Thursday, May 30, 2013

Inspired by Adrienne

 As the weather begins to heat up and summer wedding season is just on the horizon we bring you the Adrienne Cowl Dress.  So skip the sweaty polyester satin this time around, the Adrienne is made from a super lightweight, breathable fabric and comes in 3 great colours: olive, purple and magenta.

Inspired by the ever popular and ever so flattering top by the same name, the Adrienne Dress is crafted from ecologically friendly Tencel fabric.  Tencel is made from sustainably harvested wood pulp.  The pulp is processed in a closed loop system whereby the chemicals used are recycled continuously avoiding waste and pollution.  So you can feel good about your choice while looking good too!

Any occasion to break out the sparkles and shimmers has Sam jumping for joy.  She pairs her olive coloured Adrienne with shimmery gold flats and matching beaded statement earrings.

Sivan is loving the magenta coloured Adrienne.  She lets her hair down and goes for a fun pair of colourful beaded sandals.  After all, it's finally summer!

Alice decides to go funky pairing her olive coloured Adrienne with black sandals, a turquoise belt and matching toe nail polish.

All about layering, Jenn pairs her purple Adrienne with a vintage Paper People cropped cardigan similar to this season's Gloria.  And of course her outfit is not complete without lacey tights and flats.

This summer we're loving the Adrienne Cowl Dress for many occasions from funky to formal.

Pick one up today at an independent retailer near you:
Awear (Collingwood, ON) 
Curiosities Gift Shop (London, ON)
Ecoexistence (Toronto, ON)
Flock Boutique (Ottawa, ON)
Fresh Collective (Toronto ON)  
The Loop (Thunder Bay, ON)
re:treat (Elora, ON)
Still Eagle (Nelson, BC)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vibrant in Vera

Now that summer is finally here, it's time to bust out the bright summer colours and bold patterns!  This week we're very excited to bring you the Vera Wrap Skirt, a vibrant medley of reclaimed scarves lined with organic cotton.  Every skirt is made from 3-5 different scarves and each piece is one of a kind.  And the best thing about a wrap skirt is it's a one size (fits most) deal!  We've managed to create a skirt that fits women size 2-14!  

Siv is looking extra springy in her white cotton 3/4 sleeve top, leather sandals and floral Vera Wrap Skirt.  Topped off with a beautiful vintage necklace from her mom, Siv is a classic beauty.

Jenn is still reluctant to leave her fall wardrobe behind.  She just loves dark, rich colours and layered looks.  Her wardrobe secret is to buy 3-4 colours that co-ordinate so that all her clothes mix and match with ease.  She's picked a Vera in dark, earthy tones and paired it with burgundy opaque tights and a matching Lillian Shrug.

Sam is all ready for a night on the town.  She's picked a bold, floral Vera and matched it with a sequined camisole and black patent pumps.  

And here's another little secret: the Vera is super easy to hem yourself.  Just take a pair of sharp fabric sheers and trim off as much as you want.  It can be hemmed up to 4 inches without a trip to the seamstress.  For best results hand stitch at the side seams to prevent the seam from unraveling.  If you're not a sewer you can apply a little clear nail polish instead.

Our online shop is now close but you can get
the Vera Wrap Skirt at independent retailers across Canada:

Awear (Collingwood, ON)
Ecoexistence (Toronto, ON)
Eleven : Eleven Boutique (Calgary, AB)
Fresh Collective (Toronto ON)
Luvly in Lunenburg Nova Scotia
Persephone's Wardrobe (Guelph, ON)
Something Else (Port Colborne, ON)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Always thinking ahead.

As a fashion designer, I'm always thinking ahead.  Last time I designed a collection I ended up working day and night for an entire month.  So this time I decided to start a little earlier.  

We start out by visiting the Toronto Fashion Incubator to check out the trend forecasting resources.  We're not too big on trends but it's always nice to see what's coming up for next season.  

Tencel fabric swatches plus new linen/cotton blend knits from Italy in a variety of beautiful textures.  We LOVE textures!

The next step in the process is sourcing fabrics.  In the past we've used a lot of reclaimed fabrics, however, there are a lot of obstacles in working with reclaimed.  You can read up on the entire design process here.

Each piece has to be hand picked, then hand cut individually which is incredibly time consuming.  My assistant Siv works with me full time and most of her time is spent sorting vintage, matching colours and cutting garments.  After the garments are back from the sewer we do extensive quality control - mending holes and treating stains that didn't get caught on the first and second round of inspection.  Although the materials are inexpensive, the sheer amount of labour is what drives up the cost.

So this season, for a variety of reasons, we've decided to focus on using only new eco and sustainable fabrics.

A new and exciting venture we're getting into is limited edition pieces.  We've sourced some choice fabrics from Italy and we'll be offering limited edition, hand dyed tops.  We'll be offering one size run per colour and that's it!  (I call dibs on the extra small purple by the way).

Mudsilk is dyed brown with a root then washed using iron bearing mud.
Finding sustainable and eco fabrics is especially challenging.  A lot of the fabrics out there are quite basic and come in undyed/natural colours.  We're known for our bright colours, eclectic textures and bold prints, so we have to keep searching for the right fabrics for our brand.
We visit a variety of fabric showrooms and meet with fabric sales reps to see what is new and what is available for the coming season.  There's no sense in designing anything yet, since, if we can't find the fabric, we can't make it.

Mudsilk continued
Once we know what is available, we can start to think about pieces and styles.  Which fabrics are appropriate for tops? bottoms? dress?

Stay tuned as the design process continues . . .