Archive for July, 2010


Ok, so we all love men in tight pants.  Are we agreed?  Add silver and gold tread, pink and orange capes, heart stitching and pretty buttons and my heart goes pitter patter.

Photo: La Presse Canadienne /Rafa Rivas       Corrida espagnole

I love the hot pink tights!  It is a moment of glory when hot pink tights are a symbol of masculinity and dominance.

The love and detail that goes into costume making is very different from all the assembly line of fashion production.  These garments are made tight so that there is less material for the bulls horns to catch on.  I love the embroidery.  I love the embellishments.  I love the tassels and pom poms.  The layers!  The capes! The little hats!  I love that there can be a ritual for men to get this glamed up and that this much pomp can actually contribute to their sense of masculine power.

black and white toreador portraits by photographer: Christian Courreges

The Catalan people have recently voted to stop bull fighting.  They are breaking with tradition and choosing to move forward into a cruelty-free world.  They are courageous and I have great admiration for the willingness to evolve.  Congratulations!

Down with needless torture of innocent animals.  Down with the idea that we are not animals ourselves.  Down  fear of the other.

Cheers to men in tights.  Cheers for playing dress up!  Cheers to ornate fabulousness.  Lets find a better reason for men to get this dressed up.  End the blood….. Keep the fashion!

Torro!  Torro!


julie andrews in the sound of music

I love the sound of music.   I love Julie Andrews in the movie.  I love that the movie hammers home the idea that kids need to be respected and that they will  love you forever if you love them, listen to them, have fun with them and sing and dance.  And that discipline can be achieved with playfulness and love easier than with strictness and punishment.  I wish I could always parent like Julie’s character Maria.

this  is a you tube “sound of music” video in a train station in Antrwirp Belgium.   The surprised look on people’s faces is real.  They didn’t know what was comeing.  This is one of my all time favorite videos out there on the web.  This video made a good number of the women on the Katrin Leblond team cry when they fist saw it.  I won’t say who.

The sound of music reminds us to sing and dance every day and anywhere.


Julie Andrew’s sets  style cues with her character in the movie.  She was practical and yet still playful, feminine and fun. The Sound of Music was set in the 1930’s but filmed in 1965.  Here are some 1950’s dresses we love that depart from but still somehow suggest a bit of  frauline  Maria’s style.

It was all about showing off a cinched waist and full skirt.  This style in particular has a bubble hem which adds even more fullness.  It is so blue and fabulous.

This simplicity pattern has a stand up collar, v-neck and tie at the waist wrap skirt with a perfect A-Line that ends just below the knee.

Ahhh... cuffed sleeves! Oh so really red vintage dress!

And NOW the update:  here are some brand new contemporary  dresses that we have in the store.  Express your hip, sleek, professional and oh-so-fashion forward 1950’s flair.  Perfect for the feminine urban working woman.


The Genia dress is made in Toronto.

Exclusively available in Montreal at Boutique Katrin Leblond.   Available in denim and red . $168 sizes 6,8,10,12. Warning these sizes are smaller than their label suggests.

See you at the boutique.



Aya and Kat designed a dress in one mornig for Aya’s “Bal en Blanc”  (that means the white ball) for Aya’s graduation from Daycare Ceremony.

She was soooo proud of herself.

She asked me if I cried when I watched her do her Song and dance with the rest of the kids in her group.

I did.

Lovin’ the cowgirl style!

Here’s a new goddess dress that Kat designed for high summer August weddings and parties.

It has a layer of ivory silk chiffon over a soft jersey lining.  The embellishments are all silk and beadwork and lace.

And of course some Bridal bibis…we love headpieces!

Summer heat is still here.

Now you are tanned.

This is the time to wear white and ivory and feel like a fairy queen.

See you at the boutique.



Cute, sexy and all textiles!

I found these amazing photos while surfing the net.

I dedicate these to all the indie-rock hipsters of mile-end who do not like ruffles and flowers.

If you ever want to express your feminine, gypsy self, I’ll be there for you.

Until then…enjoy being your “indie-rock hipster of mile end” self, enjoy your perfect body, enjoy working part time and enjoy being able to party all night.

Those are just temporary benefits of being 20….

I can guarantee though…

It just gets better!


