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Saturday, January 10, 2009

New York Fashion Week here we come!

The tickets are booked, the press passes are confirmed - with one month to go before Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week FW 09 begins, Terri Potratz (blogger/writer/editor/larry.maker extraordinaire), Kris Krug (supertalented photographer/web 2.0 rockstar) and lil ol me are well on our way to the most fun any of us have had in a long time.

Well - we have a lot of fun. Sometimes a little too much fun, one could say. But this is NYFW, people! The question is - is New York ready for the three of us?

The fashon, the arts, the dance, the parties.....I swear I was made for this city. (FYI - I've got plans in the works to move there for a while, hopefully by around 2012).

Before we go, we are compiling a list of people in the industry that we'd like to meet up with while we're there....other bloggers, designers, buyers, people working for fashion week...anyone and everyone who has something interesting to bring to the table. If you are reading this from New York and are working in fashion somehow, we'd love to add you to our list! Just leave me a comment here, or email shallom.johnson[at]gmail.com.

We are all waiting impatiently for the schedules to be announced. In the meantime, we have to decide what to wear. Yes. Trying to pack enough clothes and shoes for three style-aholics into a very limited amount of luggage space will be a really difficult task (think outfit charts and vacuum-seal bags). It's a good thing that me and Terri are pretty much the same size, with the same size feet - how lucky is that? Sharesies all round. KK unfortunately gets to be the odd one out. And we'll probably end up co-opting some of his suitcase space (sorry babe).

The three of us will be working together to provide coverage of fashon shows and other fun happenings, using a variety of mediums: liveblogging (twitter), podcasts, daily blog posts and print media. Thanks to the folks at East Media, we'll have an offiice headquarters just three blocks away from the tents. Genius! You can follow our daily adventures here on Stylefinds and at The Conveyor Belt for the inside scoop on the shows, events and parties, interviews with industry folks and other Canadians in attendance, daily outfit posts and streetstyle shots, a NY blogger meetup (hopefully) and sooo much more.

We are ridiculously excited for this opportunity. Have you been to NYFW? Do you have any tips or tricks for the new kids? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

larry. @ Grace Gallery: Thursday Jan 8th

Terri Potratz is one of the up & coming movers and shakers of the Vancouver fashion scene. Not only is she Style & Health Editor at NowPublic and the founder + editor of The Conveyor Belt, this busy lady is also the designer behind Larry Designs. Terri launched larry. in 2007 as a side project, after an unfruitful citywide search for the perfect warm wooly scarf. This gorgeous line of oversized wool scarves and stylish yet snuggly neckwarmers has quickly taken off, leaving Terri "astonished" at the sheer amount of inquiries and orders coming her way . "'larry.' has become this character that people seem to be familiar with," she says, "a scarf personified - it's really quite lovely to see how much people love 'him'". With an upcoming textile opening at Grace Gallery Thursday Jan 8th at 8pm and her pieces selling out of retail locations just as fast as she can knit them, Terri and larry. are well on their way to success.

Each larry. is hand-knit by Terri herself right here in Vancouver. She sources all of her materials within BC - the alpaca wool comes from a ranch in the Cariboo, spun at "a tiny little co-op mill on Saltspring Island". In order to keep her production local, Terri has so far kept her distribution on a relatively small scale: "if I moved production to a commercial mill, you can say goodbye to all of the unique properties of the yarn that people love so much."

From the larry. site:

  • Fiber is washed at the mill with a gentle detergent. Our mill does not use sulphuric acid to burn off stray bits of vegetable matter embedded within the fleece as most commercial mills do.
  • Our yarns are not dyed, but instead retain the beautiful and natural colours of the alpaca animal.
  • Leather smith Ken Diamond uses off-cuts, which would otherwise be discarded, from his production studio in Gastown to create unique leather buttons.
The soft alpaca yarn really does make larry. super special, but also provides Terri with some difficulties in accomodating specific color requests. "I don't dye any of the yarn," she says, "and rarely know what colour yarn I will be receiving when i get a shipment in from the mill. That's probably the hardest bit - people love their blacks and creams. Unfortunately black alpacas are fairly rare." Vancouver is often a sea of black on black - scarves, coats and umbrellas - which often gets a wee bit boring. In my opinion, Terri's lack of black alpaca wool is just helping Vancouverites think outside the box when it comes to color choice!

