When it comes to completing your spring look with just the right accessories, you needn’t look very far. Vancouver is teeming with totally amazing designers. Here are three of our favourites this season.
Hive Mind Millinery
There seems to be a misconception in this city that the only hats you should rock are straw fedoras in the spring/summer and Amish-inspired wide-brims in fall/winter (thank you, Mumford & Sons). But local designer Dominique Hanke wants to change all that. Her handcrafted Hive Mind Millinery creations respect and adhere to the art of traditional millinery; she’s just turning it on its head by mixing fabrics and using bright, unexpected colours. She’s calling her label’s mission this season the “rebirth of millinery”.
Her Candy Caper ($275), for example, honours the classic bowler shape, only the rim is powder-blue felt, the crown is baby-pink straw, and the trim is silver-grey ribbon. Think A Clockwork Orange meets Hello Kitty: a little bit dystopian badass, but in a super-sweet, pop-punk kind of way. Then there’s her show-stopping Good Vibrations fascinator ($235). With a nod to the ’80s, this pink-rimmed, paint-splattered disk sits on the side of your head. It’s regal enough for Kate Middleton, yet edgy enough for Karen O.
Hanke’s signature piece, though, has to be the Red Rover ($375), an eye-popping red and black crinoline fascinator with a genuine raccoon skull centrepiece. (No animals were hurt in the making of this headpiece: the masked critter met his demise under the wheels of a car long before Hanke came along.)
So what can one of these daring pieces—which are sold exclusively through Hanke’s website (hivemindmillinery.com/)—do for your spring look?
“It pulls the eye up,” says Hanke, who recently sat down with the Straight to talk headwear. “It can balance out your outfit as well, in the same way a good pair of shoes can. You just put your basics on, then add some beautiful, well-crafted shoes, and it makes a strong statement.”
Davie & Chiyo
This spring it’s all about the clutch, and Davie & Chiyo has got you covered. Primarily a bridal accessories brand, this Vancouver-based label that launched in 2008 has had a bit of a head start on the envelope clutch craze.
“We kind of made those thinking they’d be popular for bridal—just for those edgier brides,” says cofounder Fumi Bull, who recently chatted with the Straight about the brand’s strapless wonders. “But we’re finding they’re actually more popular with everyday people—even the white ones.”
If virginal white isn’t your thing, you can pick up one of these flat handhelds in a variety of solid spring-fresh colours, including bright coral and canary yellow ($88 through www.davieandchiyo.com/).
Another big hit is the petite ruche clutch made from upcycled vintage silk kimonos ($78). It comes in several gorgeous, limited-edition prints that may seem a way’s off from the world of holy matrimony fashion, but as Bull explains, her company has come full circle in a sense.
“We originally started out with the kimono ones, but we found that people were constantly asking for multiples [of solid colours] for their bridesmaids—it was like, ‘My bridesmaids, my bridesmaids, my bridesmaids,’ ” Bull says with a laugh. “So then we just started catering toward brides and bridesmaids. It’s only just recently that we’ve started trying to get back to our roots by adding some of these back in.”
Daub + Design
It’s almost time to put away that woolly pashmina and start thinking about something lighter to top off your look. Vancouver swimsuit and accessories designer Lexi Soukoreff has the perfect solution. Her 2013 spring/summer Daub + Design collection includes a line of lovely, lightweight, organic cotton Brenna scarves that get softer as time goes on ($64 at select boutiques including Twigg & Hottie [3671 Main Street], Adhesif Clothing [2202 Main Street], and Dream Apparel [311 West Cordova Street]).
As with her bikinis, Soukoreff tie-dyes every piece by hand, and her colour palette is gorgeous. There’s red with Aztec gold and hits of lavender. Another standout is a stunning turquoise mixed with bright purples. In terms of patterns, these aren’t your typical Grateful Dead dye jobs—the beautifully blended, impressionistic prints are way more chic than the hippie-dippie rainbows of yesteryear.
Bonus: the scarves are 42-by-42-inch squares, so there’s plenty of airy fabric to create an easy, breezy gathering around your neck. And unlike at many big textile-colouring plants, Soukoreff’s process is ecofriendly.
“With every bath, I only use just the right amount of dye, so I’m not dumping extra dye down the drain,” says Soukoreff, who recently met with the Straight at an East Van café. “And I’m not using any heavy chemicals or solvents. It’s just set with simple stuff that you can find in your kitchen.”