Miriam Baker On Pastel Hues And Finding Inspiration In An Art Nouveau Fashion Plate

With a passion for ladylike silhouettes and sweet pastel shades, Toronto designer Miriam Baker is known for flattering the female figure. More specifically, Baker’s designs are meant to suit women with larger cup sizes, who can benefit from extra support around the bustline. At Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, the homegrown designer (who studied at George Brown College and Ryerson University’s School of Fashion) presented a new Fall 2017 collection.

This time around, Baker drew her influences from an art nouveau fashion plate by famed artist, Gerda Wegener (the wife of Einar Wegener, who famously underwent sex reassignment surgery in the 1930s, and inspired the 2015 film starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander). Her new collection paid homage to the concept of transformation, change and exploring a hidden identity. With loosely draped coats, dusty pink frocks and flared frocks on the catwalks, the designs managed to emphasize yet conceal the form at the same time.

Intrigued by Baker’s Fall 2017 pieces, we spoke to her backstage about her creative inspiration, sartorial influences and more. Here’s what she had to share with Real Style, following the show.

Real Style: What inspired your Fall 2017 collection?

Miriam: It started with a fashion plate. I picked it up about six years ago, in a print shop in Paris. I looked at the bottom of the plate and I noticed the name of the artist. These artists always sign their own work, and I Googled her. As it turned out, she [Gerda Wegener] was married to the main character in The Danish Girl. It’s a bit of a story. She [the character in The Danish Girl] basically had one of the first documented sex changes. That’s where I came up with the reveal/conceal aspect of the collection.

Real Style: Your new collection features a lot of feminine pastel shades. Do you have any favourite colours?

Miriam: Pink is always my favourite. I have to force myself sometimes to not use it, because I’m so naturally drawn to it almost every season.

Real Style: You’re known for creating pieces for women who have larger bust sizes. What made you interested in designing for these customers?

Miriam: Basically, I struggled with it as I grew up. When I was 16, I stopped being able to shop for bras in the department store. From then on, it was a struggle. You get older, you need to grow and nothing fits. I was really solving my own personal struggle, and realizing that there is a huge gap in the market for this brand and this niche. I just want to get bust-friendly fashion out there, and I just want to create this new sizing category to fit more women.

Real Style: Where do your sartorial influences come from?

Miriam: My inspiration generally comes from the past. I’m a romantic, and every season I’m generally looking to the past, and that’s where I’m getting my ideas from.

Real Style: Tell us about your must-wear trends for 2017.

Miriam: The bell sleeves are going to be all over the place. Also, long lengths and duster coats, going into fall.

Photos: Belle Bunag for Top of the Runway