Vancouver Fashion Preview: Spring/Summer 2011

Four Vancouver designers spin out fun yet elegantly minimalist Spring/Summer 2011 collections.

Credit: Runway shots by Kris Krüg

Spring and summer collections from Vancouver’s top ecofashion designers are fun and whimsical yet elegantly minimalist


The sartorial masters of the universe—designers—have made sure that the looks for Spring/Summer 2011 are heaps of fun. More fun than winning the roller derby championships. More indulgent than a platter of vegan brownies.


Better still, Vancouver’s homegrown ecofashion set have added distinctly wearable and sustainable touches to their runway collections.


Think tonal colour combos, disco-chic, pajama parties and minimalism.


Pictured above: The versatile Together dress by kdon can also be shortened and draped at the back for everyday wear.



kdon blue shorts and grey tank top

kdon Sticks shorts, with patch pockets and resin horn buttons, are paired

with the hand-draped side tank, Catch Me, with peek-a-boo cut outs.


Greener pastures: kdon by Kim Cathers

kdon’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Dreamcatcher, is inspired by early morning stillness at dawn. It features a range of cool monochromatic colours, from mint to dove grey, that seem to mimic the landscape in early morning light.


Designer Kim Cathers, of Project Runway fame, continues to evolve the kdon look.


“My overall aesthetic stays similar from season to season, but I’m doing a lot more organic style draping,” Kim told Granville Online.


While some of kdon’s draping is so extravagant it could be called art, Cathers shortened a slate halter-neck dress as it went from runway to retail, keeping the garment’s signature flow while allowing the wearer free movement.


kdon Green dress with tie straps and hem detailing

Spring has sprung with this green dress with

tie straps and hem detailing by kdon.


The Spring/Summer 2011 collection also flaunts summer beach essentials, like the patch-pocket blue shorts with resin horn buttons and seaweed-coloured side tank pictured above.


The best part? The fabric Kim used for the collection is all reclaimed and sourced via local non-profit Our Social Fabric.


Where to buy: Planet Claire; markets including Make It! Vancouver, Spend on Trend, Portobello West and One of a Kind.


BIG SALE: Find work by Kim Cathers, along with nine other local designers, at the blow out sale at the Dominion Building on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 2011.


Elroy Jasione Jumper

The Elroy Jasione jumper with long sleeves is made from 100 percent tencel.

Disco remix: Elroy by Leanne McElroy

Since 2007, Elroy has used eco-friendly textiles like raw silk, pineapple silk and tencel to create cutting-edge ensembles.


The label’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection is a montage of chart-topping 1970s hits, for which designer Leanne McElroy shortened the era’s maxi dress to a flirty mid-thigh length while maintaining the essential ruffles—not unlike those achieved by Farah Faucet’s hair.


Elroy Nerola jumper

The raw silk Elroy Nerola jumpsuit is flirty and fun.


The designer has also reinterpreted the full-on jumpsuit as a flirty playsuit. One in ice blue linen, with 3/4 sleeves, evokes pajama party. Another playsuit, a strappy number in denim-coloured raw silk, achieves a casual cool that’s appropriate even when away from the disco ball.


Elroy pairs these looks with Bianca-Jagger-worthy Panama hats. Don one, and prepare to hustle.


Elroy Nydia Dress

Elroy’s Nydia dress takes inspiration from the 1970s maxi dress.


Where to buy: Elroy, Shop Cocoon.


Sofia Mendez Scheone Stella dress

The Stella dress by Sofia is 100 percent silk, 100 percent sweet.


Minimalism Mastered: Sofia by Sofia Mendez Scheone

Sofia Mendez Scheone won on the 2010 Generation Next runway with her Spring/Summer 2011 collection and it’s not difficult to see why. Simple is sweet, but minimalism is elegant, and Sofia achieves the latter.


The gem in the line is the Stella, a georgette mini dress in cream and baby blue, with a bloused top over a hip-level elastic. The cut is uncomplicated and the pale flower print is subtle, adding a hint of lace. The Stella’s split-petal sleeves showcase the designer’s talent for a subtle if well-placed detail.


Sofia Linen Ana dress

The Ana linen dress.

Sofia’s minimalism extends to the execution of her craft.


“We pay extreme attention to everything we buy,” the young designer told Granville. “We always make sure that we are getting only what we actually need and avoid fabric wastage as much as possible.”


Sofia clothing uses silks hand-dyed with all natural products that are produced in Canada, the U.S. and Italy.


Sofia Kim-Magda outfit

The Kim-Magda outfit: A silk and cotton top (60/40 silk and cotton) paired with a high-waisted petal skirt that comes in linen or silk.

Where to buy: Hum Clothing.


d a c e and ashley watson saddlebag purse and belt

Vancouver designers dace and Ashley Watson collaborated on the Rosemary saddlebag and Thyme belt, both made from 100 percent recycled leather

with notches and antique brass buckle. (Image: Arcade Original)


Saddle Up: 10-year anniversary collaboration by dace and Ashely Watson

Dace Moore and Ashley Watson’s accessories collaboration, in honor of dace’s 10-year anniversary, is in good company. Saddlery and high fashion have been linked since the 19th century, when Hermès began as a harness workshop. Gucci too found inspiration in English riding gear in the 1920s and had launched a saddlebag purse by the 1970s.


The dace-Watson saddlebag holds its own against the greats. Made from recycled leather, the Rosemary flaunts an antique brass closure and comes in a warm whisky-taupe. The matching slim Thyme belt is a perfect solution for adding shape to a billowing silk shirt.


Where to buy: Violet Boutique and online at dace.