Archive for September, 2010

Sep
30

The rain is pouring down and time seems like it is slowing down.

Grey days are the perfect time to give yourself a bit of  T.L.C.  Some tenderness, some love, some care….Come by the store and have a tea with Cassandra or Anna or me, Erin.

It’s a great time of year to just love yourself.  See yourself for who you are.  Beautiful.  See your self where you want to be.  Doing what you want to do.  The talented women in the shop are great sounding boards for your visions for yourself in the world and what you want to say.  We are here to help you find a way to express the part of your self that clothing can.

So much can be said, shared…communicated in the way we dress.  Be generous with yourself.  Be generous with the world.  Clothing can be an opportunity to share some positivity.

I have to say it.  I covet this jacket.   The artistically styled and tailored to perfection ode to Coco is available in several envy inspiring colour ways.   I had to hold myself back from buying two.  The fall collection is truly incredible.   Katrin has stepped it up again.  This seasons fashions are candy indulgence for the coordinates crowd. Not only are the items in the store beautiful singles on their own but they have multiple pairing options available that combine into powerful, playful, flattering ensembles.  Yes! there are skirts to match this stunner.  This jacket also looks great with the Cerise dress that Katrin released for late summer and has re released for fall just so you can have a last chance to co ordinate the outfit fit of my dreams.  Classy and Artistic can be fabulously combined.  The red jacket with Kaffe Fassette designed cotton button band and pocket embellishments is available in store for $248.

This dress is the perfect companion to the Coco Jacket.  We also have beautiful, practical and playful knee length skirt in the same fabric.  Perfect for work or play.

There are so many colours in this print it is easy to mix and match loads of surprising and down right fabulous combinations.

The Coco Jacket comes in several different colour combinations with different price points depending on materials and exclusivity.

This classy poka dot and check combo is a steal at $ 148 pictured below.  It is so easy to combine the black ,ivory, and grays into your wardrobe basics.

Stylish. Professional. HOT.

There are a gluttony of styles that make my mouth water in the store right now.  Come save me from some.  I am having a really hard time not buying them all up myself.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.

erin

Sep
29

Life in the studio is often very busy and full of machine sounds, ringing phones and beautiful chaos.  Last week we took a moment to eat a delicious lunch of freshly harvested organic veggies.  The spread on the sewing machines was so pretty and reflects the quality of life I am constantly striving to achieve.

Beatriz, our beloved patternmaker (we call her our Queen!) has recently retired.  We celebrated her Birthday with a homemade peach pie.  If I weren’t designing clothes, I would be baking pies.

Take time to eat with the people you love.  The food tastes better that way.

Kat

Sep
25

Fabulous, Sophisticated, unexpected, playful, fun, glamorous, sensuous……. What is not to love about this dress!

photo by Bryanna Bradley/Montreal Gazette

Marylise Bourke est née en 1976.  Cétte actrice québecoise a travaille’ beaucoup  dans le cinema et au petit ‘ecran.

J’adore les pieds nus!  Gros merci Marilyse de porter si bien ma robe Athena ($325).  Cette robe est disponible aussi en bourgogne, noir et gris pour l’automne.

Sep
25

Pink, Charcoal, black, cherry, teal, lime burgundy……. delicious custom created palettes of woolly goodness are waiting to warm you up.  Come wrap yourself in local creativity!

These vests look beautiful with Katrin’s skirts.  Walk in the world sharing beauty.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.

erin

Sep
23

Kia Eastman and Lindsay Culbert-Olds

Kat

Sep
23

Annie Thibault haunting performance enchants.  Emily des Meules has many new styles in the store and Katrin’s crinolines are available in a rainbow of colours for $140.  Black tube top available in a rainbow of colours for $25 at the boutique.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique

erin

Sep
22

I made this dress for Annabelle Chvostek, one of my all time favourite Montreal born singer-songwriters.  I loved her music when I was 20 and have watched her career grow and blossom and evolve.   The tree dress was used for a music video shoot.  Here is the original sketch I made for the concept.

My process for this dress was interesting.  I wanted to achieve a barky texture with knots and all, so I started by sewing rows and rows of overlock onto the fabric.  Only after I had created enough texture, did I cut and sew the dress from my new material.  It had a deep V for cleavage and panels that spread out at the bottom onto the ground.  She wore it standing on a milk crate so that her trunk-legs looked extra tall.

Here are other images I have collected that I find intriguing, inspiring and great for upcoming Halloween ideas.

Sep
14

Look at this Klimt inspired image.  These textiles are crazy awesome and inspiring.

These are not all traditional wax prints, but for the most part a wax print has more than one layer of printing anyways.

How it is done: The core element in Wax Print is of course the wax. Using two deep engraved copper rollers, with the mirror image of the design, the two sides of the cotton fabric are printed with a pattern of melted wax, hence the name Wax Print. The fact that the cloth is printed on both sides enables you to wear the fabric on either side. This is the true sign of a quality wax print. Following this, the cloth is immersed in a bath of dye, often Indigo, that penetrates into the areas that are not covered with wax. After the wax as been washed off in varying stages, a negative image of the printed pattern remains on the cloth.