What we are doing is real.  It really impacts the community and sometimes that community is my husband (owner and chef of Restaurant Aux Vivres) and sometimes it’s my little brother Nick (artist, photographer and co-owner of Big Dog Screen printing).  As an entrepreneur I feel more politically empowered than I ever did as a feminist, activist, or animal rights worker (yes, I have done all of those things).  I have the decision making power of every cent I spend.  I choose to buy locally made fabric.  I choose to buy organic locally made fabric.  I choose locally made thread, zippers and buttons too.  Yes, it is more expensive than imported equivalents, but I can guarantee it is better quality and it comes with soul. When I switched to local thread, all of my machines started running better and needed to be re-threaded less often.  The amount of people that those decisions affect are a ripple of local workers, salespeople and small businesses.

Oh, and I also only do business with people I like!

Let the good vibes flow.

Here is a little peek into the screen printing studio of my little brother Nick.   Studio Big Dog printed the patches for my scout costumes at Circus Smirkus.  His partner Carlos illustrated them.

This is not a unique Montreal story.  Many of the artists and designers we have in the boutique are living from their art with the help of local shop-owners.  We are a city of creative people.

My little brother is celebrating his birthday today.  I love you Nick.

Studio Big Dog
5333 Casgrain, #416
Montreal, QC
Canada H2T 1X3,
Tel: 514 358 7007

[email protected]


Hand made in Montreal, Laura Fafard Bags.

Made from vintage recycled ties in eco friendly high fashion style.

Store your most precious valuables and tote them around town wherever you go.  These bags are so hip in their deconstructed shaping. Crafty high art!  I love the vintage button details.

I love the sentimentality of vintage prints.  This bag is so sweet.  I like it’s femininity.  It would fit so nicely into a warm toned late summer, early fall,  wardrobe.  Carry it with you for a walk up the mountain or a trip out of town to pick some apples.

This one is bright and cheery and needs to go with you to a breakfast brunch “resto rendez vous” on the weekend.

Bags are my favorite accessories these days.  You get lots of bang for your accessory money when you buy a bag.  It takes up lots more space than some of the other finishing touches  we reach for when completing our looks.  Bags really impact your overall look and fashion expression when you are walking down the street.

Plus you can carry stuff in it.  Bonus!


The dressing room.

We share so much with the ladies in our change rooms.  It is an intimate thing to get undressed with someone nearby.  Me, on the other side of the curtain coaxing and encouraging this game of exploration and play: Come and play dress up with me!

It really takes a leap of faith to try on clothes.  To get down to your nickers and your skin and put something new on.  For me, on the boutique-side of the curtain, it is especially fun to imagine what would look nice and and what would fit you, the lady in the dressing room.  Sometimes I’ll bring a handful of hangers to the change room.  Sometimes you’ll find something you would never have tried on and you’ll love it.

I am often deeply touched by the confidences that we share.  The things we say to each other.  The tears are real.  The love is real.

I love colour and I enjoy converting black and grey clad Montrealers to my palettes of purple and red, teal and green.  

Mothers and Daughters are an especially fun duo to have in change rooms side by side.  Finding outfits across generations and across sizes (xs all the way to XL).  We can do it.  We can dress you both and make sure you both feel totally self expressed in the clothing you choose.

How about it?

How about coming to play dress up?

Opening Hours (or call for a custom styling appointment 514-678-9616)

M-T-W 10-6

Th-F 10-9

Saturday 10-7

Sunday 11-6


I am blown away!  I am in awe.  I feel humbled by the dresses, the background and the props.  The scene that has been created is just incredible.


Nature will never fail you.  When you are sad, angry, happy, rageful…Nature is a place you can take every emotion you have and She will welcome you.  Especially great is really exerting yourself in nature.  Getting sweaty and dirty and hot.  Chopping wood, lifting rocks, shovelling earth.  These activities may not be good for your back, but ladies they are good for the soul!

Last week I saw a mama deer and a baby deer drinking water by the lake.  The baby was jumpy, like a little puppy, hopping around in the mud.

I am a rock collector.  Not shells and not pressed leaves.  Rocks and sometimes they get quite large.  When I am travelling my pockets inevitably fill with stones…and a few of them always make it home with me.

Arts and crafts are another place where I can be myself.  Uninhibited craft therapy.  Remember your tools in your emotional toolkit.  You learned what makes you happy a long time ago.  Playing in piles of leaves and painting with your fingers.  Remember?  Try it again.  See how it feels.


