The Telegram (St. John's)
Local designer headed to NY Fashion Week
MJ Couch’s Melanie Jacqueline designs caught the eye of international fashion curators
Local clothing designer MJ Couch admits she got goosebumps when she read a recent e-mail she received out of the blue from Oxford Fashion Studio about an upcoming runway show in New York.
A team of curators had seen Couch’s pieces online and felt her designs and bright colours would be a perfect match for the studio’s upcoming show, to be held during New York Fashion Week in September.
“As you can imagine, I was thrilled!,” an excited Couch said Friday. “It’s incredible! A rare and exciting opportunity for me.”
Couch is a native of Deer Lake who grew up learning how to sew from her seamstress mother. A former primary school teacher, Couch experimented with fabric and took a course in fashion design at the Anna Templeton Centre before opening Melanie Jacqueline, a drop-in studio and boutique on Duckworth Street selling her line of clothing by the same name, in 2011.
For the most part, Melanie Jacqueline pieces are custom designs and one-offs, designed and created by hand by Couch. Her focus is on easy-to-wear stretchy knit fabrics, bright colours and novelty prints; polka dots have come to be her signature.
Couch, a mother of two, will be showing six pieces in the Oxford Fashion Studio show in New York.
“The pieces will remain a secret until the photos are released after the show,” she said. “What I can tell you is there are definitely polka dots present in a few (of them), true to form.”
Oxford Fashion Studio is a London-based agency that curates runway shows featuring designers from around the world. According to its website, its curators review more than 8,000 designers every year, and issue invitations to those it feels are extraordinary and original. This fall, it will present shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Couch says she’s overwhelmed with the support she has already received from family, friends, clients and local businesses, who have come together to organize a fundraising event to help her with the costs associated with getting to New York. They are selling tickets on a range of prizes, including a custom Melanie Jacqueline dress. More information is available online at http:// bit.ly/2ujopag .
“As you can imagine, I was thrilled! … It’s incredible! A rare and exciting opportunity for me.” MJ Couch