Gastown, Main Street designers weigh in on fashions for fall

Autumn forecast calls for bold colours, polka dots, wide-legged jeans

Those craving more of the warm summer weather of late might not be ready for talk of the school season, shorter days and September. If there is a silver lining, however, it's the anticipation of luxurious and cozy fall fashions. The Courier consulted designers from the stylish enclaves of Gastown and Main Street to get the forecast.

. Treana Peake, creative director, Obakki, 44 Water St.

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Peake sees bold colours, polka dots, '60s styling, vintage lace, tiny florals, embellishments, prints and plaids dominating the fall fashion scene.

Inspired by old Paris, Obakki focused on opulent fabrics for fall 2011, including fine Japanese lace and delicate Italian silk with angora and mohair accents.

The fall collection includes the black, bodyhugging, long-sleeved be-zippered "Grace" dress made with stretch silk, wool panelling and lace, the short white "Brigitte" jacket made of downy soft angora, and the silk, kneelength, double V-neck "Brooke" dress with its understated custom abstract floral print. Prices typically range from $200 to $600.

Obakki is manufactured in Vancouver, with the exception of its knits, which are made in Italy. The label is sold online and across the country, in the U.S. and the U.K. by more than 100 retailers that include Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom.

Peake founded the luxury fashion brand that aims to turn out elegant yet relaxed urban clothes in 2005. In 2007, Obakki's flagship Gastown boutique won the Governor General's award for its contemporary design by MGB architecture that includes concrete, brick and raw wood accents by artist Brent Comber. In 2009, Peake launched the Obakki Foundation, which focuses on educational development and clean water projects in developing countries. All of the proceeds from the Obakki Foundation collection of screen-printed T-shirts, scarves, totes and a coffee-table book are used to help children in orphanages in Cameroon. Peake, who has lived and worked in Africa, works to bring together artists, musicians, actors and movers and shakers to promote self-sufficiency, health and education in African villages.

For more information, see obakki.com.

. Glencora Twigg, co-designer, We3 Designs and co-owner of Twigg&hottie, 3671 Main St. at East 21st Ave.

Twigg sees '70s styles coming on strong, including wide-legged jeans, bigger collars, larger prints, three-quarter-length coats and shades of orange, green and brown.

We3 found its inspiration for fall and winter in music. "If music is what feeling sounds like then clothing is what those feelings wear," she said.

So the three designers behind We3 have created simple pieces that wearers can mix, match and accessorize to the beat of their own drum.

The fall/winter line features a peppy red knee-length coat that can be belted and fashionably fastened with an accent button on one shoulder, comfy knit tops in flattering hues in burgundy and teal, a tunic that can be worn upside down as a cowl-neck top or cinched with the wide "Bass" belt.

In addition to working with its usual supple knits, We3 has worked with superfine merino wool for winter and fall.

We3 started in 2007 and caters to women who love clean lines and a great fit. The label uses all sustainable fabrics, including organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and soy. We3 is manufactured locally with a smallscale family-run business. Prices range from $70 to $350.

For more information, see we3.ca.

crossi@vancourier.com

Twitter: @Cheryl_Rossi

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