Lima Al-Azzeh

Dope.Girl.Fresh Attire meets Welcome to East Van

In Vancouver Style on February 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Angie Gill & Laina Rauma with their Welcome to East Van tshirt line debut.

Last year, I interviewed the gorgeous creative brains behind Dope.Girl.Fresh Attire after Rob Geary the designer behind the Welcome to East Van tshirt line, mentioned that a collaboration for a line of girly tees was in the works. Yesterday afternoon, Laina Rauma’s unique creations made their debut at an elegantly put together one-day pop up shop located on the increasingly trendy Beatty Street.

Aside from the girls’ clear talent for design, their merchandising skills are just as impressive. The open space was clutter-free and yet filled with fun, flirty and artistic touches showcasing their clothing perfectly.

Tantalizing candies courtesy of Dope. Girl. Fresh

Guests were greeted to the impressive high-ceiling space with an appetizing teaser of martini glasses filled with colourful candies (which we sampled in spades). Angie Gill, the vintage jewellery connoisseur, greeted us warmly dressed in a signature Dope.Girl.Fresh creation, a fluorescent body-conscious dress with cutouts on the side and extending around the back. In keeping with true Dope.Girl.Fresh style, she offered shoppers a champagne cocktail to sip on while they perused the merchandise.

Champagne cocktail with hostess Angie Gill

Near the front window, Gill and Rauma made sure to display their one-of-a-kind DGF items, lots of brightly coloured items comprised of vintage finds refashioned with a modern twist and lots of  her own custom designs. My personal favourite? A high-collar, short, sheer lace mini dress, or I suppose if you’re a tall, slightly modest sort of lady, a tunic.

Michelle Gill painting mini canvases

Shoppers were also treated to fun nail art sessions hosted by Angie Gill’s younger sister, Michelle Gill, whose penchant for fluorescent colours and intricate designs on her mini canvases complemented DGF style perfectly.

Without further delay I took stock of the brand new Dope.Girl.Fresh collaboration with Welcome to East Van, impressively displayed on a clothing rack suspended from the ceiling. The challenge here was that Rauma was provided with only 10, originally men’s, Welcome to East Van tees to re-purpose into fashionable, unique shirts. When I asked Rauma about the design process she said the single most crucial aspect to consider when working with so little stock was, “you really can’t fuck this up”.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was first told that Rauma will be turning Welcome to East Van’s men’s tees into girly ones, but her designs showed that she took great creative license when it came to making each tee exceptionally feminine. Some highlights included a white t-shirt with the bottom part stripped into a neat fringe, what you can’t see from the photo here is that almost the entire back of the tshirt is given the same groovin’ fringe treatment.

Groovin' Fringe Tee

For the classic girly girl, a short, tight black tee (that seems to be nothing too out of the ordinary from the front) is given a full black lace back.

Tee with black lace back

Another bright blue shirt featured a similar charming surprise, with the back of the shirt knotted near the neck and left to drape open. Sexy surprises are always welcome.

I was happily surprised with the end result both in terms of creativity and quality. Each tshirt stood out for its own artistic merit, and Rauma was successful in turning each one into an exceptionally feminine piece. What’s even better? The tshirts were listed at an incredibly affordable price considering how much work Rauma put into designing and sewing each one.

Bow back, draped open

From humble beginnings sewing and collaborating in an apartment in the West End, to a chic, artistically inspiring one-day boutique in the middle of downtown, it’s clear that DGF is on its way up. I can’t wait to cover their next major project, which will hopefully be featured in a more permanent retail location.

See more photos from the collection on the Dope.Girl.Fresh Facebook page.

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  1. […] more here Tweet Filed in Design, apparel, art, eastvan state of mind, food & drinks, photo […]

  2. […] Lima was kind enough to drop by our shopping party, read her wonderfully written account of the day’s events here, http://ivancouverite.com/2011/02/27/dope-girl-fresh-attire-meets-welcome-to-east-van/ […]

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