Ever since Terri started making these scarves, I've been coveting a larry. for my very own. This week, I and many others will have a chance to get our hands on all of Terri's current designs, as well as one brand new scarf that was designed specifically for this exhibit. "I'm incredibly excited for the show", Terri says with a huge smile. "I've never done anything like it before, and am thrilled to be working with Rachel on this. Collaborating with her on 'The Gracey,' the custom piece I made for the show, was lots of fun. It was interesting to incorporate her ideas into the design, and I would jump at the opportunity to do future collaboration pieces."

Opening night is Thursday Jan 8th @ 8pm (tomorrow) and scarves will be on sale for the duration of the exhibit (2 weeks). You can also find larry. at One of a Few in Gastown, as well as at Portobello West. In the near future, look for some lighter pieces from Terri: "larry. needs a little summertime lovin' and I'm going to give it to him".

Thanks to photographer Fiona Garden for the photo.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Call for Designers: Vancouver Fashion Week FW09

Vancouver Fashion Week is currently accepting applications from clothing and accessory designers wishing to take part in the FW09 season. Participating in Vancouver Fashion Week will give you the opportunity to network, make connections with local, Canadian and international buyers, media and distributors, and at the same time to meet and be inspired by other designers from Vancouver and beyond.

VFW FW09 is scheduled for March 24-29, 2009. This season's shows will be bigger than ever before, with 22 shows in total featuring the best in Canadian design, eco-friendly design, international designers, contemporary/ready-to-wear labels, and streetwear. Vancouver Fashion Week is excited to announce that we will host one day of shows in Whistler, where we will showcase the quickly growing genre of snowboard fashion. As always, the daily runway shows will be accompanied by jewelry and clothing exhibits where designers can show and sell their products to guests, media and buyers.

Early bird deadline #1: Jan 10th, 2009 (20% off registration fees)
Early bird deadline #2: Jan 22nd, 2009 (10% off registration fees)
Final registration deadline: February 15th, 2009

For registration fees and more details, please email:
Shallom Johnson,
Coordinator, Vancouver Fashion Week
shallom@vanfashionweek.com
http://www.vanfashionweek.com

Thanks to photographer Kris Krug for the photo, from VFW FW08.

Sale Alert! Local Designers January Blowout Sale

Clockwise from bottom left: Two of Hearts, Togs, BuenoStyle, and CiCi. (Original images from designers' websites.)

If you still have money left after the holidays and Boxing Week sales, make sure you stop by the January blowout sale at Madison Consignment Store (3728 Main Street). Various local labels are participating, including:
  • Togs (funky screened streetwear pieces designed by the lovely Tabitha Savoie)
  • Resurrected (recycled leather purses)
  • Peel (women's wear)
  • CiCi (sophisticated separates designed by the fantastic Jenny Yen)
  • Filou (local designer Fiona Louie's jewelry line)
  • BPA Metalcraft (jewelry)
  • Two of Hearts (eco clothing designed by Tabitha and Jenny...you may remember my interview with them about Two of Hearts here)
  • BuenoStyle (Christi York's recycled/vintage/reworked jewelry...you may remember my interview with Christi about her new line OAK here)
  • Kairos (handbags)
Having seen some of these designers' work up-close, I'm already salivating at the list of featured labels at this sale...

January Blowout Sale
The Madison Consignment Store
3728 Main Street
Tues. Jan. 6th to Sun. Jan. 18th (starts today!)
11am to 6pm daily