5 Canadian Designers To Know, Love, And Wear With Pride
Canada Day, everyone! Are you wearing your red and white? We certainly are! Plus some sequins for good measure.
Whether you hail from the
Great White North like I do or are just well aware that Canucks know how to celebrate, today is the day to let your maple leaf flag fly high, blast ‘Call Me Maybe’ for hours without an ounce of shame, and cool off from the 30° (Celsius!) weather with an ice cold Molson brew.
Before you do all that though, check out these five Canadian labels, some fledgling and some well-established, that make us proud to call the country home.
We share a Toronto alma mater (high school, that is), but Calla Haynes has since made Paris her home base. No wonder, since she got her start in the design world working under Olivier Theyskens at Rochas and Nina Ricci, a fact made clear by her deftness with print design and quiet, feminine luxury. Haynes's Fall 2012 collection is chock full of watercolor florals (Canadians seem to have a way with floral, just ask Erdem) and looks that are sweet without verging on saccharine — just the thing for artsy femmes both at home and abroad.
You may know Montreal-based Radevich from her
awe-inspiring work with the ever-impressive blogger Luxirare. If not, though, let us be the first to assure you that you're in for a treat — and not one for the faint of heart. Radevich's designs are hand-crafted and produced in super-limited edition runs (think 6 pairs), employing materials like corkscrew-curly sheepskin, fibre optic lights, and ombré chinchilla fur. Intrigued? You should be.
You've gotta love a label that's both thoughtful in their philanthropy and skillful in their craft. Meet Obakki, the Vancouver-based brainchild of Treana Peake, a brand with an eye towards sustainable manufacturing (all goods are produced domestically) and flattering, fashion-forward design. The fall collection offers sharp, textural separates and dresses with just a taste of the avant garde. And with all profits going towards funding the Obakki Foundation's efforts in the South Sudan, this is one homegrown talent whose message we can truly stand behind.
Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong make up Greta Constantine, one of Toronto's most sought-after labels when it comes to sleek urban style. The duo is widely beloved within the Canadian fashion scene, but that's not to say that they're strangers to accolades from the American press. Since the brand's inception in 2006, the designers have earned praise from pubs like
Vogue and Nylon and garnered a celebrity fan base that includes ladies with some serious fashion clout, such as Victoria Beckham and Naomi Campbell. And with good reason: their spring collection offered a whole host of artful options for the city dweller with a penchant for monochrome, proving that not all Canadiana has to be red, white, and flannel.
5.Rachel Hawkes Cameron
Hawkes Cameron is a multitalented kinda girl. Poking around her website, we were pleasantly surprised to see a smattering of images displaying her illustration skills and ever-so-slightly off-kilter interiors, but it's her 'Bonfire' collection that we know and love her for. Our acrylic feather pendant is one of our favorite pieces in our (admittedly extensive) necklace collection and we have been coveting a bonfire version for a while now. What better way to wear your love of camping (or at least of s'mores) around your neck?