Unconditional love and surrender from Nicole Bridger

Photo: www.nicolebridger.com

Nicole has come a long way from making clothes for her Barbie dolls at age eight. Five years after graduating from Ryerson University, Vancouver native Nicole Bridger is setting a new standard for style mavens.

Green Living fashion writer Victoria Evermann chatted with Nicole about her vision and various collections.

London calling
After graduation, Nicole jetted off to London for the unique opportunity to intern with cutting edge fashion icon Vivienne Westwood. From her, Nicole learned that knowing the business world is just as important as designing. Upon returning to Vancouver, Nicole teamed with Lululemon founder to create Oqoqo, the company's casual sustainable brand that is still gaining new fans.

Awards follow
After two years at Oqoqo, it was time to do her own thing. Creating her own self-titled company, the Nicole Bridger collection first premiered in Spring 2007 and won British Columbia Fashion Week's Generation Next Designer award.

Though not nearly as edgy at Vivienne Westwood, Nicole's designs clearly have their own sense of personality and passion for living life. "My designs are for a particular person. She's 35, lives a healthy lifestyle, professional, expressive, current, and daring," said Nicole in an interview last month. "I get inspired by painters such as Monet and Van Gogh. However, mostly I get my inspirations from what I am going through in life. The clothing I design portrays my emotions and life lessons. For example, my last fall collection is called Unconditional Love. For fall '08, the collection is named Surrender."

Socially conscious clothing
A strong philosophy stands behind the Nicole Bridger line. "Our philosophy is to do what's right. We create designer clothing and the socially conscious thing is just how we think everyone should be living his or her lives. We use sustainable fabrics and strive to have a positive relationship with everyone who works to create our clothing. You can trust that we are doing whatever we can to make our garments and company as eco as we can, and are always looking for ways to do it better next season."

Eco-fashion for the future
Nicole believes in the positive and puts affirmations in her clothing. "At NBD, we strongly believe that the energy that we put out into the world is important for our own spirit and for others. So we have a little affirmation label in every garment to remind you to say good things to yourself, and to have a really positive day." That uplifting concept is clearly visible in her upcoming Spring 2008 collection. Expressed with shades of white, grey, pink and blue, the collection features soft, architecturally inspired shapes that would flatter any figure.

By using sustainable fabrics and supporting ethical and local manufacturing (the entire line is produced in Vancouver), Nicole Bridger is a shining example of the future of fashion -- eco-focused or otherwise.

Victoria Everman is a freelance writer, model, on-camera personality and founder of the San Francisco Craft Mafia. She is a regular contributor to Green Living Online.