Sylvie Trembley, owner and guider of the yoga center on Saint Denis worked with me (Erin) on a beautiful Styling project to decorate her yoga studio with photographs.

The challenge was to express the way yoga becomes part of the self,  part of your life, and to express that in a way that honored the beauty of the people at the center through photography.  I think we succeeded.  Thank you Noan for expressing love through your camera, thank you Sylvie for bringing us together and challenging us all to be ourselves, Thank you to the whole yoga Sangha team, thank you to all the designers that created the clothes.

Thankyou for your beautiful,generous spirit Sylvie.  I am honored to know you.

Visit the lager than life versions of these photos at the studio at 3437 rue St Denis, Montreal.

Hand knit shawl (shown above in white) available in a rainbow of colours at Boutique Katrin Leblond for $44 each.  Long Cloud skirt by Melissa Bolduc sold out but still available through special  order  at boutique Katrin Leblond.  Cream cami with open back created with love especially for this photo shoot by Jamie Brock available by special order at boutique Katrin Leblond.

Photography by Noan Major from Elevation 514 284 2234 or 514 284 7330


The rain is pouring down!

Celebrate it.

Don’t scurry for cover.  Don’t let yourself worry about getting wet.  Let it be delicious.  Run.  Dance.  Spin.  Allow yourself to stop and have a” better than any spa could ever be” experience.  Let the rain pour over you and allow yourself to thoroughly enjoy it.

Enjoy the best shower life will ever serve  you.


Kat’s love of purple is about more than the color.  It is about a family legacy.

It is a family legacy that started with her Grandfather, “Bonpapa”.


Bonpapa and Bonnemaman…where it all began…sitting on a purple couch in the purple house (otherwise know as Val Mauve).



Kat’s grandfather was  a scientist at McGill University.



It is Kat’s grandfather that tracked the movement of living cells through the body and discovered that cells regenerate.  You know how when you look at the pictures of cells they are always purple.  Why purple!

Maybe he didn’t choose the colour… maybe whatever he invented had to be that way to be able to photograph the living cells… Maybe he wanted to make all his work purple… Kat doesn’t really know.


What she does know is that he had custom made purple polyester suits….and a purple office… and a purple house with purple bubble chairs made by a french designer from the french pavilion of Expo 67 because he was just oh so French.  So French!


“I always had a grandfather in a purple suit before I ever knew why” says Kat.



Yes!  That’s Kat at a family party in the country.  The dress was found at a vintage dress boutique and fit like a glove.


What does purple mean to Kat now?  Loyalty?  Fidelity?  “Mostly celebration. … the wild side of people” says Kat.

“People who choose to wear purple are celebrating themselves in this crazy wild way.  There is this little bit of rebellion in purple that comes out more like celebration.  I like it because everyone else that I know who loves purple is awesome.  …Like Rebekah Crown(the boutique’s star quilter and fiber artist) to name just one, and grandmothers that keep dying their hair and it becomes kind of purple.”

”  Purple is the opposite of conformity” continues Kat.

“I put purple in fashion because I love all colour.” She states.








Purple in the store now


Elizabeth Johnston earrings available in purple (and lots of other shades too) in store now.




Let free.  Live in purple.  Be crazy.   Laugh at the confines of society!




It’s the launch of the KL swimwear line today in the store.

We will officially be hosting a ladies only swimwear party at the store today from 4:00 to 8:00 today.

Come drink cocktails and try on the summer swim wear and dream of the sand and water and sun.

Come check out the new styles.

Katrin’s designs are hands down the  most original fashion statements in pret a porter swimwear I have seen yet.  I am soooo excited to try these all on.

Howl the call of the cottage in confidence.

Get ready for a high summer of pool side enjoyment and trips to the beach in style.

Yes to feeling good in a bathing suit!  Yes to your body just the way it is!  Yes to hot days!


We sold the Purple Triangles Quilt made by textile artist Rebekah Crown!

This spectacular quilt  is all hand embellished and full of sequins, ribbon, silk and treasures.  My favourite details are the Milagros from Mexico. The tin work done in Mexico is really spectacular and this is only a mini example. Outside churches they sell these small replicas of different parts of the body tied with a colourful ribbon. If you have an ailment you can buy a milagro for that part and bring it with your prayers for healing to the altar in the church.


