Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week wraps up with gender-bending designs, a cartoon-themed show + more

vancouver eco fashion week

You could say there are six Earth Days this week, with the ninth edition of Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week kicking off on Sunday and wrapping this Friday.

Commandeering a wing of the Fairmont Waterfront, the first night kicked off with a special standing presentation of the latest Conscious Exclusive collection from H&M, with EFW founder and president Myriam Laroche wearing the line’s ivory flapper-esque frock covered with recycled sequins. Other guests there to fête the launch were Steve and Chris associate producer and style expert Mana Mansour, Capture Photography Festival executive director Kim Spencer-Nairn, and The Province social columnist Fred Lee.

On day two, guests funneled into the ballroom for the first evening of runway presentations. Highlights included the Thrift Chic Challenge, wherein three stylists had $500 to create a cohesive series of looks from Value Village clothes—Dominque Hanke was the standout there with a vibrant vision that conjured the mood of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” music video—and the 68 Pound Challenge taken by designer Carlie Wong, which resulted in a smoldering all-black evening collection, every piece spliced together from thrifted fabrics. Wong, deservedly, received a standing ovation for her painstaking efforts.

Of the eleven collections shown on Wednesday’s final evening of runway shows, up-and-comer Evan Ducharme captured attention with an edgy, androgynous aesthetic that bared some skin and bent the rules, with boys in skirts and girls sporting jock straps, but surprisingly it was a loose, knee-length silk tunic printed with a stormy painting by artist Emmett Rose that lingered longest in the memory banks. Veteran Jason Matlo took the closing show honours, with a collection that Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” ladies might wear to High Tea, dominated by lady-like sheaths in python prints worn with fishnets and face nets, an apt wrap on the sexiest Eco Fashion Week we’ve seen yet.