IT WAS OVER TEN YEARS AGO THAT FLARE MAGAZINE DID THEIR “STYLE REPORT” ON “MADE IN CANADA” DESIGNERS (SEE PREVIOUS POST). MOST ARE STILL WITH US AS “NAME ON LABEL” DESIGNERS. BRAVO, IT CAN NOT HAVE BEEN EASY! I HAVE INCLUDED A LINK WITH EACH OF THE FOLLOWING AS THEIR WEBSITES HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO SAY. VISIT THEM SOON!
Yes, I know Lida has retired but it was so recently that I felt I could still include her! Happy retirement Lida, we miss you!
The daughter of a dressmaker, Lida was fascinated by the intricacies of her mother’s work – keenly learning the novel ways in which luxurious materials could be molded and sculpted into simple, yet expressive clothing; pieces in which the interior finishing was as important as the exterior details.
“Simplicity demands great focus on the fit and quality of fabrics, the workmanship and the finishing. That’s what fascinates me most – the technical side of design,” says Baday. “Our attention to detail is meticulous, though in the end the detail itself may be virtually indiscernible.”
Top European mills provide the luxuriously refined fabrics that serve as Baday’s inspiration for what the collection will become. She then concentrates on cut and proportion to produce her urban, modern and versatile collections.
An unwavering vision that blends a clean modern sensibility with classic beauty and precision tailoring lies at the core of her long-standing success. “There’s always been an ideal of a pared-down look,” Baday says. “It’s very much about the fabric, the cut of the garment and keeping a modern focus. I feel that there is a sensibility about the collection that I do that is identifiable – it has an attitude, a spirit, that we have nurtured over these many years.”
The quality of the fabrics and construction, and the subtly evolving silhouettes impart a much-appreciated timelessness to her collections. “I don’t really feel clothing needs to be just for one new season,” she says. “We’re not focused on putting our finger on the next hottest trend and then moving on again. From my own experience, I want to build on my personal style, and that happens by buying pieces over many seasons and not just completely revamping your wardrobe. We try to do that for our customers.”
Dominic Bellissimo is highly regarded as the premier shearling designer of men’s and ladies outerwear. Internationally known for his quality workmanship and keen sense of style, the master craftsman searches the world over for novelty shearlings and interesting tanning techniques. This keeps him on the leading edge of shearling innovation. Luxury and ease define his shearlings. People still have the notion, however that shearling is a specialty item that is only worn on special occasions. Bellissimo is changing that point of view. “Shearling is meant to be thrown on and worn, in fact the more it is worn the more supple it becomes,” he comments.
Dominic Bellissimo is no newcomer to the fashion world. His 24-year tenure began in 1981. Bellissimo, a Toronto native, graduated from Sheridan College in May 1981 and was promptly hired by cloth coat and leather manufacturer Lindzon Ltd. He began as a technical pattern grader he quickly became the head designer within a year. After a short stint on his own from 1989 to 1991 he joined forces with ITA LTD. president Paul Lindzon. Bellissimo is a talented designer in all respects. His forte is in outerwear, cloth coats and leather, for both men’s and ladies. However he shines when it comes to shearling. There is absolutely no other designer or collection that can surpass his excellence in terms of style and attention to detail. “Dominic knows how to use shearling in ways no other designer can,” said Lindzon. “To him, its not just outerwear, but a versatile fabric that belongs in a modern wardrobe,” he continues. Bellissimo credits his precise methods to his early studies in architecture.
Bellissimo’s innovative outlook has earned him respect and significant business from elite retailers, including fashion powers like Bloomingdale’s, Holt Renfrew Harry Rosen and Les Ailes as well as many specialty boutiques.
Along the way, Bellissimo’s creations have earned him numerous honors including early recognition as “Up and Coming Designer of the Year” in Canada’s Craven A Fashion Awards, the Woolmark Award for 1987 and a recipient of The Matinee Ltd. Fashion Foundation grant three years running for 1998,1999, and 2000. In June 2001, he was honored with the “Award of Merit in Design” as part of the Golden Curl Gala Awards. His most recent accomplishment is receiving the prestigious “Premier’s Award” in February 2005. His designs have also been featured prominently in such publications as Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Robb Report, Elm Street, Flare, Fashion and other top fashion magazines in Canada and the U.S. Celebrities such as Mario Bello, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeremy Irons, Queen Latifah, Renee Zellweger, Neve Campbell, Jeanne Beker, Kyan Douglas (from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) and Richard Gere, are all known to have Dominic Bellissimo shearlings.