Check out this two page colourful spread!

This is a new mag about Montreal and the creative people that fill this city.

Thank you M!

PS:  Some of these styles are still available in the boutique.

Top left bending back (Bibi with red tulle $120, Red Pop Cardigan wool $74)

Bottom Left page (Poppy sexy dress XS only $99)

Top Right page (Katharina Dress XS, S, L, XL $149)

Right Page middle with butterfly hair clip (Goddess Dress $220)

Right Page bottom right (Party skirt cotton print $220, Silk Bustier $158)


I had to go when we drove down the highway and I saw those tents and the pretty lights on the Ferris wheel…I just had to go!  Carivale de la Lune Bleue is in Bromont and is featuring the circus show La Vie, which stars our very own Mimi. (fashion week: roses in her hair balancing on top of two young shirtless men in my magician’s assistant costume…remember her now?)

I want you to see these paintings.  These large canvases were all over the site and sometimes I forget that an artist was standing in front of a canvas with a paintbrush.  Art isn’t always for walls.  Art isn’t always expensive.  Art can be advertising, decor, theater and in this case CIRCUS.  The sky is the backdrop and the style is playful.

I love it.

I wore a red bibi with a red bird sitting in a golden flower (at the boutique $90).

I felt like I fit right in with the freaks and the fancy costumes.


Montreal’s own,  Sandra Kadowaki will be playing with her drumming group at the Kahnawake Pow Wow.

Sandra is a member Arashi Daiko a Montreal Japanese drumming group open to everyone with a passion for beats.    She nurtures her soul in the beats of her drum group where she met and drums with her husband.  Sandra also makes beautiful Japanese paper and polymer clay earrings and pendants .

These styles are all available in store.

For more information about her drumming performances or to register to take classes check out .

Taiko or Daiko means “great wide Japanese stick percussion drum” and the art-form of ensemble taiko drumming.

One of the most memorable drums of many taiko ensembles is the odaiko.  The odaiko is the largest drum in all of taiko if not the entire world.  The largest odaiko are too big to move and permanently reside inside a temple or shrine.  Made from a single piece of wood, hollowed out in it’s center, some odaiko come from trees that are hundreds of years old.

Her group will be performing tomorrow  at the Kahnawake PowWow  Sat July 10 at 6 pm.  See you there!

Where dance and song and spirituality meet a really good party.

photo by Robin Edgar

Just delivered new Japanese paper and polymer clay earrings to the store.


YEAR 3 as Smirkus costume designer!

This years’ theme was Nature, the seasons, the elements.  It was almost to broad a theme to start with.  We tried different angles  to approach Nature with a narrower filter.  We settled on a Nature Rock-opera with a touch of Burning-man and a lot of KL style.

The Winters were purple, like when you see  shadows on the snow.  We added fun fur and icicle shapes. We put the emphasis on the feet because they are tight-rope walkers.

Here we have one of the Fire girls.  This year’s goal was to make as many headpieces as possible.  I find a head piece really frames and completes a costume.  The fire girls are the contortionists.

Spring and summer expressed in flowers.  One day I would love to do a whole show based on the birds and the bees…flowers, insects and foliage.

Autumn-Man, the superhero of leaves.  This set of  Fall foliage costumes required some hunting for sewable orange leaves.  Green fake leaves are easy to come by, but yellows and oranges and reds required some searching.  I finally found a supplier specialized in Retail decor.  They also sold oversized fake ice cream cones.

Great work Katharina on the embellishments!

Our very Canadian looking lumberjacks.  We just couldn’t help ourselves.

And here we have our rock-star unicyclists sporting some very extreme gear.  I can’t wait to see these helmets light up under a spotlight.  They were made with gem stone studs and a dis-assembled disco ball.  Hanna made the power-ranger inspired gear.

These are the costumes for the Water girls.  The wavy textures make these my favorite costumes.  The girls also had headpieces made with blue hair extensions and purple hand-dyed yarn.

We did it again!  This year my costume team consisted of:

Katharina Pitczuk and  Hanna Broer (the two blue costumes above)

and Siobhan Martel (who is currently on tour with Smirkus).

Thank you Smirkus!


