Fashion week first-timers: Jennifer Waters of House of Groves

A look from the House of Groves Spring 2011 collection. Photography by Christopher Snyder Photography.

House of Groves designer Jennifer Waters is excited for her LG Fashion Week debut. “I am definitely someone who works best under pressure,” she says. “I both hate and love adrenaline, the panic, the rush and the undercurrent of excitement that is in every activity that you do in the last couple of weeks leading up to this.” The designer, who uses eco-friendly or natural fabrics in her designs, took our Fashion Week First-Timers Questionnaire. See what she had to say after the jump.

Why did you decide to show at LGFW this season? “Dwayne Kennedy from The Fashion Collective approached me a month or so ago and asked if I would like to participate.  I said, yes!  It is a fantastic opportunity and I leapt at the chance!”

You’ve opted to do an installation instead of a runway show. Why is that? “I wanted to create a more intimate feel to the show, for it to be a presentation rather than a spectacle.  I wanted to invite the audience in to participate and to be a part of the discussion rather than a spectator.”

What have been the most fun and the most challenging things about preparing for Fashion Week? “The most challenging thing for me, is that I am new. I have never done Fashion Week and everything about it is new and uncertain. I like to have every element within my reach for something of this scale and there is so much that I just won’t be sure of until I arrive at the event three hours before hand.

Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from your Spring 2011 collection? What was your inspiration? “My starting off point was a lovely felt hat that I found in a vintage shop.  It was very Annie Hall.  I love things to be very tailored, very classically fit to a women’s body and I combined that menswear aesthetic of Annie Hall with a feminine look.  A lady-like Annie Hall best describes the collection.  I’ve worked with a lot of texture and added a pop of colour.”

Why did you decide to use eco-friendly fabrics in your designs? “I always try and use natural fabrics and go eco-friendly where I can so bamboo blends in the blouses for example.  Mostly though, the fabrics are natural but not necessarily organic.  I’m really hoping to find some incredible fabrics for Fall Winter 2011 that are organic and am looking into dyeing my own using eco-friendly dying processes.”

How will you celebrate after the show? “A deep breath and a hug from my husband. I am also really, really looking forward to going for a long run. I haven’t had a chance to in the last two weeks and it is killing me.”

Jennifer Waters of House of Groves presents her Spring 2011 collection on October 20 at Toronto Fashion Week.

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