Vancouver’s Fall/Winter 2012 Eco Fashion Week closed on a high note last night thanks to Jeff Garner’s Prophetik collection—which came complete with live operatic vocals from Tess and the enchantingly twangy drawl of special musical guest Katie Fox. His “Courtly Love” cocktail dresses and Princess Grace-inspired gowns made from hemp and silk blends glowed on the hemp carpet-lined runway. Many of the plant-dyed fabrics had a beautiful sheen and some even appeared iridescent. (The male models he sent out in patchwork kilts and nautical tailcoats looked pretty dapper too!)
One of the best looks was a backless, gold swirl-printed knee-length dress with spaghetti straps that looped around the arms. It was something you could picture Taylor Swift (who is a fan of the line) wearing on the red carpet.
But my favourite moment was when Garner’s muse, Morgan Bradley, appeared in his finale dress, which was made from naturally shed ostrich feathers and one of his grandmother’s quilts. (The dress will be on exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. starting this July.) I had been waiting to see her on the runway since she told me her backstory at dinner two nights earlier—Bradley is not a professional model; she’s a Mississippi schoolteacher for K-6 kids with autism. She took four days off work to come to Eco Fashion Week with Garner. But you didn’t need to have the inside scoop to notice her presence. “Wow, that model has such stunning eyes,” my seatmate leaned over to say as Bradley glided by us.
If you want to snag a piece from the collection, eBay.ca, which sponsored the Prophetik show, will auction off the runway samples beginning on April 15—along with the pale blue Prophetik gown Esperanza Spalding wore to the Oscars earlier this year.
Here are some more highlights from the Vancouver Eco Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012 runway:
Fluidity and structure at Standing Armed: Vancouver-based designer Lindsay Walsh’s standout pieces included watercolour painting-print dresses and blouses (the fluidity) and glossy wool separates—pencil pants in olive and black and a super-saturated crimson A-line skirt—(the structure). I can already picture some of these pieces making an appearance in the ELLE Canada offices come fall.
A soft and sweet pairing at SVENSK: This was Swedish designer Diana Svensk’s first-ever runway show. Her delicate, natural-dyed alpaca sweaters, hats and gloves were a perfect fit for the open-air runway show staged on a skating rink (it was ice-free!). Many of her pieces were adorned with scrunched velvet bows, giving the collection a sweetly whimsical yet still outdoorsy vibe.
Blanket affection at Adhesif: Melissa Ferreira described her collection as “sexy grandma chic” looks made from vintage fabrics and deconstructed second-hand clothing. Patchwork sweaters with colourblocked sleeves as well as blanket coats—including a charming blue plaid one with red accents and mismatched buttons—dominated the show. Ferreira must also be credited for creating perhaps the season’s most creative peplums: She made hers out of the top of men’s plaid workshirts.
For more stylishly sustainable eco-friendly Canadian fashion labels, click here.
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