Obakki’s Rustic Elegance

Treana Peake, creative director and founder of Vancouver-based design house Obakki, seems bent on a mission to embrace the world—or at least those people who wear sporty, upscale clothing. For now, Ms. Peake is focusing on breaking into the U.S. wholesale market.

Ms. Peake began Obakki in part as a way to give the Canadian fashion industry an international profile by drawing on local talent. In an interview after the exhibition of Obakki’s Spring 2009 Collection at Pier 92 in Manhattan last month, Ms. Peake told this reporter that she would soon be shooting an editorial spread for her collection that would include only Canadian models and photographers.

Ms. Peake has an infectious smile and exudes a positive understated elegance. That personality seems to transfer onto her designs’ goals. She described her men’s clothing collection as “real rustic masculine, understated clothing.” Ms. Peake went on to explain that the clothing was for that man who wants something that is easy to wear yet still looks elegant. When asked to classify her clothing line, she replied, “rustic luxury.”

Well rustic, but perhaps clothes worn while driving a sports car through the mountains.

There were a number of interesting men’s jackets in the show with downplayed colors in gray, white and brown. One short white jacket had four zippers, but they complimented the fabric well. The men’s shirts do not jump out at you, no splashy colors, but the combination of t-shirts, button up shirts, jackets and pants affirms the understated elegance that is the spring 2009 Obakki appearance.

That outdoor feel to the clothing was on display during the runway show not only in the clothes worn by the by the models, but also was serendipitously complimented when a man walked from backstage onto the runway. Ms. Peake was of course surprised as she recounted how “some guy just walked onto our show,” no security to stop him she recounted. The unidentified man looked as if he had walked off a construction or backstage area for some other event. He was lost.

Ms. Peake asked this reporter, “Did it look really bad?”

Actually it did not. The Obakki runway show ran very smoothly without any of the models missing a beat, actually fitting quite nicely into the theme of rustic elegance.

Ms. Peake also had female models in the show. Why women’s clothes for a men’s clothing runway show? She explained that Obakki’s editorial campaigns have always featured men and women, so it was only natural that the runway show would also have both.

The Obakki show clothing collection that day was smart, sexy, rustic, and with a stranger walking onto their carefully planned show, it was refreshingly spontaneous.

For more information go to Obakki.

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