasn't taking notes (or texting or tweeting or whatever some people on the other side of the runway were doing), so we'll see if my memory is better for this than it was for details of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

First up was Indigenous of Santa Rose, California. Indigenous was showing tops, skirts, and some wonderful knit light outerwear, imported from Peru through a fair-trade arrangement and made with materials such as organic cotton and free-range Alpaca. The palette was fairly somber, sometimes with a splash of colour from a hat, but the designs were wonderful. There was one light grey cowl-neck sweater that definitely looked like me, and Sweetie found a light Alpaca cardigan that she coveted. We checked the samples in the adjacent shop and learned that their retail prices are quite reasonable. Unfortunately, no shop in Vancouver sells their clothes—yet. Fortunately, they do have an online store, and considering the prices, it might even be worth the cost for shipping and duty.

The second designer was called Kreati-ka. This was a whole different kind of collection—cocktail and evening dresses. Beautiful dresses! The colour palette was mostly dark, black with brown accents, but the black dresses were gorgeous, often featuring subtle patterns and inventive and very flattering cuts. And in the mix were a few dresses with a blend of colours that is hard to describe. It's like the colours flowed into each other. This was fancy wear, dresses we would love to have but would probably not have anywhere to wear them. We're not really part of the cocktail party and formal affair set. Still, I do lack a little black dress. Unfortunately, Kreati-ka is a private label out of Seattle. It might require some personal contact, and I can only imagine the price tag for that.

The final entry for our show was Canadian company Arm Candy. Arm Candy markets purses as well as shoes and accessories. This collection was from Nahui Ollin, which produces handbags and accessories from reused materials using a Mayan weaving technique. The products are produced under fair trade and sweatshop-free practices in Mexico, with money going directly to the weavers themselves. The materials used are things like candy and gum wrappers and pop bottle labels! Despite this, the company says the bags are durable. The bags were fantastic! Colourful and clever. Perhaps a bit more fun for summer than a match for somber fall-winter, but no matter. And in order to best feature the "arm candy," the models were dressed in simple dresses that seemed to be made of burlap. And they showed off the hobos, cross-body bags, shoulder bags, clutches, and change purses very effectively.

This was my friend's first fashion show. Sweetie and I had been to one before a few years back, but this was at a whole different level. And I really enjoyed it! We all did. Now I want more. I wish I had had more time to see more Eco Fashion Week shows, but it just wasn't possible.

At the close of the show, we were ushered out quickly so they could set up for the 7 o'clock show. We spent a little time looking over the samples, then headed out into the rain. Sweetie and I had not yet had supper, so we all headed to Dunn's Famous, which I had only recently heard about. They feature Montreal smoked meat, and I have to say it was perhaps the best I've had in Vancouver. Smoked meat here tends to be lean, and thus lacking a bit in flavour, but just like Schwartz's in Montreal and delis in New York, Dunn's Famous offers a choice of lean, medium, and fat. The medium was fantastic! Sweetie had hers in a traditional sandwich, while I opted for a Reuben. (My friend had eaten a small meal before the show, so she went virtuous with a Caesar salad.) We both bumped the fries up to a poutine, a small one that wasn't overwhelming but was quite tasty. Even the coleslaw and the pickle were good! This was great deli food. Our excellent server tried to tempt us with cheesecake, but that just wasn't going to happen this time. We are definitely going to have to visit again, but not too soon. Ain't nothin' diet here, honey!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Veronique for your thoughts about my line!:) i hope it will not be the last time you will have to write an article about my label!:)