Wear your heart on your handbag; Montreal-made leisurewear that you can share with your partner; the next generation of charm bracelets.
When Alexandra Watson moved in with her boyfriend, the 25-year-old fashion designer was at a loss for cozy clothing she could lounge around the house in that also made her feel cute—so she decided to create her own.
The result was Atelier Aleur, a line of elevated loungewear—including silky robes, loose pants and oversized sweaters—that offers coziness and chicness in equal measure. “When [you] come home [from work], that feeling of changing into clothes that you’ve wanted to wear all day is the best feeling in the world, and that’s what I strive to make for people,” she says. Atelier Aleur is among a cohort of brands, such as Baserange and Olympia Activewear, that are rebelling against the ubiquity of athleisurewear by offering garments that focus on comfort but look about as far away from a grungy pair of pilling grey sweatpants as you can imagine.
Watson, who is from Waterloo, Ont., started the label when she settled in Montreal after a stint in London, England, doing design internships and working on the sales floor at Rag & Bone. Her design process begins with picking out a fabric and letting the feel of the material guide her ideas. She visits warehouses around Montreal and purchases dead stock and overstock fabrics that are exorbitantly soft. Atelier Aleur pieces are intended to be shared back and forth between you and a partner, and the generous cuts emphasize their genderless design. After all, there’s nothing sexier than sharing a pair of sweatpants—especially if they don’t even look like sweatpants. —Isabel B. Slone