Last Thursday, several hundred of Vancouver's most stylish gathered at the historic St. Andrews-Wesley Church downtown for the Obakki fall/winter 2011 show. Unlike the previous invite-only shows at their trendy Gastown flagship store, this one was open to the public with all proceeds from ticket sales going to the Obakki Foundation. They also livestreamed it online--proof positive that the internationally recognized Vancouver label (which counts Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson as fans) is growing in scope and influence.
As I found out when I wrote about them for Vancouver Fashion eZine, every season's collection is based on the imaginary adventures of the fictional Obakki man and woman. This season, the next chapter seems to focus on the Obakki woman alone. In the video clip that played before the show began, the Obakki woman was seen wandering through an old Victorian mansion's rooms and gardens--reading, lighting candles and daydreaming with an air of somber contemplation.
"We’ve launched a collection that combines nostalgic romance with a distinctive modern edge," explained founder and creative director Treana Peake. It was this sense of nostalgic romance that prompted them to choose St. Andrews-Wesley Church as the perfect backdrop to complement the vintage-inspired yet modern charm of the clothes. Candles, stained glass windows, and old wooden pews only added to the atmosphere.
Although the vintage dimension is a departure from Obakki's purely modern and minimalist aesthetic, as always the pieces walked a fine line between structure and loose draping and were feminine to the core. Luxe fabrications included Japanese lace, Italian silks, mohair and angora. Neutrals formed most of the colour palette, but a lovely printed silk with dashes of red and coral was used in several pieces. Some dresses boasted lingerie-like details, while others had flapper-inspired fringe, loose ruffles or artful drapes. Textured white faux fur was used in jackets and in collars.
My personal favourite (not pictured, but similar to the one above) was a fitted black-lace-on-nude lace dress with a knee-length skirt. The unlined lace sleeves ended at the elbows in a delicate scalloped edge. Another look I coveted (not pictured here) was a deep crimson belted trench done in a slightly drapey fabric with minimal details and clean lines.
Aside from the clothes, I also loved the hair and beauty looks for this show. The models sported a creative take on the classic half updo that featured fishtail braids and deliberately tousled locks. Dark burgundy and deep wine lip colours provided the perfect finishing touch for porcelain complexions and minimal eye makeup.