Fashion forward from Whistler 

Designer with local roots comes home to showcase her clothing line during World Ski and Snowboard Festival

What: Fashion Exposed

When: Friday, April 18, doors at 8 p.m.

Where: TELUS Conference Centre

Tickets: $15 at Whistler Activity Centre

Anyone who has waited in a lift line knows that fashion is a big part of mountain culture. People sporting neon ’80s throwbacks, sashaying down the slopes are a prime example of an adventurous attitude towards not only life, but style, in Whistler.

Fashion aficionado’s will have the chance to check out the latest trends at this year’s Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival (TWSSF), with the 2008 Fashion Exposed showcase, which features 18 leading clothing brands that specialize in snow sports, and street and urban culture.

Lisa Richardson, communications director for the festival, says self-expression is a fundamental theme in the TWSSF, and explains that organizers really want to showcase the progression of all mountain culture, whether it falls under the category of arts, athletics or fashion.

“For the street artists who are being showcased in BRAVEart, its sort of spray paint and working with really odd canvases,” Richardson said.

“…In fringe cultures, like where we’re at, you start to see a lot of crossover where people are picking things up, and so that innovation is really exciting to see, and the fashion is just an obvious extension of that.”

On the West Coast, there is a lot of emphasis placed on making sure clothes are functional and can stand up to the elements. But there are a handful of creative people taking their designs to the next step, making them creative and fashionable, too.

“I think we’re really living in a time where fashion is really a combination of both, especially in the mountains, and that’s what’s cool about Jude’s designs,” said Richardson.

Jude is former Whistlerite Judith Feller, founder of Lily & Jae line of fashions. Feller is getting a chance at this year’s festival to show local ski bums, far and wide, what she’s made of.

This year, a panel of judges chose Lily & Jae from three finalists’ submissions and designs for her “great silhouettes and use of texture.”

Feller was born in Whistler and lived here until she was 11 years old. She then moved to Fiji for a few years before returning to B.C., where she lived in another mountain community, Nelson.

Feller went to the Helen Lefeaux fashion design school in 1999, then interned for a fashion company after she finished school.

But her initial experiences in the world of fashion design weren’t always positive.

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