Adhesif Spring/Summer 2010: Vintage, Post-Victorian Eco Fashion from Vancouver

This is my favorite look (Pause blouse and Spin skirt) of the S/S ’10 Collection; a perfect feminine shape plus madcap mixed pattern. What could be more appropriately 2010?

The Adhesif Spring/Summer 2010 collection is a riot of color, pattern, and vintage loveliness, for which it’s been getting lots of attention recently (I think you can see why from the pix above and below). I caught up with the label’s designer, Melissa Ferreira, to find out how she does what she does so well.

adhesif, present and future, is inspired by the past, which is apropos as Melissa designs with vintage fabrics, making her line very green, as no new fabrics need to be created. While many designers might find this limiting, Melissa says “I never run out of ideas or inspiration. Much of my inspiration is attributed to vintage clothing and old black and white films, the costumes from 1950’s are just mind boggling!”

“My favourite design from my Spring 2010 Collection is the Suspend Shorts! (Pictured above) I just LOVE the high waist line and the shorts look so cute with tights and slouchy boots,” says adhesif designer Melissa Ferreira.

Designing clothing well involves just as much creative detail work as that which goes into a painting, piece of music, or prose writing, and Melissa seems to have the creative balance down- part hard work, part pure inspiration. “In essence the designs really choose their wearers and not the other way around. I often feel my designs have little breaths all their own,” says Melissa.

Melissa’s designs are both flattering and simple, depending on the explosive prints as almost an afterthought. Often highly-patterned clothing leans too much on it’s funkiness and too little on solid lines and drape, but adhesif doesn’t fall into this trap. The decorative fabrics are simply an embellishment of real shapes.

The Whirl Bubble blouse has an overlay of black lace, which is inherently feminine and timeless and also a big Spring trend.

Melissa also relies on textiles that come with a bit of form built in. “I typically like to work with really structured textiles like Melton wool, vintage denim (that I like to hand dye) and currently, bark cloth.” “Although I have my top secret sources for my very excellent and rare fabric finds, I do frequent vintage clothing boutiques and second hand shops. Yes, I’d say I do consider myself a fabric collector! I just love the thrill of the hunt, I attribute this to my time working as a vintage clothing buyer.”

The Ballet Bubble dress is incredibly playful while still being quite wearable.

adhesif is the French word for adhesive, and Melissa says part of the naming is in homage to her hometown of Montreal. “Originally I thought it would be kind of funny to name a clothing label after something that temporarily sticks onto a surface (which really is what clothing does, isn’t it?)

Picture 3
Melissa Ferreira (left) who wears mostly vintage clothing inspired by the 40’s and 60’s as well as her own designs.

What’s next for adhesif? “Fall 2010 is 30’s-inspired,” says Melissa.

See more of adhesif’s current and previous collections here, and you can buy them all on Etsy and here.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.