Posts from ‘Costumes’


Here she is: the Lady!

Nowadays women don’t get to be a queen or a princess or a duchess or a lady anymore.  Well, Lady Gaga says Bah! to that idea.

Whether you love her or not, she is awesomely bold and honours couture by wearing the runway pieces that no-one else dares to wear.

The origami dresses are incredible and she wore three of them ( so she must really like it).  They are by designer Thierry Mugler.

And here we have the bubble dress by designer Hussein Chalayan.  It seems there is debate whether or not she is sporting a real or a knock off of this dress.  Either way, she is not sitting down.

This is the best of all.  It is by Armani and it reminds me of the good witch in the Wizard of Oz, just in the future.  She looks incredible!  Not to mention, she is carrying a starburst accessory that is not a wand, not a purse, not really anything …and she is pulling it off.  Her hair is barbie fabulous.  Her shoes, oh my goddess, her shoes become her tights which go all the way up her leg in a thin line of sparkles.

Rocking Alexander McQueen!  Here we get a glimpse of the lady that she is.  She is not the kermit the frog wearing pop star.  She is not wearing the meat dress.  She is all woman.  She is a lady.

I say this to YOU now:  Wear it.  Dare to buy and wear the couture pieces that designers create.  When that occasion pops up and you need to get media coverage, what you wear will make a difference!



My friend Rebekah used to dance in the tits and glitz shows of Montreal past.   They wore pasties and sparkles and entertained at the casinos and cabarets.  These images are not from Montreal, however, they are all vintage costume post cards from shows in Paris.  I don’t know when these images date from, but am curious if anyone feels like they do.

The star lady.  I imagine that headpiece is covered in rows of sequins and beads.  I love the commitment to stars everywhere, on her dress and even her shawl is made from pieced star shapes joined at the points.

This lady is also adorned in a star.  She wears it as her bikini bottom.  She has bug like wings, or leaves at her sides.  She is seen again a few images farther down from  behind.  Her headpieces is very princess Leah and her bikini top reminds me of the points on a circus tent.

Garlands, garlands…apparently that is all one needed to look cute on stage.

The skirt bustle on this lady is just great.  More ruffles, more frills and more volume!  yeah!

Come play dress up!  COME TO MY STORE!


This was the first wedding dress I ever made!  And it’s red!  It was for the late December wedding of my dear friend Djahane and she wanted to feel like a snow queen.  I embroidered fluffy stars swirling around a large white mohair tree.  The ivory velvet jacket had red silk roses on the front.

I also made the groom’s tie, seven little boy bow-ties and two red sashes for the flower girls.  I love the contrast between the blue shirts and the red ties!

Below is the fabulous Ali Luminescent.  She is a multi-skilled performance artist and circus performer.  She is wearing the blue Jolly top from Spring 2010 in this shot.  I think the whole composition of the shot is great!


Recently, I got a call from two Sirkus Smirkus graduates who were looking for some new costumes.   They are a young and ambitious duo consisting of: Lindsay Culbert-Olds and Kia-Melinda Eastman.  Though I am in design mode for Spring 2011, I felt like this would be a fun little interruption.   The girls  got a corporate gig in Hong Kong doing an aerial number at a mall.  Well, why not?

Here is the sketch I proposed for their Jester costumes.  I coloured them according to the circus colours: purple, green and silver.  They were made at my studio by myself and my design team’s most talented Katharina!

Here are the girls at their first fitting: posing and looking cute!  Imagine them with white face paint and black diamonds over their eyes and purple rhinestones.


the most artistically challenging part of this gig was adding the mall’s logo.  It was not part of my original design.  Below You can see the logo printout next to the textile logo I made for the girls’ costumes.

This photo I got from Kia.  I think they are happy with their costumes.

just added these pics from the show in Hong Kong.  Looking good!