COMRAGS / JOYCE GUNHOUSE AND JUDY CORNISH
The creative team behind the successful Comrags label is Joyce Gunhouse of Victoria, B.C. and Judy Cornish of Burlington, Ontario. The partners met while studying Fashion Design at Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto, deciding to go into business together when they discovered a compatible design sensibility and work ethic in each other.Comrags, established in 1983, has evolved from a small, local design team into one of Canada’s most well-known labels. Comrags has been described as “feminine despite themselves” and “prettiness with an edge” inspiring legions of die-hard fans.Inspiration for Comrags’ designs come from everywhere: the street, television, art and literature. In the words of their creators, Comrags clothes are for women of any age; women with a modern attitude toward style; women with self-confidence.Comrags is proud to say that it is still made in Canada.
Born in Toronto, Canada and trained at the prestigious Ryerson University, David Dixon enjoys tremendous media acclaim and stands out among that of his Canadian contemporaries as one of the leaders in women’s fashion design.
Dixon apprenticed with well-known Canadian designer Alfred Sung and in 1995, established the David Dixon label. Starting out at the Toronto Fashion Incubator, a highly respected organization focused on assisting new designers, he began wholesaling and manufacturing his line and in 1999, David left the incubator to his own design and production studio based in Toronto. David Dixon remains affiliated with the Incubator by sitting on their Board as an advisor.
Today, David Dixon is sold across Canada, the United States, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong and Tokyo. He possesses a modernist openness towards emerging design and rejects the notion of radically changing from one fashion trend to another. Dixon’s innovative designs have won him a following among the elite communities of film and fashion including; Jann Arden, Pamela Anderson, Meg Ryan, Wendy Crewson, Ashley MacIsaac, Holly Cole, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kari Matchett, Paul Gross and newcomer Kristen Booth.
The overriding theme in Dixon’s collection is quite elegance. His belief is that women respond first to colour and texture, so when silhouettes are simplified and modern, he can explore with textiles. Whether it’s creating signature fabrics or searching the globe for new fabrications, Dixon’s clothing combines luxury with the functional and fantasy with sensibility
Since his debut in 1993, Philippe Dubuc has had a passion for the dressmaking profession. “I am in a constant evolution with modernism and urban contrasts”, indicates Philippe Dubuc. “The identity of a city begins with its creators and from their free development.” His creativity and versatility are what inspires him to create complex collections. The Philippe Dubuc style is precise and is distinguished by his well-kept finishings, his mineral tones, and his textured and modern textiles that is reminiscent of the urban hunter and the romantic rebel.
Philippe Dubuc’s universe is lived by individuals of undisputable labels. The media were first to pay tribute to his work. Celebrities of the artistic world then followed suit by increasing the spotlight on his work. The rewards, recognitions, and invitations from abroad and sponsorships succeeded one another. During this vibrant path, the Philippe Dubuc boutique on St-Pierre Street grants this Quebecois designer a privileged space amongst other big names in fashion. He shares with his partner Marie-Claude Gravel the desire to put on the forefront – Quebecois creativity and excellence.
Adagio Silk Lingerie combines the traditional elegance of Europe with the vigor and energy of North America, to create a look that captures the best of both worlds: a contemporary fresh approach that combines the sensuous qualities of lingerie with outerwear silhouettes that reflect the world of fashion.
Patricia Fieldwalker has achieved an international reputation as an innovative, creative fashion designer whose work is regularly featured in such prestigious magazines as:American VOGUE, Mirabella, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, GLAMOUR, Mademoiselle, & Vanity Fair.
Patricia Fieldwalker has received numerous awards including the prestigious “Les Rubans de Madame Figaro” at the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris, the Canadian Matinee Fashion Foundation Award for Excellence for five years running, the Royal Ontario Museum exhibition, and many more.
Canadian born and based, Paul Hardy took his career from design school graduate to personal shopper to acclaimed designer.
