Transforming fashion's undergarment wasteland

What to do with all those unmentionables that never see the light of day? Well turn them into art, of course!

That's the general concept behind Wendy van Riesen's Vancouver-based clothing line, Dahlia Drive. Named after the flower of the same name, as well as the street she grew up on, Dahlia Drive transforms forgotten vintage slips into one-of-a-kind pieces. Found items often retain their original shape and cut, but Wendy adds unique dyes and prints to transform these seemingly basic items into eye-catching fashion statements.

Not content with simply making dashing garments for women of all shapes and sizes to wear, Wendy also uses her stylish skills to participate in charity events. She has collaborated twice with Rose Charities, a non-profit which provides education, counseling, emergency relief, medical care and surgeries to impoverished areas all over the world. Most recently, Wendy teamed up with Vancouver's A Loving Spoonful, which provides free, nutritious meals to those living with HIV in the area. For each of these involvements, Wendy has created truly limited edition items, which were auctioned to raise thousands for these worthwhile organizations.

Her background in theater serves as a constant inspiration while providing a hands-on approach to transforming the abstract into concrete designs. Leonardo da Vinci, one of her "magnificent" influences would be proud. She uses the Dali Lama's "we're here to help" motto as a symbol for the Dahlia Drive line -- being gentle on the earth yet celebrating the beauty of the female form. Riesen also uses images of bones and organs as a testament to the flesh and blood living beneath her clolthes. Of course, nature makes an appearance in the form of leaves, trees, and flower buds. No matter your personal taste, finding a Dahlia Drive slip that is flattering for your figure and wardrobe is easy and affordable.

Available at select stores and markets in Vancouver, you can also purchase the Dahlia Drive collection via the company's website. Within the online catalog, you will find a range of slips available in a variety of shapes and styles, accompanied by helpful visuals and measurements. Scroll down and you will find a gallery of previously sold slips, as well as pictures of proud women wearing their purchased creations. From age twenty to seventy, you will find all types of ladies embracing their natural beauty and inner confidence, thanks to their Dahlia Drive garments.

Affordable art, integrity, vision, curves, and the environment are all rolled into one satiny smooth creation, each as unique as the woman wearing it-- Dahlia Drive embodies it all beautifully.

Victoria Everman is a freelance writer, model, on-camera personality and founder of the San Francisco Craft Mafia.