Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Eco Fashion Week Vancouver Opening Night

The night we’ve all been waiting for has arrived and everyone was dressed to impress. It was Eco Fashion Week and The Window’s opening night tonight and I must say I enjoyed myself. As I drank my complimentary Pacific Western Organic beer, yum, listening to the soulful sounds of Sara Brudner. I asked the question. Are all of these people dressed in eco attire? The people I had talked to said no. Interesting, and yet, to be expected.

Eco Fashion Week is here to introduce us to the new and up-and-coming stars of the eco fashion world. Some amazing ones at that. With a hint of trade show atmosphere I made my way through the booths to see who was where. The lighting made it a little difficult to see every artists work, but as far as I could see everyone was having a great time.

Each artist and designer had something different going for them.  Carmen West Creative was nestled in a nice little area with some wonderful simple headpieces and jewelry. Her amazing skills and shy smiling self, made me smile most throughout the evening.

Local designer Nicole Bridger was in full force, providing a modern simple fashion line in which we’ll see tomorrow evening on the runway. Then Shefelt just kitty-corner to Nicole, was able to provide the evening with unique one of a kind outfits very fitting to her name. Harricana par Mariouche had really great accessories; while Jujube supplied the comfortable looks accented by the colour orange. The glamour of the evening came from Hume Atelier, showcasing their exceptional style of art custom made for each and every person. Formalitees was there with their fist in the air promoting, with colour, a greater change than just sustainability.

From what I saw there tonight the eco fashion industry is not too far off. There seems to be hope for the future of fashion. Everyone involved in the evening was able to help with an honest and safe space for new beginnings.

Tonight was just the beginning of something wonderful to come. Thursday and Friday are still to come as the designers hit the runway. The Window will be open again both nights for all interested from 2-9pm while the fashion show begins at 5pm.

We hope to see you all there.

Christina .)

Formalitees - Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

I wear t-shirts every day. Sometimes it drives people crazy without me even trying, because I can totally see how and why the tuxedo t-shirt was born. If only fancy could be so simple and comfortable. The unfortunate thing about the t-shirts most of us wear is the fact that they’re not very environmentally conscious. Nor do they have anything to do with any sort of ‘change’.

I’m personally proud to say that Vancouver is welcoming Formalitees. Eco Fashion Week Vancouver has a lot of artists and designers dedicated to creating a change through many means in order to create a more sustainable industry. Formalitees is not as interested in the ‘High Fashion’ aspect of the event, but more of the message itself.

Formalitees is based in Teton Valley, Wydaho. Right smack dap in between Idaho and Wyoming. This will be their first fashion show and thought Eco Fashion Week, “is a great thing to support.”

Like America. Canada is also going through its problems and we’re not to be left out of the issues and situations that are going on around the world. We can’t forget that we’re apart of the change that needs to happen and our support needs to be well thought out and planned to the ‘T’.

Bjorn Borstelmann and Kelley Sharp “created the Tie Tee as an alternative to the business suit; one that stands for way more responsibility than we see from ‘Professionals’ in suits…But we’re not interested in the fashion of the Tie T-shirts as we are in the symbolism they stand for. Our purpose is to discredit the idea that people who wear business suits deserve respect. They’ve sold out to a hierarchical system that’s anti-democratic and corrupt to its core. Does the paycheck make it worth it?”

Inspiration for Formalitees Tie Tee comes from people all over the world fighting for their right to live and be free. Lives where people are equal and have a voice. The more we come to realize we don’t have these luxuries the more we start to see what is happening today with Occupying Wall Street or the people overthrowing their dictators in the middle east. There are small groups of people treating us like the cattle we eat and we know darn well that we’re the majority. We all have the right to earn a dollar and live comfortably, which is why we need to think about whom and what we’re supporting. It’s the only way we’re actually going to be able to have a voice in the future.

Formalitees “hopes the fashion industry turns around and looks at its waste; it’s absolutely disgusting how ruinous this industry is to people and the planet. Greenwashing won’t make it go away, but ending fast fashion and the mindless consumerism it feeds will.”