Officially, Paul Hardy began his design career in 2002 with an opening show at Toronto Fashion Week where his first collection saw a host of rave reviews declaring, “a star is born”. After seeing that first collection, fashion industry icon Jeanne Beker, host of Fashion Television, compared Hardy’s talent as being that of the likes of Marc Jacobs or Stella McCartney.
Fall 2012 marked the five year anniversary of the first free standing boutique, and the 10 year anniversary of the first Paul Hardy ready to wear collection.
This Spring, Elle (Hong Kong) magazine, featured Paul Hardy as one of the 5 Labels from Canada one must know.
Fall 2014, Hardy will be introducing a new shearling collection to the market under the label ‘Lamb.s.laughter’
Expansion plans are also in the works for e-commerce, handbags and accessories.
In addition to refining his skills and growing his company Paul devotes time to humanitarian work in Africa, supporting the arts, and motivational speaking engagements. When Hardy is not traveling on business 4-5 months of the year, he resides in Calgary, Alberta with his dog, Fergus.
Paul Hardy’s celebrity client list have included Bette Midler, Michael Michelle, Carrie FIsher, Diane Krueger, Keisha Chante, Alanis Morrisette, U2- The Edge & Daniel Lanois, Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn, Sarah Mclachlan, Gold Medalist John Montgomery, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Paul Brandt.
MERCY / JENNIFER HALCHUK AND RICHARD LYLE
Noted for their innovative use of fabrics and sentimental silhouettes, the design studio MERCY was founded in 1994. Jennifer Halchuk and Richard Lyle enjoy a symbiotic design partnership, always inspired by colour and textiles. Fabrics are sourced for their quality, strength and beauty. Many are custom woven, and shipped loomstate for finishing after a garment is made. Through their ongoing travels, close direct relationships with textile mills have been honed, resulting in fantastic designs from some of the oldest weavers in the world. The spirit of MERCY is one of whimsical memories. Prints are chosen and created with strong color palettes and stories. The feel of a hand blocked jacket evokes a sense of time. A hand dyed and polished leather button has a soul. The overall look has no reference point, but a dreamlike quality of timeless style. Both designers control all aspects of design, and all pieces are handmade locally
The brand: Joeffer Caoc (pronounced joe-fur kay-awk) is a highly acclaimed, Toronto-based fashion label known for intellectual, modern and sensual design. The Made-in-Canada brand consists of exquisitely crafted daywear separates, eveningwear, cocktail dresses and gowns. The Joeffer Caoc woman is one who desires exceptional fit, construction and unconventional detailing combined with enduring style.
Sought-after by music and film personalities including award winning singers Nelly Furtado, Shania Twain and Katy Perry; supermodels Coco Rocha and Daria Werbowy; legendary screen beauty Jacqueline Bisset; Angela Bassett, Jill Hennessey and fashion maven Jeanne Beker. All have embraced the distinct Joeffer Caoc signature. The brand is often seen on the cover and in the editorial pages of leading fashion magazines.
The designer: born in the Philippines and raised in Canada, designer Joeffer Caoc graduated from Toronto’s Ryerson University, where he received an outstanding recent graduate award in fashion design. He launched his first label, Misura by Joeffer Caoc, in 1995 and has received notable recognition ever since.
Joeffer Caoc’s signature technique of manipulating a traditional silhouette exhibits his mastery of drape and cut, his meticulous attention to detail and his extraordinary skill in dressing the female form.
PINK TARTAN / KIMBERLEY NEWPORT-MIMRAN
Kimberley Newport-Mimran is President and Design Director of Pink Tartan, the womenswear brand that she founded in 2002. Pink Tartan has developed into a global label known for understated luxury and sophisticated sportswear. The New York showroom was opened in 2004, and the company now includes a design studio based in Toronto and new office opening in LA. The Pink Tartan line is carried at Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Hudson’s Bay Company and Holt Renfrew as well as specialty stores across North America, Central America, Middle East and Europe.
After graduating from a fashion merchandising and manufacturing management program, Newport-Mimran found herself in the buying office at the Hudson’s Bay Company. She then applied her expertise to the iconic Canadian label Club Monaco, where she developed a keen understanding of structure and tailoring. Upon her move to Caban, Newport-Mimran honed her knowledge of fabrics and luxury design. With this compilation of experience, Newport-Mimran went on to establish Pink Tartan.
