Friday, October 8, 2010

Time Travel with Prophetik Menswear at Vancouver Eco Fashion Week

"Why present genuine ideas & true character if artificial ones are more effective in the marketplace of power? There is a war at hand between the balance of the needs of the individual and the needs of the community between freedom and order between passions and principles between selfish desires and stewardship short term verses long term. Community needs leadership either steer the changes shaping the vision or be steered by the changes thus leading to dysfunction. We can either wait for change to be imposed upon us and so increase the risk of catastrophe or we can make some difficult changes on our own terms and so reclaim control of our destiny. The glittering blinding promise of easy fulfillment is so seductive that we become willing to forget our true feelings and abandon the search for authentic purpose and meaning in our lives but the promise is always false because the hunger for authenticity remains."

If you asked fashion industry experts where they would find the next big thing or the next big designer, you'd probably hear  the usual cities like New York, Los Angeles, London, Milan or Paris. Who knew that a American civil war town whose population is about 55,000 could produce a designer whose impeccable attention to detail and forward thinking will be admired for years to come. American designer Jeff Garner’s Prophetik, a men’s and women's line has that theatrical, romantic and renaissance feel that you only see in film, plays or musicals. 

Out of Franklin, Tennessee this line blows my mind away with a number of pieces that can either be worn as separates or as a whole ensemble. In talking to Jeff Garner, he casually mentions that "the goal is not necessarily to have guys wear and look like everything on the runway but rather for them to take pieces from the collection and individualizing it by combining it with what one already has." The clothes are all made out of organic natural fabrics which are dip-dyed with botanically derived pigments. 

Seeing brands Prophetik take a bold step in eco-menswear gives me hope for future. "The trigger for change is education" according to Garner. "We all have dress behaviors which come from what we see in the media and our own social environments. We pick it up and make it our own. If we are educated on eco-conscious options, we can make the right choices." 

Jeff and I also got talking about the marketability of the line. People who saw the show are probably wondering whether guys would actually buy it. Its eccentric, unique and non-conventional. And Garner's response to that is "Men buy visually. They want to see it merchandised on mannequins or worn by other men. I don't expect men to dress like me or like the models on the runway. I want them to see the pieces, inspire them, and make it their own." 

There's also a health benefit to wearing eco-menswear. In his powerful video, Jeff talks about a sample maker who gets sick from inhaling fibers from non-organic and chemically dyed fabrics. This just proves there's more to the article of clothing we wear that as individuals we don't know about. 

I loved everything about this line from the looks to the actual pieces. To Jeff and Prophetik, I look forward to your success. 

Here are my favorites:

Photos by Peter Holst

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