So head down to Eco Fashion Weeks The Window to see what Formalitees has to offer, October 5-7th from 2 – 9pm. If you’re interested in purchasing a Tie Tee and you’re not able to make EFW. They’re having a wicked sale at

“If you’re not using sustainably produced materials, you suck. ;)”

Christina .)

Information provided by Formalitees and

Monday, 3 October 2011

Titania Inglis - Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

We hope that people consider their environmental impact on the world and sometimes it’s hard to not feel that it’s a lost cause. Especially in fashion where time and money are of the essence.

Titania Inglis is not concerned with those things. Although she is concerned with the environmental impact and quality of clothing also the ideas pertaining to the mass manufacturing and believes “Less but better.” You can see this even through her blog where she shows the craftsmanship and process that goes into making clothing. “True style is achieved through curating a small wardrobe of beautiful pieces that evolve gradually over time.”

Titania was born and raised in Ithaca, New York and in 2006 she started studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She took evening classes and in the daytime worked as an intern, then an assistant to many of her favourite designers.  She also studied pattern making at FIT and was able to apprentice under NY designers Camilla Staerk, Jean Yu, and Threeasfour.

Titania always had a love for fashion, ever since she was a small child. Time would be spent glancing through her mother’s Vogue magazines, “but didn’t see it as a career until I went back to school for graphic design and discovered instead how much I loved the hands-on, tactile nature of making clothes.” 

“If we’re going to create a more responsible garment industry, then we as consumers need to recalibrate our expectations and decide that there’s more value in purchasing a single piece that’s beautifully and thoughtfully made than in buying a dozen throwaway pieces that were manufactured at great cost to their makers’ living conditions and to the environment.”

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Titania has taken some of her inspiration from her dramatic surroundings like the gorges and waterfalls of Ithaca. Also the Androgyny of Tilda Swanton and La Roux. Along with the fresh draping of Cristobal Balenciaga; as well as the quiet, light infused structures of Japanese architect  Tadao Ando.

Among the many fabrics Titania loves to work with, the favourite is organic cotton. Although we have many different types of cotton here in North America or other countries and most of us have bought the odd outfit with this particular cotton. You may have noticed that they stretch out easily or don’t quite work right during their lifetime in your hands. Titania uses organic cotton from Japan, well what is difference? “organic cotton is too difficult to work with because of it shorter fibers, resulting in fabrics that are irregular and that wear out quickly, the mills in Japan that I work with are quietly weaving perfectly sleek shirting fabrics, floaty voiles, and sturdy denims whose quality rivals the best of the non-organic fabrics on the market. In my line, the emphasis is on creating a modern look through traditional methods, and one thing that makes it possible is that these fabrics take dyes flawlessly. Natural dyes tend to come out blotchy by nature, as it were, but with fine Japanese cottons, the colors come out perfectly even every time!”

Titania will be joining us in Vancouver for Eco Fashion Week, although she has never been here before she has been a regular to Canada as her grandparents lived in Toronto. Titania was impressed with the last few seasons of EFW and of course said yes to participate out here in Vancouver. So for all of you that will be attending, we’re lucky to have this talent among us. Make sure to take a look at her blog in order to see some of the fabulous creations that come from inside this amazing designer.

Titania’s collections can be found at End of Century in New York and Chemline in Los Angeles. Here in Vancouver she can be found at The Window at Eco Fashion Week, October 5-7 from 2-9pm everyday. Her works can also be found on her web store later this month.

Please join us and enjoy what Titania Inglis has to offer.

Christina .)

All information provided by Titania herself and

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Jola V. Designs - Eco Fahion Week Vancouver

Women all over the world have at least one purse, shoulder bag, or wallet made from leather. Almost everyone likes the softness and durability of leather, it lasts long and sometimes, most of the time, and it looks even better worn out and tired.

