By Stéphane Le Duc

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

photography: Alexandre Paskanoi - paskanoi.com

Catherine!
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Designer Catherine Malandrino may have an american approach to her work, but she remains french at heart.

She has an unparalleled sense of elegance, but also a sharp eye, capable of capturing and understanding what women want. Established in 1998 in New York, she’s found success with celebrities such as Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Sharon Stone and Rihanna. While passing in Montreal for the opening of her first Canadian store, she shared with us her enthusiasm, intelligence and passion for fashion.

SL. Why wait so long before coming to Montreal?

CM. It’s just become evident to me that Montreal is a bridge between Paris and New York. It is a bicultural city that speaks english and french, it’s dynamic, but also poetic like  Paris. There is a very human dimension to it.

SL. What hit me when I saw your collections was the strong femininity, but also a certain realism catered to contemporary life.

CM. They are clothes that have a pertinence. These days, women are always on the move. They are mothers and independent women that travel. Mostly, they want clothing that is comfortable, but also reflects their lifestyle. I learnt this while working in New York. I make clothing that is easy for these women. They don’t wear it to cover themselves, but rather as a second skin.

SL. You have also worked in Paris with some of the great masters of Couture. What have you learnt from creators like Louis Féraud and Emmanuel Ungaro?

CM. These are men that adore women, and that have a strong desire for seduction. Another point they make is to speak of timeless femininity. I have tried to implement this in my own collections. For me, womanliness is not a product of yesterday, today or tomorrow. It isn’t a product of fashion either. Clothing has to correspond and stay true to contemporary sensibilities.

SL. So, attention to details was intrinsic to their work.

CM. Yes, and it is at the heart of my work too. I love a clean and simple cut for a dress, a lovely décolté, an elegant sleeve, with the perfect length. All of which will make it beautiful and irresistible, still it isn’t the canvas. That remains in the details that are worked into the dress, which bring it to life, and give it all its dimensions. It becomes a visual language that speaks of the woman wearing it.

SL. Was it essential for you to build your own brand?

CM. What was essential to me was to bring a new proposition to women. The moment I draw these pieces, they don’t belong to me anymore. They belong to the women I love, because I made it for them. I imagined something to make them stronger, more beautiful, more audacious and even more impertinent, because that is what drives me.

SL. What do celebrities, like your friend Mary J. Blidge, say to you about wearing your clothing?

CM. They want clothes that are an extension of who they are. They don’t necessarily want the latest trends in fashion, they mostly want style. What they have in common are guts, sensibility and fortitude. The have a strong need to express themselves, including through the way they dress. They use it to really put who they are out there. They also want to feel unique. I find these artists to be a real source of inspiration. Besides, I have made an entire collection dedicated to Mary J. Blige, which was called Urban Queen. She made me want to mix leather with lace and nails…

SL. What do you predict for the future?

CM. Happiness… especially for having the desire to touch every part of the creative universe.

Boutique Catherine Malandrino
1472 rue Sherbrooke ouest
Montréal, Québec
www.catherinemalandrino.com

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