The next step is called a The Wax Cover.  It is a Wax Print which is enriched with one or more coloured patterns. These ‘cover’ patterns can be of very varying designs such as circles, stripes, birds, leaves, in fact any graphic form.

Even the photography blows me away and I can’t get enough of these prints.  They are beyond incredible.  They are so bold it would scare any North American Fashionista into a rabbit hole to hide and cower with her wardrobe of shlumpy grey and black minimalist modern outfits.  If the goddesses from the heavens could come down to earth and shop, I am sure that these are the fabrics they would buy for their ceremonial gowns and cloud sitting leisure wear.

High African Fashion

All of these prints are from a company called Vlisco.  They are a Dutch wax printing company that have been making high end fashion fabrics destined for the African market for over a century.

Here are the photos from the most recent collection at Vlisco.  Just stunning!

http://www.vlisco.com

and my favourite ones have been saved for last:

Sep
13

Photos in this post by Kat

It seems to me that everyone in my family is an artist.  This is the garden of my uncle Paul Leblond.  It is a very magical garden with plants and colours everywhere.

As a designer who does a lot of leaf-inspired embellishments, I am especially stunned by this section of the garden.  The shapes of the leaves and the two toned colour combinations are unique and inspiring.

Cleomes.  Always loved them.  They make the most delightful seed pods that spring open if they are touched, releasing a cascade of little black seeds into your hand.

This is the view from the back porch on a rainy day.

Sep
10

Lysandre Champagne fait revivre la musique de Louis Armstrong et d’autres légendes du jazz avec son groupe Misses Satchmo.

S’il y a un groupe qui peut parvenir à faire aimer le jazz à une nouvelle génération, c’est bien Misses Satchmo. D’abord un duo formé des irrésistibles Lysandre Champagne (trompette et voix) et Maude Alain-Gendreau(piano), que sont venus complémenter les excellents Frédéric Pauze (contrebasse) et Marton Maderspach (batterie), Misses Satchmo dépoussière les “standards” du genre et les interprète avec un enthousiasme rafraîchissant.

photo: David Simard

Le Divan Orange, 19 Septembre, 21h

Quai de Brumes, 28 Septembre, 22h

Le Balcon, 21 Octobre, 19h

Quai de Brumes, 3 Novembre, 22h

Le Divan Orange, 14 Novembre, 21h

www.myspace.com/missessatchmo

PS:  I’ve been dressing Lysandre for a few years now and she is a delight.  This gutsy gal has some real talent and holds that stage and your attention with no effort.  She’ll make you bop in your chair and smile in your cup.  If you want to treat yourself to something playful and original, I suggest you check out one of the dates above.  You can view a video of her on her myspace page.  -Kat


Sep
09

All photos in this post by Erin unless other wise mentioned

Fabric.  Art, that is then used to make more art, that is then used in the art that is your life.  High quality 100% cotton.  This is luxurious, high thread count, cotton.   We love this print by Kaffe Fassette.  Kat’s team made it into a “cerise” dress (that means “cherry”  in french), a skirt, bedding and more…. available in the store.

I personally can’t wait for it to come in as throw pillows.  I really want one for my bed that is already dressed in various Katrin Leblond bedding mix and matches.

It reminds me of a kaleidoscope, mandalas, Van Gogh’s Starry Night swirls,  Klimt, Toller Cranston’s costume details in his paintings of the nutcracker, summer, fall, arts and crafts, the universe, gypsy magic, and the bindis on my daughter’s custom embellished bicycle that she loves and I Love, LOVE, LOOOOOOOOOVE.

Bindis are normally used for ceremonially decorating the faces of women and girls all over south Asia including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Indian.  They are kind of like tattoo stickers.  They come in all different shapes, sizes and colours.  The ones on Aya’s bicycle are covered in rhinestones.

I have to brag.   I thought I was a genius when I came up with the idea of lacquering bindis onto her bike.

I loved fitting the bindis onto the shapes of the bike frame.  I loved finding a place for them that  seemed like they were always meant to be there.

Try and find the bits of broken disco ball.

Peeka boo! I see you!

Dring!  Dring!

The image on the bell is Ganesh the Hindu elephant god of abundance. Success!  Good fortune! This cheerful safety accessory for your two wheeled vehicle  is made by a local Montreal artist, Glen, that crazy Mile end metal sculpture artist, responsible for the sculpture park near the train tracks.  You can get his bells at the used sports equipment store on Bernard between Parc and Saint Urbain.

The seat is covered in swimwear fabric, of course!   Kat helped to hand stitch.  Swimwear:  Stretchy so it fits snug and dries fast when it rains.  Cover a bike seat for a small person you know with one of the swim suits they have just out grown.  A few whip stitches is all it takes!