Leather like most fabric is somewhat questionable for reasons of morality. Although what else are we going to do with all the hides from the cows we eat? Might as well do something right. Using leather or hides date back longer than us Homo sapiens. So we can never really call it a ‘new trend’. Leather is produced to make shoes, couches, car seats, jackets, pants, wallets, and bags to name a few. Each piece is crafted into shapes, forms, and sizes. Like most materials in fashion, waste will occur. Its what you do with the waste that matters. From end of the roll, to scraps, to stuff that needs to just be repurposed. It takes a certain kind of artist to be able to create something out of someone else’s nothing.

Eco Fashion Week is showcasing yet another local designer, Jolanta Va
Jolanta uses overstock leather and handcrafts it into wonderfully artistic hang bags and accessories.

Born in Lithuania, Jolanta made Vancouver her home after a few years of traveling. A self trained leather-worker with a business degree, she quickly realized, “I missed the great choice of well crafted and designed consumer goods, that most importantly, were made within the EU. Most consumer (or high-street) fashion in North America is produced over seas, and has a somewhat uniform look, quality and short life to it.” Not comfortable supporting the actions of our North American ‘fast fashion’ world of quantity over quality, she, “Completely stopped shopping for a long while, till I discovered local B.C. brands and what they do.”

Never having sewn leather before she constructed her first bag in 2009, the end result went over so well she couldn’t help but make more. Taking inspiration from the Old world and history of her heritage.

The more and more I talk to fashion designers I find that the majority of them find inspiration in nature, not unlike Jolanta. “Nature, it’s forms, movements and surfaces, that help to unravel the ergonomics of an item I am building. Nature has so many extremely smart solutions, that make things work and sometimes, the materials themselves dictate what’s going to happen.”

Much like a vulture searching for unwanted remains from upholsters, or garment makers whom discard or throw away perfectly good pieces of leather. As rescued leather is Jolanta’s fabric of choice, she sources out anything that would work with her ideas, from liquidated hides, recycled donated leather garments, but also re-works wool and denim.  Thus creating a personalized one of a kind product as she may only come across small pieces of raw material never to be found again.

"I am hoping, that the positive changes in the industry outweigh the negative. Many big mainstream labels have noticed that the indies have achieved success in educating the shopper about fair wages, minimizing waste, even bringing the manufacturing back to the West.They started using sustainable materials to produce their garments, more are becoming cruelty free, or choosing their sub-contractors carefully. I hope, the industry gets educated, and all fashion will be at least more, Eco..."

Living and working in Gastown, she’ll only be a stones throw away from Eco Fashion Week. Which may be part of the reason for them sourcing out such an artist. Both Jolanta and EFW are trying to educated buyers and designers that only we can make a difference in how we purchase and who we support. “EFW are not trying to cover anything up, they work with brands, that are green, rather than ‘Green-wash’ ones that are not. I admire that.”

Jolanta’s repurposed leather works of art can be purchased on her website, at the studio, Bloom market, Make it Vancouver, and local boutiques like: Dream, Favourite Gifts, Blushing Boutique, Two of Hearts Boutique, Poppyhair, and of course EFW’s own ‘The Window’. October 5-7 from 2-9pm.

Come down and join us in welcoming another great designer to the Eco Fashion Weeks Vancouver roster.

Thanks Jola V.Designs for your drive to create a more conscious industry.

Christina .)

Information provided by Jolanta herself and 

Friday, 30 September 2011

Anna Talbot - Eco Fashion Week Vancouver

Eco Fashion Week is about to take off on October 5 and will go through till the 7th. A week dedicated to showcasing sustainable fashion and artists with these same goals.

Anna Talbot is one of these fine young artists. Based in Vancouver B.C. Anna got her start in 2008 at Emily Carr University. Where she majored in printmaking. A technique involving the application of colour to fabric in the form of a design or pattern. Close to dyeing fabric although instead of one colour and dyeing the whole fabric it is generally one or more colours applied to certain parts only. Creating sharply defined patterns.

