True patriot love
“I live in dresses, but this elegant, edgy pantsuit—with its asymmetrical details and voluminous sleeves—had me at ‘red viscose jacquard.’ The light-as-a-feather fabric moves beautifully.” “Wearing an unconventional ‘fashion’ piece can be intimidating, but the Markoo girls have fit down to a science. I felt cool and, dare I say, sexy all night.” “Anyone who knows me knows I love a sack dress. This elevated shirt dress was the perfect mix of comfort and fashion. I felt like myself, which is really important for me.” “I felt like a ’70s disco diva meets extremely glamorous house painter—very foxy, but also cool because the silhouette is so unexpected.”
THE PANTSUIT SID NEIGUM Chosen by: Laura deCarufel, editor-in-chief
Laura on Sid Neigum: I’ve been a Sid Neigum fan since he burst onto the style scene in 2012, winning the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) New Labels award and announcing his ambition to be great via sculptural wearable art inspired by modular origami. Net-A- Porter, the giant fashion e- comm site, just picked up Neigum’s Fall 2017 collection—a business game changer, according to the designer. I called him recently to talk about what’s new and what’s next. What does it mean to you to be a Canadian designer? “I’ve been really lucky—I’ve had amazing support from TFI and different competitions. I’ve also realized that in order to make it, you need to travel to where the [international buyers] are. This coming season will be my 10th time going to Paris for Fashion Week. When I first started going, I was part of a multi-brand showroom—people would be coming from Margiela to see mine.” That must have been wild!
“Totally. You feel like, ‘Okay, I know nothing.’ But that’s what drives you forward— being exposed to that makes you better. Now I set up rogue showrooms in an Airbnb with racks and a fit model and do appointments there. I feel like I’m finally figuring out what people want and how it fits into what I do. I want to dress people, I want to make cool, conceptual pieces and I want to have people wearing my clothes and feeling good in them.” What was your fall inspiration? “I wanted to experiment with more fluid fabrics—so instead of using a double-bonded, structured fabric, I tried the same pattern in a velvet that has no structure at all. It’s interesting to apply your DNA in a different way.” How are you celebrating Canada Day? “I haven’t thought about that! I’ll probably have a few drinks— hopefully not in the studio!”
THE MINI DRESS MARKOO
Chosen by: Jillian
Vieira, fashion editor
Jillian on Markoo: I’ve been championing Markoo, an ultra-contemporary, downtown-girl brand designed by Toronto duo Tania Martins and Mona Koochek, since its inception four years ago. For me, as a stylist, the line’s offbeat approach to fabric construction has always made an impression ( I even put a sumptuous suede dress of theirs on our most recent cover of The Kit Compact). As is the case for many Canadian fashion brands, though, mass perception and therefore appreciation, has been a slow burn. But insiders know that Markoo is a couple big e- comm-buys-slash- endorsements from blowing up into Ellery or Molly Goddard territory. I connected with Koochek by phone. I can’t get enough of the innovation in this collection, from the totally obscure bubblewrap-like material to the oversized, detachable pockets. How has your design approach evolved from day one? “Starting with this collection, one of the things we are trying to do going forward is combine something utilitarian and very street with something that is more feminine and luxurious. For city women, there’s a hustle and bustle, and you’re always on the go. But we want to bring back a bit of that romance to the everyday.”
How do you see the brand’s progression over the next couple
years? “There is a pretty solid plan developing: We’re most likely going to move our base to London, England. It’s been a struggle for us to get people to take a chance on us here. If we didn’t work on custom orders, we wouldn’t have had enough cash flow to keep making collections.” There are so many challenges for Canadian designers. What are some of the fortunes you’ve experienced? “Locally, we have a cult following, a community of really cool women who have supported the brand and kept us alive. We consider you among those girls who have always been ‘I love what you guys do.’ It’s been amazing getting a lot of support on the ground.” How will you two be celebrating Canada
Day this year? “Our lookbook shoot is shortly after, so we’ll be working [ laughs]. But we’re also going to have a big downtown barbecue on my rooftop. We’re building a 10-foot table for our patio!”