When I went to Smirkus for the costume fittings this year, I took a little walk one evening and discovered Ramona.  Ed Leclair had mentioned this gem, but I had no idea just how enchanted I would be to discover her for myself.  She took my breath away and made me dream of a time when she was inhabited and on the road with a traveling show.  Since she is currently residing inside a very nice barn, she is safe from rain and sun.  The pictures are a little dark and do not do her beautiful paint job justice.

When you open the side door, a little ladder appears that can be hooked onto the exterior door jam.

This is the upper front window in the bedroom.  All beveled glass and stained glass windows.

This is the view from the interior living room into the bedroom.

Here is that front bedroom window from the inside.

And of course there are little 3-d stucco angels on the walls.  The details in the moldings and finishing back then was truly high art.

Why not put a fireplace into a roulotte?  You need to stay warm, entertain and feel like an all around classy lady when you are working a mud show.

And here is the tail end of Ramona.  Once maybe she was pulled by horses and had wooden wagon wheels.  Just imagine that chandelier clanking about.  Could I have designed and made costumes back in the day and lived in Ramona…  Definitely!


WE LOVE THESE BECAUSE THEY ARE  fabulously embellished and brightly colored fun for your sunny beach times.

This summer is the first ever debut for swimwear in the store.  WE have lots of different styles to soak up the sun in.

We love these because they are SKIMPY!   Some times,  when  you are deep in vacation land, and you have had enough time to shed your northern inspired body issues and fears, and the sun keeps calling, and the sand is delicious and warm, –  you want to wear a little less.   You could, do like some of the locals in your paradise spot  probably do – GO Naked!  Or,  you could slip into one of these playful little numbers.   These beachwear pieces are high on style and small on coverage.   Tee heee hee !  Have fun! Enjoy the sun!

Miss Sara M discovered these gems for us,  in her home land of Columbia,  where the swim pieces are lovingly made and embellished by hand.   WE love the color combos and three dimensional elements.   The bikinis with the leaves have a particular KL flare that fits into the boutique so nicely beside Kat’s own swimwear designs.   Wear these mini pieces with some great cover ups like Kat’s flying vest $64 or Patricia Woods Beach Wrap Cardigans $ 115  (available in sheer black and Ivory and Gray).   Then add on a fun Pupina beach bag for good measure(available in store for $24 to $36 in variety of bright colors with floral ascents).

Katrin has equally playful options available in store that she designed herself that offer all the fun with more coverage.  Katrin Leblond offers her own designs in bikini and very covering tankini versions.

I personally can’t wait for the tankini to hit the shelves.   I’m looking forward to going with my daughter to Montreal’s outdoor pools and wading pools and not feeling too shy to get wet and have fun with her.

this mom and daughter know how to keep cool on summer’s hot days

The Athena dress makes a great beach wear pairing  to which ever swim pieces you choose as the dress is actually made of highest quality swim compatible fabric.   Put on your dress and high heels,  grab a martini and jump in the pool!   The fabric is quick drying and light and stays great in water.   Kat is THE true goddess of swim and poolside clothing.  Many of her Art Skirts and Katrina tanks and mini skirts also make amazing beach or poll side cover ups for over your swimsuit.   No doubt you can be the best dressed  Pool side Party hostess in your KL ensembles.


Everyday should be a Celebration of our place in the world no matter where we are. Celebrate the world around you and the people and community that you are part of.   Find the beauty waiting for you when you wake up and go outside.

Be thankful.

Today I thank the ancestors of all living things that have grown, lived and transformed the paths that I have lived in my life.  I thank my mother for welcoming me here.  I thank my brothers and sisters for joining me, side by side on their own journeys.

I thank my daughter for choosing me to welcome her.

Aya in KL dress she designed with Kat for her daycare graduation

I thank all the peoples who have found their place in this country. In particular I thank the first nations peoples on Canada day.

Norval Morriseau paiting.

POw wow at 2006 Regina Campus First Nations University of Canada Photo by Tina Pelletier

I thank the plants and animals who lived here before us all.

I take a moment to be sorry for the aggressions that have taken place here in the past and I make wishes for a powerful joyous and healing future.

I send out love to all.  I send out the feeling of connection to this earth, to it’s plants and animals and elements and people. May we all share. Love.

May we all share.   Love.

Love Erin.

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