fashion magazine
Boy meets Girl. City embraces Designer.
By NATASHA BHATNAGAR
Photography by JEFF PETRY @ Nobasura
Boy meets girl. Girl likes boy. They decide to get together and it's been a love affair ever since. We're not talking relationships; we're talking style - the signature style of Judith Feller to be exact. The creative genius is best known for her independent clothing line lily +jae. This year the beloved Vancouver designer has decided to take a slight step back from the successful label to focus on family life, but continues to keep her foot in the fashion door by designing a Spring|Summer 2012 womenswear line for Lifetime Collective.

Feller began her love of fashion in high school. "I used to love collecting fabric and making clothes for my god daughter. This is when I decided I should educate myself in the field". She went on to study at Vancouver's Helen Lefaux School of Fashion Design. Shortly after, the determined student began an internship only to get discouraged by the competitive industry here. Taking a somewhat different turn, the would-be designer plunged into the film industry as a costumer - a profession she stayed in for over five years. Long and grueling hours on set were a daily demand time until in 2004, when Feller took a break to re-focus on her first love. The designer started an embellished tank top line titled "love judy," but wound up back in the film industry until lily +jae was launched in 2006.

This highly successful line had modest beginnings. "It started really small, alone and from my home. Season by season the brand grew into itself. We went from a nine piece collection to 18 to 35 in just a few seasons. Eventually we settled around the 35 piece size which was large enough to cater to some bigger showrooms and shops". Not only did lily +jae distribute in Canada, but they flourished across North America and into Asia. When asked how she got her collection into Aritzia, Feller claims she sent catalogues for six seasons before Aritzia even took notice.

As the designer decided to wind down lily +jae in response to the demands of being a new mom, the creative forces behind Lifetime Collective approached her. "They had a desire to expand on the women's division. It seemed like a great fit and perfect timing. Their customer is very much like the lily + jae customer. Although she has a bit less disposable income, she is still after a unique individual style." The new Lifetime Collective Spring|Summer 2012 collection is reminiscent of lily + jae - tomboy meets stylish girl. However, this new collection has an artsy flare. There is a collaborative feeling of vintage and new tied together with a level of comfort for the wearer. It is effortless.

Judith Feller has punctuated the Vancouver Fashion industry with a style only she can channel. Her designs are worn throughout the world and for good reason. At its core is the new age woman: a mix of everything and anything, new and old, feminine and masculine without compromising comfort. Feller plans on designing for at least the next five years here in Vancouver. The city's fashion industry she once shied away from as a hopeful student has embraced her talent as the industry itself evolves and grows. "I think it's a more accepting market than it ever was. People in Vancouver seem really excited to support their local artists and designers which is great. It encourages more and means that there's a place for artists and designers".

You can view Judith Feller's new collection at www.lifetimecollective.com