THE JUMPSUIT HORSES ATELIER
Chosen by: Rani Sheen, beauty director
Rani on Horses Atelier: Heidi Sopinka and Claudia Dey have a knack for making clothes that leave an impression without trying too hard— Feist thinks so, too (she’s wearing Horses on the cover of her new album, Pleasure). A design team since 2012, Sopinka and Dey don’t confine their creativity to fashion—they’ve created theatre costumes and both have novels in the works. I talked with Dey about jumpsuits, biking to work and Canada Day plans.
Horses is known for incredible jumpsuits. How do you approach designing them? “We always work from the values we hold dear: utility, versatility, timelessness. We love a minimalist approach, seeing the overalls standing nearly alone, as you styled them; we also love to see them with our highcollar blouse and a vintage heel.” What does it mean to you to be a
Canadian designer? “We’re more proud than ever to be living, working and raising our children in Canada. Every step of our design process occurs here—we can ride our bicycles to the factory that sews our pieces. The Horses woman cares about where a piece was made.”
How else would you describe the
Horses woman? “She might be an architect, potter, painter, doctor, banker, journalist, mother, grandmother. She’s an autonomous thinker. She doesn’t follow trends; for her, style is autobiography and she is scripting it rather than buying it.” What’s your inspiration for fall?
“The character Nedra from James
Salter’s novel Light Years. Thatching, weaving, origins. And our grandmothers, who were master seamstresses.” How are you celebr at ing
Canada Day? “I’ll be going up north. There will be a bonfire in a field, a cookout, beautiful wine and stargazing.” THE SHIRT DRESS PINK TARTAN Chosen by: Jessica Hotson, creative director
Jessica on Pink Tartan: Since launching in 2002, Pink Tartan has emerged as an icon of casual cool in the Canadian fashion landscape. I love the brand’s breezy, minimalist separates— and so do celebs like Charlize Theron and Kim Cattrall. I chatted with president and head designer Kim Newport- Mimran about s tyle and sustainability. How important is being a designer in Canada to you? “Ca n ada is an amazing place to live and work, especially when I look at what’s going on in the world. I recently made a conscious decision to move production back to Canada—we were about 75 per cent offshore, and now we’re going to be 80 per cent produced here. We’re working with recycled fabrics and organic material so that we’re reducing pesticides. Having pieces made in my backyard gives me more access to the development process from start to finish.” That must really change how you work. “It’s like a breath of fresh air for me because I’m not getting on a plane and travelling for 20 hours to look at products. It’s wonderful working with Canadian manufacturers— a lot of them are here because they love apparel, and that comes through in their work.” What’s your design philosophy?
“I design clothes that I love to live in. That’s probably what makes my clothes so wearable—they have to stand up to what happens in my day and my lifestyle. I’m designing a lot more in season instead of designing a whole collection that doesn’t get produced for a season out. I’m taking a much more lifestyle approach to the brand because that’s how I’m feeling.” What are your Canada Day plans?
“It’s actually my anniversary! This year one of my closest friends is celebrating a big birthday, and I’m going to be in the South of France on Canada Day. I can never forget my anniversary, and I always get a long weekend, so I think I planned that well!”
PINK TARTAN DRESS, $245, BELT, $125, PINKTARTAN.CA. ALDO SHOES, $85, ALDOSHOES.COM SID NEIGUM TOP, $793, PANTS, $813, BOUTIQUE 1. POPPY FINCH NECKLACE, $960, POPPYFINCH.COM. ALDO SHOES, $80, ALDOSHOES.COM
HORSES ATELIER OVERALLS, $375, HORSESATELIER. COM. BIKO BRACELETS, $65 EACH, ILOVEBIKO.COM.
ALDO SHOES, $80, ALDOSHOES.COM
MARKOO DRESS, PRICE UPON REQUEST, INFO@ MARKOOSTUDIOS.COM