I was very excited last month when I got a preliminary phone call inviting me a to be apart of this years WAWA (an acronym for: We Are Women Artists).  I got to dress the femme fatale herself…drumroll please…Amanda Mabro!  The contact was made when Krin, my fashion show artistic director and circus star in her own right, was invited to hostess the event.  We did the press photos at the store and tickets will be available at boutique Katrin Leblond soon.

This is one of my all time favouritqe costumes.  I made this for Krin’s wheel act and it is made with entirely designer silks including 10cm of Dior.

Here are the digs on WAWA:

Amanda Mabro, The WAWA Show
February 26, 8 p.m., $25, Gesù — Centre de créativité

Fresh off the heels of her outstanding performances at the 2008 and 2010 Montreal Jazz Festival and OSHEAGA music festival, musical visionary & vocalist Amanda Mabro brings you “The WAWA Show!” An acronym for “We Are Women Artists”, Mabro’s main inspiration for the event is fostering community among female artists internationally. Now in its 6th edition, WAWA is pleased to be part of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival delighting the ears, eyes, hearts and minds of festival goers; witness the powerful pipes and soul-pop sounds of Amanda Mabro herself, the soaring gypsy voice of Cirque de Soleil singer Mirjana Milovanovic, the achingly beautiful harmonies of 2010 Juno winners The Goodlovelies, the colorful and classy couture of Katrin Leblond, the amazing concert photography of Andree Anne Handfield, and the incredibly entertaining hosts & circus artists Krin Haglund and Andreane Leclerc.


How happy do these shoes make me?

I especially love the little garlic bulb reference in the first shoe on the heel.  It is wintery and foresty and fit for an elf queen.

And these little numbers below remind me of the totally-blew-my-mind away book called Fairyality in which the artist creates fashion out of leaves and flowers and feathers for an imaginary fashion house called Ellwand.  I have inserted the book cover below.  We have a copy at the store for you to come and see.


I am always inspired by glitz and glamour and nothing beats vintage pin-up.  These are all contemporary performers in the Burlesque Cabaret scene.  And what a scene!  These gals sing and dance and strip and act and shoot advertisements and make a good living keeping their skin milky white.  Their hair is black and set in curls and their lips are always perfectly red.  That is the style of pin-up, but these ladies are making it contemporary.

This is Camille o Sullivan, my favourite of the three.  I simply adore the black taffta busstle skirt with green silk bow.  The pleating and the hips are very modern and the bolero is similar to one currently in my design sketchbook.

The top hat with the voilette in front of her eyes is a very nice touch.

I never tire of sparkly ruby red slippers.  One day, I will carry them at my store.

In this photo I am most interested in how the undergarment is separate from the bra.  It is totally a suck-in-your-gut garment that has been transformed into a sexy corset high-waisted skirt.  Love it!

Here is Dita Von Teese sitting in a large oversized bra.  What a great stage prop.

These two images are simply great compositions with amazing lighting.  The clothing is secondary to the set.  It is the pose on the horsy bike and the big gold stripes that makes this image a total work of art!

And lastly, I present to you the cat-eyes of Immodesty Blaize.

The jewel studded corset with diamond straps is just insane over the top wonderful.  One day i want someone to hire me to make a $10,000 corset. … Covered in Svarovsky crystals and solid as a rock.

I leave you with this image of Immodesty fully covered.  These ladies always dress to the nines and I could do a whole blog post about what they wear when they are not stripping and titillating.  They are artists that are living their professional image all the way.  They stay in character wherever they go.  It is something I have been trying to explain to musicians and actresses a lot lately.  Think about your style after the show…what do you want to be seen wearing in the dressing room.. at the bar..talking to a journalist?  What do you want to be seen wearing when you are grocery shopping or signing autographs?   Your whole life is your art and there are many subtle ways to promote your craft all the time.  Dressing the part is key.



Long gone are the days where Halloween costumes were sewn from a Simplicity pattern.  Now you can buy all the latest characters for $25 at the pharmacy…so sad!  What intrigues me most about these patterns is how our ideas of clown have changed over the years.  Really baggy costumes used to be the rage.  Now fashion dictates the silhouettes and thus even costumes are fitted and shaped.  These Bozo clowns look really dated to the modern eye.

