Could you create a runway collection with just $500 worth of clothes from Value Village? Three stylists did just that for the opening show of Vancouver’s Fall/Winter 2012 Eco Fashion Week. Sarah La Greca, Deanna Palkowski and Myrian Laroche (who is also the president and founder of Vancouver Eco Fashion Week) scoured the racks of donated clothing to find, and then combine, on-trend pieces for fall.
La Greca and Palkowski started the show off with a simple assortment of vintage separates (think knitted and lace tops in pastel hues paired with slip skirts and silky trousers) followed by shimmery gold and silver metallic pieces mixed with black. When a velvety, crystal-encrusted black coat came onto the runway, my seatmate leaned over to say “Wow, I’m going to have to make a trip to Value Village.” It was a sentiment heard many times throughout the evening.
Laroche took things to another level—with her own wardrobe and collection. Her head-to-toe Value Village ensemble included Stuart Weitzman pumps she picked up at “probably 10 percent of the original cost.” On the runway, she paired stirruped tights in red, fuschia and electric blue with bright plaid dresses and skirts—all belted with jewel-toned sashes. There was a definite ‘80s vibe, and the collection certainly captured fashion’s current craving for vibrant colour.
For Laroche, the show was an opportunity to help consumers create good habits. She wants people to get into the mindset of donating their gently used clothes, and she’s encouraging them to do it at Eco Fashion Week—which is why there’s a clothing donation bin set up at the entrance to the shows. “For the first time this season, we have a donation centre. What we want to create is, season after season, [the sense that] when it’s Eco Fashion Week, it’s the time to donate your clothes. And we have been able to achieve that with our new partnership with Value Village,” Laroche said at the opening press conference. So if you’re hitting any of the shows the rest of this week, how about taking on a little closet purge before you come!