For the style-conscious on your gift list, forgo the mall mayhem and hit one of the local maker markets, where slow fashion, sustainability, and the artfully one-of-a-kind take centre stage. Here are just a few of the highlights at events over the coming weekends.
December 11 to 15 at the PNE Forum
Rylee & Ink: Victoria-based designer Rylee Postulo apparently passed her years growing up in the rainy climate of the northwest coast by drawing. Now she turns her hyperdetailed works into laser-cut, hand-painted wood earrings adorned with intricate images of cherry blossoms, leaves, roses, seashells, daisies, and more.
Mameyo: It’s the distinctive geometric shapes that set apart New Zealand–born, Vancouver-based designer Maxine Young’s handcrafted leather purses. Bucket purses come in a long, six-sided form, while a practical backpack is an elongated rectangle. Materials include vegetable-tanned, brushed, or smooth-waxed leather, in rich colours like sage-y green, greyish deep lagoon, and navy blue, sometimes with white tiger thread and brass buckles or rivets.
Beaumont Residents’ Artist Market
December 4 at the Beaumont Studios’ Grand Hall
Zula: Delicate silver cedar branches inspire Urszula Petrykowska’s rings, necklaces, and more in a collection that takes direct inspiration from West Coast nature and its healing power.
December 7 and 8 at the Croatian Cultural Centre
Fly at Risk: Made from anything but your run-of-the-mill men’s-store stripes, Cheralyn Chok’s hand-stitched bow- and neckties come from zero-waste production, utilizing all scrap material in secondary projects like pincushions and greeting cards (with proceeds helping out the Clean Clothes Campaign). Think tiny confetti-print polka dots, understated florals, and vintage-look plaids and paisleys, all in natural materials like wool, silk, cotton, and linen.
Nostalgic Links: This Vancouver company’s cufflinks range from the cool-retro to the laugh-out-loud funny. There’s a style for every personality: look to faceted skulls for the badass on your list; poker chips or card suits for the guy who’d rather be in Vegas; the gearshift or odometer motif for the car nut; and Lego for the man-child.
Shiny Fuzzy Muddy
December 14 and 15 at Heritage Hall
Bronsino Designs: Denise Wilson is a mainstay on the makie scene because her purses and totes, crafted from buttery leather, are as practical as they are aesthetically pleasing. Whether it’s cross-body bags that convert into belt bags, or sling bags that convert to clutches, these are looks that will take you from your bike commute to work to a night out clubbing. Colours include basic blacks, but we know you want the vibrant blue or red versions.
We Are Stories: Tracy Fillion’s apparel is all about the fabric: based in a studio in the bush near Nelson and using natural dyeing and eco-printing on sustainable fibres, she creates truly one-off designs, all with the magic of botanicals, plant matter, and minerals. Think easy-chic linen smock dresses and drop-shoulder jackets, or bamboo-merino turtlenecks.
Weirdos Holiday Market
December 14 and 15 at Ukrainian Cathedral Hall
Mush Appreciated: Got a fetish for fungi? Living up to the theme of the season’s most offbeat holiday fair, Talya Florian fashions pendants out of—yes—locally foraged mushrooms, often set in resin or in delicate wood ovals. Each comes with a description of the species, and will leave you wanting morel.