Six weeks ago, I was asked to participate in the Value Village challenge for Eco Fashion Week. I’ve always jumped at any styling opportunity that allows me to express my creativity but this one had an extra bonus – to reinforce the values behind recycling and sustainability within the fashion industry!
Myself and two other fab stylists, Mimi Lauzon and Tony Vu, were given a budget to create between 10 – 15 looks with clothing, shoes and accessories entirely from Value Village. Initially, my poor brain was spinning with different ideas and trends to include in my collection and I actually started off with muted colours and a lot of mixing and matching with floral prints and full skirts in mind. Then I came across a couple of pieces that were so vibrant in colour and I knew that was the way to go. I instantly thought of retro lines, chic tropical prints, 3/4 sleeve Chanel inspired collarless jackets with bright buttons, cocktails, jazz and bright primary colours.
I visited the Value Villages on East Hastings St. (twice), Victoria Drive (once), Burnaby (once), and all three in Coquitlam (twice). I think I must have put in at least three hours on each visit so around 27 hours of shopping in total!!!
Next came the music! After at least 20 hours of scouring Latin jazz and vintage Boogaloo jazz tracks (and with the help of my ever so patient, DJ Dave mixing it all up for me), a 15 minute music track was born that completed the story I wanted to portray. It was all coming together!
The finishing touches on the collection were the small details like switching up buttons from each of the garments to create contrasting colours and hemming the sleeves to create bracelet sleeves, making the jackets appear a little more summery. I hand-sewed gems (another 15 hours at least!) to various pieces in contrasting colours for a bit of dazzle and made fascinators from faux fruit, also from Value Village.
A FULL HOUSE! (photo – Victoria Radbourne)
My nerves and excitement woke me up early on the day of the show and stayed with me right through to the very end! Once my last model came back and we did a finale walk on the runway, I was engulfed with a buzz I’ve never felt before! A feeling of so many mixed emotions, an appreciation for my incredible team backstage, my friends & family that came out to support me and who have been encouraging me throughout my career. Most of all I had a feeling of being in exactly the right place and doing exactly what I should be doing!
Images – Peter Jensen
Special thanks to: David Andersen, Sacha Wasserman, Jessica Karalash, Amy Yew, my gorgeous models, Jihan Amer and my backstage dressers (you rock!), MAU & Hair – Marc & Anna Riese, coordinators Daniel Peters and Sonja Henrickson and of course the force behind Eco Fashion Week – Myriam Laroche.