Vancouver design darling Nicole Bridger never settles for the ordinary. She opened Eco Fashion Week at the historic Vogue Theatre with a one-of-a-kind dance performance. Telling the story of Kali, the Hindu goddess of time and change—and also the inspiration behind Bridger’s collection—dozens of dancers took to the stage showcasing the easy movement of her draped garments. Models made their way through the midst of the dancing chaos, to what, surprisingly, turned out to be a seamlessly choreographed effort. A dark colour palette of deep blue, berry reds and woodsy greens was juxtaposed with a sweet abstract floral representing optimism at the end of an emotional journey.
A curious bauble appeared on the runway during Atelier b.’s presentation: a mini construction clamp, shortly followed by a mini clothes iron. These offbeat accessories integrated seamlessly into the label’s country-bumpkin-meets-tomboy collection, complete with charming gingham dresses, khaki shorts, and leisurely white blouses paired with casual hiking boots and rubber wellies. Not going to lie, we are tempted to rummage through our messy toolboxes for some inspiration as well. Montreal-based duo Catherine Métivier and Anne-Marie Laflamme do quirky very well.
She was our eco designer to watch last season and Lindsay Walsh’s label Standing Armed made a memorable sophomore return to Eco Fashion Week’s runway this season. Proving that eco can be sophisticated and ladylike, Walsh took the city of Dubai and its surrounding desert as an inspiration for her spring collection. Crisp whites, soft ivories, and pale pinks made up for the daytime palette, while the desert sunset brought up rich red and gold hues. The Eastern influence was fully manifested in form of a simple, roomy brocade maroon t-shirt, confirming, once again, that Walsh has a great read on that fine line between casual and formal.
Voyou’s delicate prairie dresses evoked the dreamy mood of Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides. Montréal-based designer Lise-Marie Cayer’s muted pastel palette appeared as though one was looking through an Instagram filter. Adding to the youthful innocence of the collection was a dainty side braid of each model’s long doll-like hair, created by La Biosthetique’s creative team, an eco-conscious hair care line. Voyou’s soft chambrays and endearing eyelet cottons stirred up fantasies of a hot summer vacation, preferably frolicking in the grass somewhere.
Kim Cathers took to the challenge of designing an entire collection with 68 pounds of fabric, the number of clothing and textiles the average North American throws away each year. Proving that one’s trash can become someone’s treasure, the Project Runway Canada alum gave Value Village-thrifted merchandise a new lease on life. Among the many stunners were a delicate cream floral and lace dress, whose skirt appeared to be made from vintage curtains (take that, Scarlet O’Hara!), and a frothy pastel party frock. Fans of Cathers will be delighted to learn that she’ll soon be launching Kim Cathers.elements, a line of clothes and accessories made from recycled fabric.
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