As people around the globe give eco-friendly options more attention, so has the fashion industry. This year marks the fifth annual Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver. The show featured stylist and designers pushing sustainability to the next level and proving the designs created for Eco Fashion week are comparable to those found at other fashion weeks out there.
The featured Vancouver-based designers included Nicole Bridger and finalist of Project Runway Kim Cathers. I sat down with both designers to get their visions behind the collections.
The week kicked off with Bridger’s collection that contributes to sustainability from the choices of fabrics she uses for ethical manufacturing. Each season, her collection mirrors a life lesson she has learned. Her fall collection is called Kali who is a Hindu goddess who fights ruthlessly against ignorance.
Amy: What kind of women do you see your clothes on?
Nicole: Very much a real woman. Our clients are business women, moms, professionals. And they’re living real lives and are often busy and the clothes that work for them are what they can throw in the wash and be comfortable in but still look elegant. You don’t have to sacrifice style to be functional.
Amy: What is the message you are trying to send when it comes to sustainable fashion?
Nicole: It’s showing that it’s possible to do it differently. People often think to be conscious you have to let go of something you don’t want to but I’m trying to show that you can still have everything. You just have to make different choices.
Amy: It looks like your collection has a practical elegance to it. What are some upcoming trends?
Nicole: The purple berry or ox blood color is on trend. Silk floral printed pants and bright colours.
Amy: I love sequins. Are we going to be seeing any of that coming up in your collection?
Nicole: I’m trying to figure out how to do sequins in an eco-friendly way but yes I will definitely be trying to incorporate some of that in an upcoming collection.
Kim Cather’s challenge was nothing to sniff at as she used 68 pounds of discarded fabric from Value Village to create a collection. This isn’t Cather’s first time tackling a project similar to this. Cather’s started a line at 20-years-old called “Restyle” that recycles fabrics by making new out of the old. She described her collection as couture, floral and country inspired collection.
Amy: Which was your favourite piece that came down the runway?
Kim: I think for innovation sake it was the wrap dress that was made from one pair of pants. Nothing was wasted and nothing was added. I’ve never done something like this before.
Amy: How do you think project runway has helped you in this challenge?
Kim: I’ve always been the type of person that worked well under pressure and deadlines so I think that’s helped. It was a very different scenario at project runway but yeah I think being able to work under pressure has helped me.
Stylist Nicolette Lang-Anderson was also given a $500 budget for Value Village to create a runway ready collection from clothes you find on the store’s racks. Her collection featured bright colours with a tropical theme. She managed to combine fun and sophistication within the pieces and the accessories and details were fantastic. Anderson spent a total of 27 hours at Value Village to put together her collection.
Amy: What were some aspects in terms of design you decided to include in your collection?
Nicolette: I incorporated tropical prints, retro lines, bright buttons, three quarter Chanel-inspired jackets and bright primary colours.
Amy: What do you think made your collection stand out?
Nicolette: Well I think I spent another 15 hours on top of what I put in at Value adding details like switching up buttons from each of the garments and hemming the sleeves to create bracelet sleeves to give the feel of summer appear. I even hand-sewed gems to various pieces in contrasting colours for a bit of dazzle.
View the gallery for photos of Eco Fashion Week and Nicolette Lang-Anderson’s photo diary in creating her collection.
Amy Yew is a contributing columnist at Vancouver Courier. Tell us what you think and submit any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet your thoughts on Twitter @AmyYew.