By Anna’s third year at Emily Carr, she “had the idea to print traditional etchings on silk and textiles. My artwork was often about women and the body. So my imagery easily translated onto textiles and into wearable pieces once I discovered my passion for textiles and design.”

After such a discovery she took her sustainable mindset into the “world of natural dyeing, draping and garment production.” The epitome of ‘Slow Fashion’.  Also with her favourite materials being reclaimed silk, vintage embroidered linens and handmade lace.

In 2008 she produced five solo shows and developed her first collection. She also collaborated with designer Lindsay Steele on a book of poetry and art called ‘Awakening’. 

In the world of ‘Fast Fashion’ we find outfits that are too big or lack a personalized shape. Which is why most of us have to take our clothing to tailors or friends that can take them in and make them fit. Couture is a word everyone has heard before, but not all of us know what it actually means. Couture is a form of fashion styling that custom makes women’s clothing. Something Anna is very inspired by. She also is very inspired by couture designer Alexander McQueen and of course vintage Dior.

As the world of fashion is ever changing and people are becoming more and more lazy with their designs and manufacturing. I couldn’t help but ask Anna what her hopes for the fashion industry are: “I hope to see an increase in sustainable production and localized manufacturing.” Clearly a theme in the eco world of ‘Slow Fashion’.

Anna got involved in Eco Fashion Week in order to find an avenue to showcase her work and she was drawn to EFW’s mission. After meeting with the production team she quickly realized “It’s was a perfect fit!”

Anna’s work can be found at Eco Fashion Week and The Window the EFW’s tradeshow event, October 5 – 7th  from 5-9pm. As well as at

Head on over to Eco Fashion Week to see the wonderful works of all of the designers and make sure you stop by to see Anna. Check out her amazing designs made special for the betterment of the world of fashion.

Thanks Anna

Christina .)

All information provided by Anna herself and

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Colour Blocking at its Best

Fashion fashion fashion. Trends that come and go. Decades can go by without a hint of the past and then BOOM or BAM…we’ve gone back in time. Bright, hot colours have slowly been showing themselves again. It started with accents, a touch of something from the 70’s or 80’s. Without all the disco and shoulder pads.

Now ‘Colour Blocking’. Re-introduced as a trend in the spring of 2011 for the summer of 2011. Of course 2011 isn’t the only window for this magical trend of vibrant colours.  It may be here to stay for a while.

Colour Blocking involves creating an outfit by placing blocks of colour next to one another made up of two or more colours. Using too many colours can make everything go all wrong, so make sure to start slow if you’re interested. The more colours you wear will keep cutting your body shape and possibly highlight your insecurities. Start with one colour and then move up from there. Colours may include bright, muted, monotone, contrasting, and complimentary colours. Stick to similar tones and don’t be shy.

Colour blocking is best done not only with simple colours but also with simple styles that have clean lines.  When you’ve found your simple vibrant outfit you will most likely move onto your accessories. Be very careful as you could ruin everything with the wrong shoes or bag. If you’ve chosen a colour blocked outfit stick to neutral, metallic or black accessories and vice versa.

For inspiration look at artists like Piet Mondrian for the ideal block look or RoyLichtenstien for the vibrant colours.  

Colour Blocking has been around for a long time. Its best known for its appearances on the 70’s dance floors and runways. Then throughout the 80’s, simple Colour Blocking stopped being so simple and became very messy. When I look back I see that maybe the hair had something to do with the need for a more simple, subtle look. Which is when we journeyed back into modest colours and shades, allowing us to blend in and look very sexy chic.

Time has passed and the people that lived through the 80’s have moved through the ‘Too soon’ faze to bring back this colour scheme. Colour blocking is apart of so many aspects of our lives like jewelry, bags, shoes, furniture, make up, and even nails. The boundaries are endless and if you have found enjoyment in getting lost like I have in the colourful t-shirt section at American Apparel you’re going to have tonnes of fun with this. 


Christina .)