We made this bike from a street side reject with a sign on it that said “If you want it, you can have it”.  My daughter and a friend cleaned it up and she rode it for a while till she complained about the rust.

What colour would you like it to be? I asked.

“Gold” she said to my surprise.

The end result is covered in bindis, spray painted gold, lacquered with nail polish, sparkles and more spray laquer.

I am very proud of this little art project and Aya and I had a really lot of fun doing it.  The basket and handle bar fringe are from Canadian Tire.

Yeah for bikes!  Pedal freely forward.  Free from gas prices.  Free from constant repair costs.  Free from the emissions guilt.  Float on two wheels.  Yeah!  Bikes!  Don’t forget your helmet!

I bike in my cerise dress on my own bike, along side Aya, all the time.

Kat wears the cerise dress available in store. Photo by Barry Maccleod.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.

Erin.

Sep
08

All photos in this post by Kat

I wanted to take the chance to let you all in on my world.  I want to share with you, my loyal and beautiful friends, a part of who I am, and what I love.

So follow me on the journey of how a skirt becomes the embellished wonder that you, and I, all love…

We start with a Basic A-line skirt.  We call it the “Art Skirt”, because I am always embellishing it in new ways with new appliquées and top stitching.   All stitching is done in studio on the sewing machine, but it is what we call “freestyle”.  It is not a computer image being embroidered, so each line is improvised as we sew.

This was in the fall collection fashion show as a sheer skirt with a nude thong underneath. As the world is not a runway show, we needed to make the skirt more suitable for everyday use.

First, I draw an image and translate it into stencils that we can use to cut the same shapes out of fabric

The first layer of stitching is really just to tack the cut out shaped to the skirt.

Top stitching details and buttons are added.

Then, we make a top to match, of course.

The racks full of clothing in the palette Black, Grey, Pink, Coral waiting for their new coordinating skirt and top to fill out the whole look.

Now you can get the skirt, the top, the pants, the jacket, the…………

It can all come together or you can always wildly mix and match in unexpected ways from other racks of differing colour palettes all over the store.

See you at the boutique.

erin

Krysten

Kat

Sep
06

all photos in this post by Kat except the beautiful fall leaf colours was offered by Krysten.  This post was written for Kat by Krysten.

Weddings are the perfect place for fanciful dress-up, parading around in your finest and, best of all: a chance to see what everyone else is wearing.   This ogling of others attire is something I fondly refer to as “wardrobe scrutiny”.    Rather than going down the path of criticism I love to scan for the wardrobe statements I admire most.   It is like going on a visual treasure hunt and the reward is stunning fashion.

It was at the wedding of a cherished friend, that I saw a guest wearing a dress adorned with colorful and beautiful hand embroidered bugs.  I stopped the woman and asked if I could take a picture of her dress.  I could not pass up the opportunity to photograph them.  Thankfully she agreed.

It is truly sad to know that long gone are the days where it was very common to see embroidery on clothing.  It is always a pleasure to see someone who appreciates the craftsmanship and the love put into each stitch.

The wonderful thing about hand embroidered pieces is that no two are the exact same, each have their own personality.  These little critters are no exception…

This little dragonfly is the perfect example of the time and consideration put into embroidery.  The colors are bright and the details are exquisite.

This little bee was done perfectly, and with so much detail.  The shading of his body is an added bonus which adds realism to the piece. This little guy’s personality definitely shines.   The colors are more neutral, his colors may not be as bright as the dragonflies’, but that does not make him any less beautiful.  He is quite a regal being.

This little guy may be small, but he is just as perfect as the others.

Here is the front of the dress just below the bust. Individually, these little bugs are immaculate, but together, they form a rich tapestry of fall colors and life. It was an honor be be granted permission to photograph this dress.

The embroidery is perfect for fall.  The colors used definitely take into consideration the sights you might see while walking through the woods on a crisp fall day.  With the leaves a vibrant red, green, golden and rich browns, mother nature is definitely an inspiration for these little works of art.

_________________________~~___________________________

I found some more lovely embroidery being done today, courtesy of the internet.  One may think that birds and insects are better suited to spring than to the upcoming fall season, but done correctly; using neutrals, earth tones and sharp black lines, you cannot go wrong incorporating them into your wardrobe, accessories and home.

A simplistic design, but beautiful.  The use of black lines makes for a wonderfully delicate piece.  The birds may be flying south for the winter, but this one will stay behind as a reminder of the beauty and life that can be.

The monarch design is more complex and elaborate.   So perfect and realistically done, it is almost ready to pop off the material and fly away.  A very true to life piece of work.

Happy Labour Day

Sep
04

All photos in this post by Kat

Yes, this is my mother wearing a big pile of scarfettes on her head as a wig.

I think this is absolutely hilarious.

She just turned 70 this year and look at how much fun we still have together.

I will cherish these photos forever.

Sep
01

all the photos in this post were found and pulled from the web by Kat

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