Kim is married to Joe Mimran, and together they split their time between Toronto, New York and Palm Beach. The couple have a daughter Jacqueline, born in 2001. A recent addition to the family in 2013 is Max Mimran, the family’s beloved French bulldog.
Elegant. Dynamic. Energetic. Smart. Opinionated. Hilary Radley epitomizes the modern woman of today. As a successful designer who heads up the lifestyle fashion brand that bares her name, Hilary Radley has strived for and far-surpassed her life goals. From designing innovative clothing for 25 years, to single-handedly raising her son, to balancing work with play, Hilary is always ready for a challenge. Born in England, educated with a B.A. degree in Textiles, Hilary worked in costume design for broadcast television and as a fashion college lecturer before moving to Canada to begin her fashion design career. As an astute businesswoman and an artist who always pushed the boundaries of fashion design with revolutionary uses of textiles, Hilary quickly made a name for herself as ‘North America’s queen of Outerwear’ solidifying a place for her brand in the competitive global marketplace.
Always on the run, one can catch up with Hilary traveling the globe for new ideas, bustling between Montreal and Vermont where she spends family time with her husband in her self-designed and decorated country home, or travelling to Europeto ski with her son. She’s as comfortable climbing mountains – having reached the Uhuru peak of Mount Kilimanjaro – as she is playing tennis, decorating a friend’s apartment or reading a book
Out-spoken and involved, Hilary is active in supporting philanthropic organizations involving children and finding a cure for AIDS. She sits on the board of the Canadian Anti Malaria Coalition helping to raise awareness and funds for children in Africa. She is also a member of the advisory board for Y.E.S (Youth Employment Services) in Montreal.
Over the years, industry peers as well as the community, including Concordia University’s John H. Molson School of Business, have honored Hilary with numerous prestigious awards in recognition of outstanding contributions to the world of business and the community.
Hilary Radley is a leading, internationally recognized fashion label. Designed and developed in the Montreal-based Hilary Radley Design Studio, the men’s and women’s outerwear collections have expanded into a distinctive lifestyle brand that offers stylish, high-quality women’s handbags, footwear, optics and scarves. The Hilary Radley label is sold in major department stores and specialty stores across Canada and the U.S
Catherine Regehr is known for her fine attention to detail and for her use of sumptuous couture fabrics. Whether she’s designing a taffeta ball gown, a silk cocktail sheath or a textured jacket, Regehr keeps to the same philosophy: create elegant shapes in luxurious fabrics that you can wear over and over in different ways for years. Some noted personalities who have worn Regehr’s gowns are; Kim Basinger, Sela Ward, Sarah McLaughlin, Angelica Houston, Bianca Jagger and others.
MARIE SAINT PIERRE
Leader on the Canadian fashion scene, Marie Saint Pierre is now, after 25 years, the luxury home we know today. Known for its avant-garde, timeless and inspired designs, the House also offers ready-to-wear, fragrances, leather goods, accessories and the new Habitat home collection. In short, Villa Marie Saint Pierre is:
Two shops in Montreal (Downtown Montreal and Centre Rockland)
A network of North American distribution (multichannel)
Multiple collaborations in the fields of interior design, clothing and toys (Collections capsules for Reitmans, Maison Jean Houde, Bratz dolls, Lara Croft, etc.)
Two fragrances at Sephora distributed across Canada and online at Lucky Scents US
A superb workshop 10,000 square feet
More than thirty full-time employees
The creation of the Sub Zero Fund and various community implications
TAVAN AND MITTO
Nadya Toto launched her ready-to-wear label in 1989. She creates clothing that celebrates femininity while combining both comfort and refinement. The signature style of this designer of Italian origin is sophisticated yet minimalist, ultra-feminine, and decidedly romantic. Distributed across Canada and the United States, Nadya Toto’s collections have garnered media attention from around the world, featured in such prestigious publications as Madame Figaro (France), Fashion Daily News (France), Vogue Italia, and Vogue USA. Moreover, a host of celebrities have been seen wearing Nadya Toto’s clothing at media events. Trend-setting Quebec stars have fallen for Toto’s designs; to mention medalist athlete Joannie Rochette. American luminaries Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Yasmine Bleeth, and Rachelle Lefèvre, better known for her role in the Twilight saga have also succumbed to the charm of this designer’s creations