Friday, September 26, 2008

Nicole Bridger SS09 @ BCFW

Who are you in the other hours
When your hair's undone
And your guard's let down
When you're all alone in your old nightgown
Are you the life of the party then?
Sitting by yourself, again
-Harry Connick Jr, "Other Hours"

When asked about her influence for her spring/summer 2009 collection, Nicole Bridger said that the underlying theme was "Be true to yourself"--namely, the learning and growth process behind self-acceptance. She took this abstract notion and envisioned how it might look in the form of clothing. What resulted was a collection that drew on menswear, minimalism, and a muted palette to create a surprisingly somber mood. Models sported tousled hair and natural-looking dewy makeup which made their skin glow. Perhaps for Nicole, being true to oneself meant stripping away the artifice, the disguises, and the glamour of pretence, and arriving at a look that represents the beauty of a woman "in the other hours."

Nicole professes to a passion for "sculpting fabric" acquired from her 2002 internship with Vivienne Westwood, a passion which is evident in her pieces. Jersey and modal skirts and dresses exhibited lovely movement and draping effects. Simple shifts bore unexpected details like side drapes which, upon closer inspection, turn out to be pockets. Menswear influences were also evident in pieces like oversized slouchy shirts, shorts, cropped pants, and shirtdresses. The softness of the collection was anchored by strong accessories in the form of unfinished leather tie belts and chunky-heeled leather sandals with thick straps. Like her previous collections, this one stressed eco-friendliness and sustainability by using fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, modal, and linen.

Overall, the pieces are lovely--they're just not my cup of tea. The collection hits just the right note for the urban hipster girl who frequents obscure art galleries. In short, it's perfect for someone, just not perfect for me, so I can't criticize it on that point.

In fact, I was only truly disappointed when Nicole veered from her slouchy hipster gallerina look and sent two formal evening dresses down the runway--a knee-length strapless navy number and a full-length strapless white gown. The busts on these dresses looked like they had fit problems, pressing into the models' chests and looking a little too precarious, as though any sudden movement would expose the audience to a peep-show they hadn't signed up for. If Nicole continues to do formal wear in the future, perhaps she should look into complementing her fabric-sculpting talent with a more tailored finesse.

All photos by Shallom.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sale Alert: Erin Templeton, Clack Clack and more!

Head to Clack Clack Empire and Erin Templeton Shoppe for their end-of summer sale TONIGHT - if you're planning to hit the Gen Next and Nicole Bridger BCFW shows, they're located just a hop skip and a jump away at 511 Carrall St @ Pender. GCE has 100% cotton 0% child labour long sleeve collared shirts, trenchcoat inspired sweatshirts (I'm intruigued!) and $99 organic denim!

Templeton, known worldwide for her beautiful leather goods, is selling current collection pieces for 25% off, vintage finds for 15% off - and also releasing her Fall 09 collection! This collection features not only handbags but spats (I WANT SOME), belts and more!

The sale starts at Templeton at around 6pm and at Clack Clack at around 8pm.

Next up - There are a ton of streetwear brands up for grabs at this 3-day under-the-radar sample sale, on now at 111 W.5th Avenue (W.5th & Manitoba).

The sale is actually three sales in one place, with brands like Boxfresh, Triple 5 Soul, Emerica, Keep Shoes, Etnies, Salinas Swimwear, Split Girls and more. See below for more details:

- mens sample shoes in size 9
- womans sample shoes in size 7
- mens and womans clothing in various sizes
- womans swimwear in various sizes

Thursday, Sept.25- 9am-6pm
Friday, Sept.26 9am-6pm
Saturday, Sept.27 9am-6pm

Rumor is that there will be a lot of other "secret" brands available that weren't advertised 0 definitely worth a look!

Pictured: The "Bitch" Bag, by Erin Templeton.

Generation Next Version 3.0

Outfit from Lara Presber's Fall 2008 Collection

It’s hard to believe that BC Fashion Week is already past its midway point! Tonight, the much anticipated Generation Next show will hit the big stage at BCFW. Generation Next, which had its inaugural show back in 2007, was conceived to give emerging Canadian designers the support they need to get to the next level in the industry. Up for grabs is a sponsored fashion show, financial and marketing plans, public relations services, and an editorial in an industry magazine.

Battling it out for the title of Generation Next Designer for Spring/Summer 2009 are finalists Red Jade (Margarita Angelatos), Joseph and Elizabeth (Michelle Lee and Garry Favell) and Two of Hearts (Jenny Yen and Tabitha Savoie). You may recall that Lisa did an interview with Jenny and Tabitha awhile back.

Previous Generation Next winner Lara Presber will be presenting her Spring 2009 collection on Friday, as an individual show was part of her prize package from Generation Next Fall 2008.

Stay logged on to Stylefinds for a review of the show!

Generation Next Spring 2009 Show
Thursday, September 25
Chinese Cultural Centre
50 East Pender St

Tix are $15 at the door if you don't already have one!
Photo from

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sale Alert: Blim Fall Craft Market

Necklace by It's Your Life

Far from the madding crowds at BC Fashion Week, the Blim Fall Craft Market promises treats for the girl who likes her goods to be of the homespun variety. Expect, among other things, handmade jewelry by basement sweet; vintage-inspired jewelry and handsewn goods by It's Your Life; home decor and owl brooches by Track and Field Designs; and beaded baubles by Re-up.

