Archive for March, 2010
Here are some front row seats … too bad they cut out all the acrobatics! Nonetheless here is what is in store (literally) this fall at the KL Boutique…
There is something so surreal about the perspective of a little girl… untainted, pure and imaginative. Anything is possible when your mind considers the possibility of dragons, fairies and mermaids existing. Where you can wear butterflies as gowns, sit on toadstools in your backyard and adorn your hair with magical flowers… So why when we grow up do we seem so intent on pushing all that “nonsense” to the side? At what point does the average individual decide that it is all only make believe and holds no importance anymore in their lives? Was it the first time our hearts were broken? The first time we were betrayed? Or maybe just the first time we all realized that life is not always as it seems…
Either way, allowing inevitable life mishaps get in the way of your hopes, dreams and beliefs is unacceptable. While we may no longer be able to live entirely in our fantasy lands, I’m not so sure we realize just how valuable they are to keep. The moment you let go of the “impossible” (which I have learned doesn’t really exist – nothing these days is truly impossible), is the moment you allow yourself to walk down the road of bitterness and spite. Pick up a book, daydream, wear color, apply that crazy hot pink shade of lipstick you’ve been swooning over, ask your prince charming out on a date… whatever it takes! Life is truly what you make of it, and if you get to choose the whole time… well it just doesn’t seem to make sense that you would choose to let go of what brings you to life!
Reality and responsibility seem to go hand in hand… and that is the number one reason why I love creativity and the clothing Katrin continuously creates. It brings you into her world. A complete escape. A world where you can have lunch in a flower sitting beside a bee, or share tea with a caterpillar (think Alice in Wonderland). Her clothes inspire so much imagination in others and at some point the creativity just becomes flat out contagious! I have worked in her boutique and two things have always remained constant from the clients and visitors. First, everyone who walks in for the first time is continuously in awe. There is so much to take in. So much craziness, artistry, textures and themes… you almost don’t know where to look first (I mean geez… there are even umbrellas and birdcage lighting fixtures suspended from the ceiling!). Secondly (and most importantly) is the overall attitude of the Katrin Leblond customer – they’re happy. Happy, inspired, original and passionate people who feed off the positive vibes that come through every piece of clothing and employee from the KL universe. At first I thought I might have been surrounded by a bunch of looney optimists… but then I realized that it is just the environment that people love to escape to. Somewhere where their dreams come back to life and visualizations are supported and fed. A place where they can leave doubts, negativity and the hardships of everyday life at the doorstep and enter a safe haven full of little girls paper dolls and flowers…
… but of course for big girls…
Never stop dreaming, learning or chasing what inspires you. It is one of the few reasons why we are actually on the planet, so please… find yours and make good use of it!
Paper creations courtesy of Hope and Joy Studio
Montreal Formal balls and weddings are in the air… and Katrin is in full preparation to making everyone’s fairy princess dreams a reality with her beautiful gowns and two piece formal attire . Have an event? Katrin makes custom one of a kind wedding, bridesmaid and prom dresses. Make an appointment with Kat and see your dream dress materialize right in front of your eyes!
Kitty supervises swatch sampling…
Hope your week is off to a lovely start!
Ever wonder what happens to those unusable strips of excess fabric? While many clothing companies may just toss them in the trash, Katrin and her team turn them into the beautiful signature KL Scarfette!
What in the world is a Scarfette you ask?
Scarfettes are some of the most playful and fun accessories you can wear around your neck, in your hair, on your favorite handbag, clipped into a brooch… really wherever you desire a little splash of color and excitement! The best thing is that since they are studio scraps you can match them to some of your favorite KL staples… bring out the print in your party skirt with a similar color Scarfette headband!
Here is Hannah merrowing the Scarfettes in fun thread color combos! No two Scarfettes are alike!
Giving lost fabric new lives… Vote Scarfette!
Have a beautiful weekend!
