Local designer Jennifer Small will show dresses from her Tainted Love collection at Fashion Splash in Victoria on August 22.

Eco couture

Castlegar designer Jennifer Small will show her latest eco couture collection at Fashion Splash in Victoria on August 22.

A local designer will present her latest collection of eco-friendly dresses at Fashion Splash in Victoria on August 22.

Jennifer Small of Discarded Couture got into fashion while she was living in Victoria and interning at a flower shop.

“They were throwing so much stuff out, like it was ridiculous,” she says. “And I thought, ‘I’m gonna do something with this.’”

Small started recycling the ribbons and materials that the flower shop would have otherwise thrown away, creating couture dresses from the scraps and used pieces of clothing bound for the thrift store, or that she picked up at garage sales. She also started taking donations of old grad and wedding dresses.

“I will not go to the store and buy fabric when there is so much wasted fabric out there,” says Small.

In Victoria, Small partnered with a hair and makeup team, and photographers who took photos of models wearing her clothes for their portfolios.

So far she hasn’t found a team to work with in the Kootenay area, but she’s already taken most of the collection being shown at Fashion Splash to Victoria, and did a shoot there.

Small helped start the fashion show last year, when Joseph Gonyeau, who runs the Victoria Harbour Festival, wanted to create a new event. Eight eco designers participated the first year, and this year that number has nearly doubled to 15.

Most of the designers show everyday-wear made from eco friendly materials like hemp. Small closes the show with her couture designs, which she describes as wearable art.

She takes inspiration from Alexander McQueen—an internationally known couture designer—and designs her collections to tell a story.

Her collection for Fashion Splash is called Tainted Love, and was inspired by her recently ended relationship.

“It’s basically the story of getting married, being abused, cheating, … and then sort of darkness, and then back to light,” explains Small.

Small moved back to Castlegar from Victoria about eight months ago and hopes to start a fashion show for high school grads in Castlegar, giving them not only the opportunity to try fashion design, but also giving them a chance to raise money for their graduation.

She’d also like to teach kids to sew, and have them enter their final projects in the fall fair.

 

Just Posted

Suspect in custody after Castlegar break and enters

RCMP reminding residents to look their doors.

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Buddhist monument to be dedicated in Slocan cemetery

A new post has been created to mark the site where at least nine Japanese Canadians were cremated

PLACE NAMES: Grand Forks neighbourhoods, Part 2

No nuts were grown in Almond Gardens

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

CONTEST: Scene it?

Castlegar News’ weekly photo location contest.

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Most Read