I really love the red and white puffy clown pants.  I want to make these for Smirkus one day.

Again the red and white vertical stripes are really kind of cute.

I love that the same pattern can make you a peasant, an angel or a witch.  I, of course, would opt for WITCH!



Kia Eastman and Lindsay Culbert-Olds



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.


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.



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.


All posts in this post were found and pulled from the web by Kat

I am a spiritual person.  I am a political person.

I believe that I am empowered to make ethical decisions that are beneficial for my community by the money I spend as an entrepreneur .  I believe that as an artist, it is my duty to create beauty for my customers to enjoy.  I believe that women deserve to be treated like goddesses entering a temple when they come in to my boutique.  They are to be served, taken care of, draped in fabric and made to feel beautiful.   I believe this from the bottom of my heart.

I have always been politically active and I have always been crafty.  There were certain points in my life where I felt guilty and pained because “just making pretty things” was not saving the planet.  Now that I am running an ecological and local manufacturing business that serves and adores women, I feel better.  I have merged my environmental activist with my feminist and with my local economist in a way that allows me to keep being a creative human being.

And here is Linda Evangelista, our Montreal-born International Fashion Icon, merging her political views that something is wrong in the world and someone should be held accountable with her love of the Madonna.  She got to play a living Madonna in a Religious procession.  I have traveled to Antigua in Guatemala to see these processions.  They walk the streets playing sad brass band music all the while carrying statues and crying for the death of Jesus.  They walk for 12-13 hours.  My main reason for traveling there was to see the “carpets” that the locals make from coloured saw dust and flowers.  The carpets are made in the street prior to the passing of the procession.  When the procession passes, the carpet gets trampled.  It was incredibly beautiful.  (This is reminding me that I should do a post about those carpets.)

I am unusually attracted the the iconography of the Madonna even though I was not raised in any form of Christianity.  To me the Madonna is the “mother”, gaia, goddess … and those are all great things.  It represents female divinity, something each woman carries within herself.

I love religious art.  I love folk art.  I love making pretty things.

It can take quite a while in life’s journey to settle into being who you truly are and not who you wish you were.


Rococo, Victorian, Baroque, Elizabethan….if it is elaborate and covered in gold foil, I am loving it.  Though I have traditionally been heavily influenced by folklore and rustic crafts, I am finding a new attraction to over-the top Marie-Antoinette style.  Here we see what would have happened if Marie-Antoinette had been a Pagan Earth Queen.

I found these images on the internet and have been saving them for you, my dear readers, for quite some time now.

The corset is all assembled with thorns that are pinning together the leaves.  The embellishments are all roses and lilacs…just try to imagine the smell.

This lovely lady seems to be sporting a log-cabin skirt?  Not sure why, but the overall look is quite successful.

And here we have a costume that reminds me of myself.  My favourite holiday is Halloween and I am usually one of two things:  A witch or an Forest spirit.  I think this woman did a great job combining fabrics.  The best part is the juxtaposition of the gold corset and the raw rags skirt.

The fall collection is in the process of being released and designed all at once.  I have already put some pieces into the boutique, but there are many more to come.  You will see some peasant sleeves on soft knit tops,  a wool coat with full skirt, a very Chanel inspired little cardigan suit with pencil skirt.  I am growing up and so the collection will inevitably express some classicism while retaining it’s playful funk.

Have a great week-end!



Yeah!   the new shipment of umbrellas has finally arrived in the store.   Come checkout the daisies and roses and dahlias and palm leaves.   There are umbrellas with floating air balloons and purple ruffles…  Peacock feathers!   Sunflowers!  Water lilies!   Come pop up your very own personal halo of joy.   Available in folding or walking stick varieties.  Yes we do now have versions that can fit in your purse.


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!


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!


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.


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!

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