Tuesday morning was rainy, icy and cold… pouring freezing rain here in the 514… the kind of day where you wake up and just want to pull the duvet up and around you and snuggle in even more…
While the outside world was unwelcoming, I journeyed to the Katrin Leblond studio for the warm and creative shelter you seek when everything around you feels bleak and gray. A haven where you are surrounded by colors, sunny people… a place where things make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while being right at home. That is exactly how the studio feels to me – a welcome retreat that holds familiar sights, sounds, memories and thoughts. I say this as I started at the Katrin Leblond studio as an intern many moons ago and worked there for about a year. I know the inner workings and daily rituals that make this place such a calm and imaginative mecca.
There are many unconventional habits that make this place unique. Maybe it’s the fact that you can chose to work with or without shoes on, or that recycling both paper and fabrics is an absolute… maybe it’s that a cat may occasionally cross your path, that Paul Simon tracks are adored and played on repeat, that paper weights are stones from far away travels or coffee is offered upon 9am arrival… just little things that make work days inspiring, less stressful and thought provoking.
There is a small team behind the Katrin Leblond brand. Ladies who are completely devoted to making the most beautiful, quality individual pieces for the world to own, love and enjoy. There are no set rules or itineraries for the construction of a skirt, dress or shirt – Swatches are picked and matched according to vote of what the team feels is aesthetically pleasing to each of their individual styles. It really is a beautiful process as although the team is headed by Kat, everyone’s opinion counts and goes into the construction process. Every garment is made completely by hand from start to finish by these few people. They see that all details, appliques and trims are properly applied with care and precision – this is harder than it looks folks!
Thread in the KL studio is not only used to sew garments together… it is an embellishment in itself! Doubled up thread creates the beautiful vine designs and quilted look that is so popular with so many of Katrin’s creations. This is all done by sewing machine, but the work, time and precision required to get the desired effect can prove to be quite a challenge! Another beautiful aspect of these colorful spools? They are all bought locally.
Patterns are all made by hand and graded old school style – no computer program or printing. I think that was one of my favorite things about working in the studio, as I find too much on-computer design can distract from the craft of creating something from scratch with your own two hands. Very rewarding and a great form of instant gratification!
Recognize this piece?
I am just as excited about these new buttons as Kat is. Just close your eyes for a minute (after reading this of course) and imagine a sweater sleeve trimmed with real pressed flowers set in resin. Magical!
These will really make something incredibly special!
Ahhhhh… the scrapbook! The collages of beauty and inspiration all plastered into two books… the holy bible if you want to get a bit into Katrin’s design mind! I have abducted these from the studio for scanning and will be posting them sometime next week… stay tuned for the unlocking of these sacred anthologies!
I’m not sure if it’s the color contrast or just because I made an extension cord look so damn cool, but I really adore this pic!
The lovely Katharina adding leaf ribbon trim to skirts.
Beads, sequins and various trinkets are never out of the question when Kat creates… everything, no matter how big or small eventually finds its true home.
The lady of the hour…
Oh if only you could see the entire fabric collection that Katrin houses underneath the cutting table! Polka dots, silk chiffons, vivid prints, intruging textures and forms… it really is a playground for the mind. Another tidbit of good news… the fabric is local too! The best part I haven’t even mentioned yet though…
… nothing is wasted! Every scrap finds residency in this big excess fabric bin (big and small pieces) and is eventually used to create rosettes, fleurettes, scarfettes and adornments for the boutique, studio and clothing. Love it… so eco-chic!
Of course here and there if you pay close attention you will notice a tutu peeking out from a shelf, drawer or rolling rack… hidden ballerinas all around…
Hope you enjoyed this mini photo tour of the KL studio… hang tight, more in-studio activity to come… alongside an exclusive look around Katrin’s home!
Have a beautiful day!
