Vancouver ECO Fashion Week Season 04 Closes with a Bang

Get a front-row view of ECO Fashion Week's sartorial dazzle and environmental responsibility

Credit: Ty Snaden

Vintage Fashion Show: Presented by Value Village
 and styled by Sarah La Greca, Deanna Palkowski and Myriam Laroche

Restyled Value Village, Standing Armed, F as in Frank, SVENSK and Prophetik shine on the ECO Fashion Week Season 04 runway

Stylish Vancouverites want ECO Fashion Week to succeed. Its message – conscious consumption – is the backbone of Vancouver’s push to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. It’s as essential to our urban identity as yoga and locavore food.

Although EFW has already proven that sartorial grace and environmental responsibility go hand in hand, most of us observers have been waiting for EFW to get the organizational infrastructure in place to support these super-talented designers. Here’s the good news: Although EFW Season 03 had obvious shortcomings, Season 04, April 10-12, was a solid success.
What made ECO Fashion Week Season 04 work? First, I’d like to credit EFW’s choice of venue. The Robson Square ice rink added an air of pomp and circumstance. Stilettoed ladies dramatically sidestepped downstairs into the fashion’s gladiatorial arena. The site was central. Passerbys wondered what they were missing.
The shows began with Vancouver talents. EFW founder Myriam Laroche and the stylists about town Deanna Palkowski and Sarah La Greca showed off their skills, tweaking finds from event sponsor Value Village into bright, floral ensembles that the front row ladies could well appreciate.

And these weren’t the type of outfits you scan and think that only looks good on that size 2 model.

Standing Armed runway show (Image: Ty Snaden)

Main Street retro retail-library F as in Frank also showed their skill working with recycled fabrics. Models strutted in a the casual and edgy Snap collection, which would appeal to 20-somethings prepping for road trips or brunching in East Van.

Standing Armed by Vancouverite Lindsay Walsh reestablished itself as a simple but elegant solution to Vancouver chic with skilled use of colour and eco silks – bridging the divide between Vancouver labels Obakki and Nicole Bridger.

Ecological Alpaca wool cardigan with velvet bows by SVENSK. (Image: Jason Hargrove at Vancouver Eco Fashion Week,

Next international designers, like knitwear label SVENSK by a lovely blonde Swede, Diana Svensk, showed that knitwear is more than hats and gloves.

SVENSK uses ecological Alpaca wool to create the opposite of the ironic ugly sweater. The audience ooed and ahhhed over buttery, wool cardigans festooned with elegant but playful velvet bows. SVENSK’s dresses and jackets had a similar effect.

Mississippi elementary school teacher Morgan Bradley walks the runway in Jeff Garner’s Phrophetik finale dress (Image: Jason Hargrove at Vancouver Eco Fashion Week,

ECO Fashion Week closed with a (glamourous) bang when Jeff Garner’s Prophetik models took to the runway, strutting to live countrified music by a drawling, southern muse. Garner, simply with his own Esquire-model worthy presence, adds glitter to EFW every year.

This season, he focused on courtly cocktail dresses and ephemeral princess gowns – some of which were seen at the 2012 Academy Award red carpet.

Garner’s surprise of the evening: He had Mississippi elementary school teacher Morgan Bradley walk the runway in his finale dress, which was made from naturally shed ostrich feathers and one of his grandmother’s quilts. The dress will later be on display at the Smithsonian.

Phrophetik backless, gold swirl-printed knee-length dress. (Image: Ty Snaden)
And the media glitterati from FASHION, Treehugger, Elle Canada, Elle Mexico and bcliving looked on.