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Island Vogue on Granville Island

Several years ago the Net Loft on Granville Island showcased the work of Island artists with a fashion event called Island Vogue. Silk artist Heide Otto and I collaborated to create these outfits for the show.

Special projects like this are always a challenge as it pushes artists out of their ‘comfort zones’ into a new level of creative thinking and skill-testing.

We had a lot of fun with the process, and loved the results, especially seeing our designs get ‘worked’ by live models/dancers.

Outfit #1 – Tropical Seas

  • flowing dress in hand-painted silk with shibori texture 
  • colours of emerald, royal blue and turquoise 
  • coordinating sunhat & silk jewelry 

  Outfit #2 – WestCoast Seaside

  • flapper dress in handpainted silk with seashell motif 
  • colours of light blue and sandy beige 
  • adorned with silk seaweed and kelp 
  • coordinating sunhat 

 Dresses and jewelry by Heide Otto    / Hats by Shari Reid

 About the Artists:

Heide Otto was born in Europe and moved to Vancouver in 1963.  Through her studies abroad and locally she has enjoyed great success as a multi-media fibre artist.
For the past 18 years, Heide has been focusing her attention on silk painting and developing her own style and techniques which favour strong, bright colours.   Her work has been shown in juried craft shows in Victoria, Whistler, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver – including the Granville Island Public Market. Her work has been appreciated and purchased by visitors from all over the world.
Shari Reid was born in Ladner, BC, and has been designing and hand-crafting original hats in her home studio since 1993. In addition to selling at Granville Island Public Market, her collection is also sold at juried art markets such as Circle Craft Christmas Market (Vancouver, BC) and the Filberg Festival (Comox, BC). Shari studied Fashion Design with a major in Textiles at the University of the Fraser Valley.
Heide and Shari have enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate on these light-hearted and imaginative fashions.
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Rosehip’s Earth-loving Textiles

A sustainable textile product:
  • is designed with consideration of the environmental and social impact it may have throughout its total life span.
  • has a much smaller ‘ecological footprint’ than its conventional counterpart: it creates less pollutants and waste; is toxic-free and uses less water and non-renewable resources.

 Here are three of my favourite eco-textile sources for ‘green hat’ design:

 1.) Certified ORGANIC COTTON is free of destructive toxic pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers. On the flip side, conventionally-grown cotton uses approximately 25% of the world’s insecticides and is one of the most widely grown and chemical-intensive crops in the world.

 2.) HEMP is one of the best choices for eco-fibres due to its ease and speed of growth and resistance to disease, with no artificial fertilizers or pesticides needed. Hemp sheds many of its leaves before harvest, returning nutrients to the soil for the next crop. Hemp fibre has natural anti-mildew, high UV protection, thermodynamic and hypoallergenic properties.

 3.) RECYCLED (reclaimed, pre & post consumer, vintage) fabrics are arguably the most sustainable choice for raw materials to repurpose (or ‘upcycle’) into new designs as they require no agriculture, no manufacturing to produce and avert materials from the waste stream for longer periods of time. VINTAGE (pre-1980’s) textile goods were designed to be used for many years, unlike the planned obsolescence of most mass-produced fashion items today. They are also appreciated for their historic value, uniqueness and robust quality. Fabrics were often handwoven and garments custom-made with hand-finished details and unusual trims – techniques now lost with the current globalization of the fashion and textile industries. 

 ~~~~~ Rosehip Hats: designing with the earth in mind, since 1992 ~~~~~

 TRAVELLER by Rosehip – hemp/organic cotton; hand-stencilled 
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Check your ‘hattitude’

A hat is more than ‘just another accessory’ – it’s a state of mind, a message to the world. Can you wear a hat? Most certainly yes! Regardless of what stories you tell yourself, sometimes a little open-mindedness and ‘hattitude’ go a long way.

Here are a few steps to help build confidence:

  • Become familiar with your own basic face shape (oval, round, square, long, triangular, heart) and body type. Find more info in my Hat-hunting Tips 
  • Think about the when/where you want to wear a hat – practical, every day? protection? special occasion? vacation?
  • Be curious … and a tad brave!  Try a lot of different hats on.  All rules aside, the best trick is to ‘experiment’ to develop a sense of what works for your individual style and features.

There’s really nothing too mysterious about it: we’ve been adorning ourselves with hats and headwear for many, many centuries, and for many different, evolving reasons. In more modern times, styles come and go through typical fashion cycles, and hats are more popular today than ever!