If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid (I’ve been one three times), there’s a good chance you’ve dropped money on a dress that has never seen the light of day again. Now, that doesn’t have to be the case – if you’re a bride-to-be, may I suggest choosing a dress or style that can truly be worn again. And that’s the reason I fell in love with the contemporary dresses from Vancouver-based Park & Fifth by Zoe Tisshaw – former Style Spy contributor. I may be slightly bias – I know how dedicated and talented Zoe is. These dresses are on point for the modern bridesmaid or even wedding guests or anyone looking for something for a formal occasion like grad or engagement party.
What drove you to create Park & Fifth? How did the line come about?
Although the company was officially created in December 2015, it unofficially began when I was just out of high school making custom dresses for friends in my spare time, a few of which ended up being bridesmaids dresses!
In the years following, while I pursued both an entrepreneurial venture and a corporate role, the idea of a dress line kept coming back to me. I had so many friends asking me where to get a dress in Vancouver, or sometimes if I could just make their bridesmaids dresses. Although I loved designing and conceptualizing the dresses, pattern making and sewing was not my strong suit, so I often declined. One day this past November, I finally decided to quit my career as a fashion buyer and invest my savings into developing products for a dress and separates company – Park & Fifth was born. I brought on a business partner in March and together we’ve worked towards launching the Spring Summer 2016 collection.
Although our current collection has been focused primarily on the market of bridesmaids and wedding attendees, the vision for the company is to be a destination for beautiful and re-wearable dresses and separates for various year round occasions and even day-to-day wear. We are striving to be a conscious and sustainable fashion brand that produces locally and pays living wages for all of our production.
Who is the Park & Fifth girl?
She does things a little differently. She is fashionable, yes, but also curious to know where her clothing comes from and how it’s made. Whether it’s for a special event or just looking fabulous every day à la Carrie Bradshaw, the Park & Fifth girl wants to invest in pieces she can wear over again,
What are some contemporary and modern bridesmaids trends you are seeing?
Crop tops and skirts as well as white bridesmaids dresses are both notable, and in our opinion, pretty awesome trends right now. We love separates because together they are great for bridesmaids and apart they can be worn for many different activities.
Mix and match tones are also a great wedding trend right now. Many brides are giving their ladies a colour scheme to work within and letting them find the dress that suits their style and budget the most. We appreciate that a lot! It’s nearly impossible to find one dress that everyone feels amazing in, and mixing up the tones can look perfectly imperfect.
How do brides opt for a contemporary and modern bridal look while touching on tradition?
Relaxed or minimal pieces can be transformed with accessories and a bouquet to touch on tradition while also being able to transform into a more casual outfit. Start by looking at a dress and imagining it existing in other settings than just at a wedding. If you can, that’s a great start to “modern bridal.”
Oftentimes, we think of bridesmaids dresses as one-time wear only, how does your dress collection change that perception?
We have based the company’s existence on re-wearable dresses and separates, aiming to show how pieces can transform from ceremony day to street-style. All of our styles are created with this in mind, making sure we can see each piece in various settings and not just for a single occasion.
Where do you find inspiration before you start sketching?
Everywhere! Movies, people-watching, social media, and friends. We look at what people are choosing to wear day-to-day on their own accord and bring pieces inspired by that into the bridesmaid marketplace.
Tell us about the materials you use to construct Park & Fifth dresses?
For the majority of our styles we use matte crepes in a muted colour palette, but have also created some ready-to-wear designs in linen, geometric lace, and suiting fabrics. Our more casual styles are currently unreleased but coming soon – keep an eye out in July for some exciting new pieces!
How do brides and bridesmaids order a Park & Fifth dress? Walk us through the process and timing.
Our e-commerce will only have stock that is currently in our inventory. We will also be found all around Vancouver for special pop up shops and shopping events! Follow on Instagram for all the upcoming appearances – @parkandfifthco. We would like to enter into the custom bridesmaid dress market sometime soon, but that’s still in the future for us!
What’s next for Park & Fifth?
We have just launched our e-commerce site and are eager to build on the current selection, including new styles and colours for late summer and into fall. In addition to breaking into custom bridesmaid dresses, we are looking forward to entering the modern bridal market with wedding dresses that are beautifully simple, and – sticking with our company vision – even re-wearable.
Park & Fifth sample sale alert!
Park & Fifth is having a sample and inventory sale on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Samples will be up to 70% off and all inventory will be 15 to 40% off. Visit the studio at #705-207 West Hastings St. in the Dominion Heritage Building in Vancouver.