Saturday, September 27, 12-5pm
197 E. 17th Avenue
For more information, see the Blim website.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fashion School 101 - What a day for a daydream

Pinch me, because Fashion school in Vancouver is a fashionista’s daydream come true. Helen Lefeaux has small class sizes, instructors that are successful within the industry, and lessons in design, illustration, pattern drafting and construction. The staff practices what they enthusiastically teach. Randi Obenauer, my instructor for Illustration, Design, and Textile Science, creates amazing recycled leather handbags for her company Ora. Her quality handbags will not only elevate your style, but also appeal to your eco-conscience.

Last week in class we discussed a topic close to my heart and rapidly gaining attention in the mainstream media. Quality clothing is au currant and quickly became a hot topic due to the recent economic downturn felt in North America. The experts are predicting a return to clothing that lasts. Say goodbye to those too-trendy purchases and start investing in slightly more expensive, higher-end pieces that you can get mileage out of for years to come. Follow the European tradition of saving up for something you love and invest in something beautiful that may be a little more practical. What do you think about investment buying? Is it a trend that's here to stay or is cheap and chic the way to go?

Stay tuned for posts focusing on some of Helen Lefeaux’s students as well as details about the behind-the-scenes world of the fashion industry.

JC Studio @ BCFW

True to form, the Jacqueline Conoir Spring 2009 show exhibited fabulous tailoring and expert use of colour and print. The unabashedly feminine offering from designer Rozemerie Cuevas opened with hot pink lights - a surefire sign that we would be in for a girly extravaganza and we were not disappointed. The show began with a series of curvy suits with interesting cuts and details in white, black and grey. All the suit jackets were belted to accentuate the waist and looked killer with the sky-high, tough-looking shoes and boots the models wore.

After the series of suits came softer, bohemian pieces that clearly referenced the glam 1970s disco lifestyle. The prints were the star of this section of the show with floaty, blue-heavy florals and ikat-style geometry to gauzy abstract watercolours. The most unique dress was definitely one that was done in the same overal print but in two different fabrications (left).

I didn't see anything groundbreaking or new in the show, but it was definitely fun, gathering a few of the trends that have been popular over the last few seasons and bringing them together with solid skill and beautiful colour and print. There was the undeniable sexy secretary feel that we saw in the Fall collections as well as the 1970s bohemian floatiness. High-waisted trousers and skirts reigned and even one-shoulder tops, cropped tops and off the shoulder cuts were represented. I was a bit disappointed to see a simple handkerchief dress, as this style dominated this past summer to the point that I was beyond sick of it, but other than that, it was a solid showing.

Here are some noteworthy looks from the show.

All images taken by Shallom

It's Begun: BC Fashion Week S/S 2009!

Last night BCFW kicked off with Jacqueline Conoir at the Chinese Cultural Centre, and the Stylefinds team was there from start to finish! I won't say too much, as Serena will be posting an indepth review later on. My first impressions of the show were - 70's vibe with wide legs and bell sleeves and floaty floral prints. The individual pieces were hit or miss for me, especially in the second daywear section. But the evening gowns, they saved it. Wow there were some beautiful dresses, and the way they moved could only be captured in video. So I turned my camera to video mode, et voila: pour vous, mes amis :)


Sorry the camerawork gets a little shaky, I got distracted by watching the show and forgot I was

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Welcome to 4th Ave

A small crowd gathered on an overcast Saturday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the 4th Ave boutique. 4th Ave and its amiable owner Jane prove to be a welcome addition to the independent retailers in the Kitsilano neighbourhood. Guests snacked on refreshments as they milled about examining apparel for men and women, jewelry, handbags and shoes. The ever amiable shop assistant Daniela did brief presentations highlighting different clothing and jewelry lines. Stylist and Play with Fala designer Fala Chen was also present; she styled an impromptu fashion show, as volunteers from the audience (including yours truly) were selected to model some of the merchandise. The get-together was punctuated by periodic raffle draws for prizes.

4th Ave owner Jane and I pose for a picture.

Jane's store very much embodies the spirit of the street it's named after, showcasing the work of local designers and finds from beyond, including:

  • Jewelry by local designers She Mae Moo and Howling Dog
  • Italian-made gemstone and sterling silver jewelry by Gio Belli
  • Clothing by MotherTrucker, bods bodynits, Play with Fala, KBO Clothing, and Allison Wonderland
  • Shoes by J. RenĂ©e, Naughty Monkey, and Michael Kors
  • Handbags by local line Gaya

Gaya handbags. I love the blue patent leather and signature peony hardware.

The designer behind Howling Dog, Christine Ng-Nickerson, stands next to her sterling silver and semi-precious stone creations.

My browsing yielded some highly covetable pieces: a white rib-knit poncho which my friend and I were drooling over; a silky black shift dress with lace embellishments; a black leather belt with a silver peony buckle; and a cobalt blue patent leather wristlet. The easy part of scoping out the store is over; now comes the hard part of deciding how I'll spend the $10 gift card I received for my volunteer modeling stint.

I got to model this dress by KBO Clothing. I was initially skeptical about how it would look on me, but the cinched waist, soft lines, and cowl neck are subtle and sophisticated. I met the designer behind KBO Clothing, Oyuna, later in the afternoon.