Vancouver Fashion Week SS24 Interview w/ Designer Cassandra of Old Fashioned Standards (Canada)

Old Fashioned Standards will be showing their new collection on the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week FW 24 on Friday, April 26th at 5:40 P.M. Purchase tickets HERE!

Update FW 2024 -

This collection is dedicated to my Grammy - Marie Forrest - who just recently passed, she was one of my most favorite people in this life. Being back in her town flooded me with nostalgia of a time in my younger life when I used to spend every summer with her getting grubby in the garden, swimming at the dam, and ripping around my cousin’s farm and being my Grammy’s little shadow everyday. Observing her interactions with friends and community members revealed to me just how important her role was in the community and how cherished she was by everyone. This always brought a big smile. She has always taught me what it meant to work hard, but also play hard. Each look of this collection is a special ode to my Gramma in a unique way. Please enjoy this special dedication.
From the VFW Website - 

Cassandra, a distinguished local designer, specializes in the creation of meticulously handcrafted workwear-inspired fashion. Her unwavering commitment to precision and quality is evident in every facet of her process, from the intricate art of hand-drafting patterns to the precise stages of cutting, sampling, and sewing, all conducted at her downtown studio.

With over a decade of expertise in tailoring made to order and custom fit garments, Old Fashioned Standards (OFS) has curated a unique fit and style, thoughtfully tailored to accommodate a wide spectrum of body shapes and sizes.

Cassandra aims to provide individuals with garments that not only fit impeccably but also embody them with comfort and confidence. Looking to the future, Cassandra envisions international collaborations and forging partnerships with esteemed international stockists, propelling OFS into a new era of global recognition.

Interview - October 2023

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

Well I guess it all started as a kid, my mom always had a sewing room growing up and that sparked my interest pretty young. I started making my own custom outfits as a young teen and by the time I was in grade 12, I was obsessed and it occupied a lot of my brain. By the time I graduated I had my mind set and, contrary to the people’s choice, I enrolled in fashion design. 

I moved out to Vancouver at 18 and put myself through College at VCC and it was the best choice I could have made. During my first year at VCC I scored my first industrial single needle and serger off craigslist. From that day on, my bedroom was never a bedroom again. I was happy to sleep under the cutting if it meant I had my own work space. After graduation I got some pretty neat jobs in the industry and alongside that I always had my side hustle going making custom pieces, hemming and repairing denim, but by the end of 2012 I found a real studio and officially started OFS.

How did you learn your skills? 

I am both self taught and I studied at Vancouver Community College from 2009-2011


Who are you as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand?

The pillars of OFS: Fun, Sustainable, Inclusive, Timeless, Handcrafted

My brand is an extension of me as a person, so the aesthetic naturally is a reflection of my lifestyle and things that inspire me or mean a lot to me. Each garment or piece must have the 3 F’s - fit, function and fashion.  As a designer, I think my process comes from texture or emotion, how a certain material or cut or fit will make you feel. Everything has to be made with purpose and I handcraft every single piece to ensure the highest quality and consistency to my customers. 

My brand stands for inclusivity. We have been gender neutral with our sizing, style, and branding since inception. Our clothing is for anyone who relates to this style. Our customers are amazing and a wide range in age and mostly share the same ethos. They care about how garments are made, they care about sustainability, quality longevity, and community.

What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest?

What comes easiest to me is the creation of designs - from the initial design and pattern drafting (of course there are challenges in hand drafting but I love it ) to finished sewn products. What is hardest for me is illustration. It's so hard to make it look to scale, with movement, and style. It’s the worst part for me. I normally just design in my head and then hand draw a technical flat or a sketchy flat to attach to the pattern so I know which one it is later down the road.

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How important is color to your design process?

I love color. Each ‘season’ to me has a vibe of color or texture. Either my design inspires the color pallet or vice versa. I love working with textures, stripes, and using contrast stitching in a unique way. Inspiration for a collection comes with the ebbs and flows of life, or change of season, or collective colors or expression I see biking around. I form most of my designs biking to and from work, but also usually get my ideas for the next season while designing the currency season.


Readers would love to know more about the current collection you showed at Vancouver Fashion Week.

This is my first time at VFW so I am very excited. The collection is called "Signature Series” and it marks OFS’s grand entrance onto the runway, representing a natural progression after more than a decade of cultivating, honing, and elevating my brand. 

This collection encapsulates the rich tapestry and creative diversity that OFS contributes to the workwear domain. With a nod to vintage styles and finishes, I have infused my distinctive touch of inclusivity into the fit and style of these fashions. Dressing it up or dressing it down Workwear is for any facet of life and this collection features selvedge denim, waxed cotton, upcycled and patch work materials. Please join us on October 18th and enjoy our runway debut.

Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

Ooof that is tough. I honestly love everything and each look has a essential role to the collection. There is an outfit for every occasion and any job or hobby. But two pieces that feel extra special, or that I have been trying to make for years but never seemed like there was enough time, are the quilted raincoat, quilted together using all waxed cotton scraps, and the short sleeve coveralls made in Japanese selvedge denim. But I honestly love them all.

Where can readers purchase your designs?

I sell directly to customers online or through my studio downtown, where this collection will be sold exclusively. OFS is also sold at Eugene Choo year round.

What's next for you as a designer and your brand?

By taking this opportunity to show at VFW, I want to continue saying yes to different opportunities and grow my brand internationally. I would love to sell in Japan, the U.K or somewhere in the states. I want to just keep growing and expanding slowly, and travel more this year to meet new people and plant more seeds.

In closing is there anything else you'd like to share with readers?

Remember everything we make is made for a good time, and handcrafted to last a lifetime. Follow us on Instragram to keep up with what we're doing, or sign up for our newsletter on our website. Thanks so much for the read, and the support.

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