For 25 years, Susan Pratt worked with the biggest fashion houses in Europe. She sat in he front row at fashion shows in Paris looking at lines she would later to bring into her shops. Prada, Fendi, Christian Dior.
Now Pratt is done with the stressful though exciting life. Instead, she is now channelling her expertise by curating a collection of used clothes at her designer consignment store on Bowen.
With Pratt’s numerous connections in the industry, she brings in buy-outs and samples and she sources products for customers, searching as far away as Alberta.
Even with secondhand clothing, you can still find the latest fall fashion trends. Pratt has kept on top of the looks of the moment.
“The big trend for fall,” Pratt says, ”is plaid — the pattern that is a must have.” That should come to a relief to everyone on who uses plaid as their fashion staple. “Plaid is the rage for women and men and kids, and it’s showing up in everything including pants and suits.”
A new look is turtlenecks worn under a bomber jacket for men or a tunic dress for women.
The looks for women, says Pratt, “are Navaho sweaters, bulky knit sweaters, and fringe. The colours are crème, burgundy, merlot, and teal.” Popular patterns are checks, plaid and animal print accents are still here.
Purses are structured and boxy, and footwear are booties as opposed to full-length boots. Women’s jackets for fall are puffy and hip length or bomber style. Bulky knit sweaters are long and she says to look for panels in the dresses’ skirts and tunics. Girls get embellishments added to their look.
Pratt is happy to have found a way to work in fashion on Bowen. She describes a harsh reality of having opened a high-end flagship franchise store on prime real estate downtown only to have the brand taken over by a company that closed all the franchises.
“It will be interesting in Vancouver as the European fashion houses are arriving,” she says.
In her heydays, she had 70 employees and stores in Hawaii, YVR and hotels, catering to international travellers. After 9/11, people weren’t travelling as much which was devastating to her stores.
Fabulous Finds has been on Bowen for the last four years and though Pratt is already looking ahead to see what new trends will roll in for spring.