April 12, 2009

Atlantic Fashion Week Fall 2009: Eco-ethical Fashion is just so damn cool [Danica Olders, Orphanage, Deux fm, Laura Chenowith and more…]

Deux fm reports:

Recently a bevy of Atlantic Canadian fashion designers presented their fall 2009 collections to packed audiences at the Olympic Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia. About 1/2 of the 17  designers that showed are eco  minded in some very different and innovative ways. Each designer has nurtured their own niche following and are doing quite well in their own respectable fashion fields. Some are students with amazing potential. I enjoy being a part of this diverse and growing scene. It’s pretty cool that we can leave drama at the door, support each other and have a blast showing our hard earned work while keeping our ethics in check. Yay Halifax!!!

Here are some highlights (and my personal favorites) from Atlantic Fashion Week fall 2009:

Danica Olders is a 2nd year NSCAD University student that rocked fashion week. She showed a small collection of dresses with a hefty dose of style and eco innovation.  The dress above is almost entirely made from flattened beer bottle caps. Yes, we drink a lot of beer in Nova Scotia. This is a modern gold flapper clinking flecks of red and green. Another dress was made entirely of receipts.

Pam Johnston, another NSCAD student showed bold prints in what looked like hand dyed and felted wool. The designs evoked a modern Aztec renaissance. Her screen printed apron tops were a hit.

Laura Chenoweth, a fellow Halifax sangha member showed us her Indian made immaculately sewn organic cotton signature silhouettes in bold aquatic hues. I particularly liked her short & sexy mod corduroy tunic dresses. Laura is also planning to sell wholesale organic cotton from her indian suppliers out of halifax. That means more designers will have access to these goods and that is very exciting, thanks Laura!

Sunsets on the Eastside showed a much larger collection this year. The three high school students Jackie, Kirstin and Katryna hail from Prince Edward Island. Their flirty youthful clothes are recycled bits of fabrics and used clothing sewn to make stylish one off creations for all their girlfriends.

While these girls are still in high school, Lisa Drader-Murphy of Turbine has been around for almost 20 years and half of that she has been producing her large collection in her own small manufacturing center in Falmouth, Nova Scotia. Her designs this season were most impressive when she showed her effortless cocktail dresses and upscale evening inspired work wear.

Veronica MacIsaac showed so much growth this season that she actually had me hooting and hollering from the rafters.  Her beautifully made garments reflect some serious respect for the female body. Currently she sews everything herself for private customers but she is planning to offer her designs in shops in the near future. Her signature tartan prints are a strong reflection of her dedication to her Celtic heritage and she combines it with mainstream culture all the while sticking to the craft of fine tailoring and fit.

Kim Munson’s label Orphanage had her models rock’n’rolling it down the runway in her signature styled street wear. Kim mixes recycled clothing and fabrics together in a meld of raw infused punk grunge chic. With Kim it is all about how she can mix things up backwards and upside down Alice in Wonderland style all the while packed with crazy little details. Her designs are fun yet warrior like and can make anyone feel tough and unbreakable. I applaud her vision for the future.

My label called deux fm also showed. You can visit the deux fm facebook group here. I was excited to show my first mini sweater collection made with a small women’s co-op initiative near Lima in Peru. The quality of the baby alpaca wool and organic pima cotton is pure heaven. I am blessed to be working with them. I also showed a little resort wear amongst my ready to wear which consisted of relaxed work and street attire, and evening wear. I am guessing my colors were subliminally inspired by the American election (lots of blues and reds). Tees, tanks and a mini t-shirt dress offered Asian inspired trompe l’oeil water-based prints.

You can view all the photos from all the designers from Atlantic Fashion Week fall 2009 here

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