Fashion shows are vibrant, beautiful and fun recreations of the designers all-so vivid imagination. What I always find intriguing is the entire thought process of building a collection. How did someone get from point A to B? What inspired them? How were palettes and color combos dreamt up? Here are Katrin’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection palettes of what inspired some of your favorite runway looks… from imagination all the way to reality. Proof that dreams and fantasy realize every day in all shapes and sizes
Hope your week is getting better and better as the days unravel…
Last week I got together with the incredibly beautiful and talented Anna Freda – one of the unique ladies that bring the KL universe to life on an everyday basis. Ana is almost sprite-like. Tall and slender with a cropped pixie cut and a kind twinkle in her eyes (that might sound seriously cheesy but when you meet her you might succumb to the same description yourself). For those of you who may have never experienced her in person, Anna has walked many a catwalk for Katrin’s Montreal Fashion Week shows as well as performed in-boutique for some of the many KL events and soirees… she is the girl with the glow, with the endless confidence… the one with the “it” factor. So really, it came as no surprise when I discovered she is a practicing flamenco dancer when not helping ladies of all ages cover themselves in KL goodness .
Anna is one fifth of the Montreal based contemporary flamenco group Compasion (Compas being the rhythm of flamenco mixed in with the groups passion for the art). Compasion will be performing here in Montreal tomorrow for their Juvance spectacle which will also tour in Toronto, Quebec and Temiscouata. Anna describes Juvance as a rejuvenation of the soul and spirit through creativity. When I asked her what flamenco meant to her, I got exactly the fiery, passionate response I was looking for… “It’s a raw energy of savage expression, an untamed, wild nature that means so much more than just the dance itself. It is the epitome of passion itself communicated physically”. Anna applies her performing philosophies to her in-boutique ethic stating that it is a natural interaction for her to be outfitting others who are curious about expressing their own inner personalities and passions.
When Compasion (info on show time and venue) performs, every element of their dress and stage setup are deeply thought out and colors and textures quickly translate to emotions and feelings. Skirts and pants dictate moods and lighting creates the desired aura. Anna understands the importance of everything coming together in unison to create desired effects and sensations. Juvance is about new beginnings and Anna and her dancing partner have chosen fuschia as their symbolic means to represent healing joy and the beautiful sight of new flowers in spring (a KL favorite). The group take pride in their non-traditional approach to flamenco and it’s usual costumes, only incorporating the established shoes into their routines… everything else is a creative free for all and inspired by what they truly love. Anna aims to have all future costumes made by Katrin for her groups productions including so many of the beautiful colors and textures we all love so much. In fact, while doing this interview Anna was sporting the KL Sexy Dress Tunic in a pattern of golden yellows and oranges, browns and punchy pinks. She says she tries to apply the symbolism and significance of color when dressing people in the boutique, matching moods and personalities with the appropriate shades (how cool is that)?!?
Amongst her many inspirations is a deep, unconditional love for Michael Jackson and all things musical, mastery and artistic excellence (when one has mastered his craft) alongside innocent and genuine people. She holds a deep respect for all who are able to overcome their fears as she relates quite closely to them. Although she may appear as a cool, calm and collected lady with a whole lot of stage presence, she is actually quite introverted and has to push and prepare herself for her onstage offerings…. pretty hard to believe considering how well and naturally everything seems to flow when she is in front of you struttin’ herself down the catwalk . That is why we love Miss Anna though, she realizes that her natural gift is something that MUST be shared for the rest of the world to adore.
Dearest Anna, the best of luck (not that you need it) for tomorrow’s show and I will see you there!
These pin cushions are TO DIE FOR! Little universes represented via pincushion small enough to fit inside a teacup Truly warms my heart on this brisk windy day. These little drops of sunshine dreamt up by the imaginative and equally innovative Mimi Kirchner (remember the name? She also makes some of Katrin’s favorite dolls). Completely made by hand and an obvious amount of love, I want these all over my life!
Hope you are all having a wonderful start to the week… hang tight, some lovely posts coming your way this week!