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Montreal Designer Marie Saint Pierre On Romanticism And Discovering Fashion
Photo: mariesaintpierre on Instagram
As an established Montreal-based designer, Marie Saint Pierre founded her eponymous luxury fashion house in 1987. Since then, the French Canadian design talent has been combining her love of architectural pieces and luxury with a focus on versatility and comfort. Saint Pierre’s flowing frocks, whimsical prints and functional looks are known for flattering the wearer and creating an elegant yet structured silhouette. The designer also praises the value of technical design, which plays a key role in her edgy looks. Saint Pierre, who runs a studio on Montreal’s Chabanel Street, has a penchant for lightweight, airy fabrics, neutral tones and leather accessories.
Earlier this autumn, the designer paid a visit to Toronto for the Cabinet Éphémère VIP Reception at the Rally contemporary art venue. Saint Pierre, who was a headliner for the evening’s fashionable festivities, was also unveiling a new unisex collection. Real Style caught up the Canadian fashion guru about her romantic Fall 2016 line, passion for jewellery and most poignant early sartorial memory.
Photo: mariesaintpierre on Instagram
Real Style: Tell us about what inspired your Fall 2016 collection.
Marie: I use a lot of natural fibres, like wool, that I bond with technical fabric in order to give them new body, shape and endurance. It’s romantic with an edge, romantic with a certain kind of graphic. It’s controlled, not a romanticism that is fluid, more like one which is within you. This idea that romanticism is soft is not real to me. Romanticism is a strength, you believe in your dreams and you have an ability to think that there is a better world. When people wear my clothes, I want them to feel good about the clothes they wear. That’s why I infuse them with lightness, “technicity” and dry fit. It’s all about experiential luxury.
Real Style: You’re known for your accessories. What can you tell us about your passion for creating these pieces?
Marie: I like to design a lot of fabric jewellery that matches the dress, and there’s no difference between the dress and the jewellery. I do a lot of three dimensional work. In the same fabric, I would do some 3D work in order to adorn the clothes. It is jewellery, but it’s not.
Real Style: What is your favourite fashion memory of all time?
Marie: One day I was not feeling good, I think I was probably three or four years old. I remember walking with my mom to the shopping mall to go get a dress. I told her that the only thing that would make my day good would be to go buy a dress! My mom was so astonished, and it did the right thing!
Real Style: Describe the biggest challenge that you’ve ever faced as a Canadian designer.
Marie: To survive in this industry- it’s a challenge. Creating the infrastructure behind it, the talents, the chain of knowledge that it takes to make an amazing product on the market. When you think about traditions in Europe, they have not only the best schools, but they also have tradition. Here [in Canada], you have to create your own infrastructure.
Real Style: Do you have any favourite sartorial essentials for Fall 2016?
Marie: I love dresses in all shapes and forms. I also do coats and jackets, it’s part of my DNA.