Purple lace halter dress TAVAN & MITTO. Necklace HARAKIRI. Shoes MIMOSA.

Jaquard lurex high-top shorts and cropped tank TAVAN & MITTO. Necklace HARAKIRI.

Tavan & Mitto
Tavan & Mitto
Tavan & Mitto
Tavan & Mitto

We met up in their boutique/workshop located on Saint-Laurent boulevard in Montréal. While sipping their espressos, Payam Tavan and Mike Mitto reflect on the notion of love, the day’s topic. “Love of women,” they sigh in the same voice. “What can you do,” explains Tavan, “we love women! It’s for them that we design. There’s a reason why we installed our workshop above the store: we wanted to be able to observe our clientele when they first come in so that we can get a feel for their energy and find what they’re looking for. To see them evolve is a source of constant inspiration.”

It’s already been 17 years that these accomplices, ultra talented and sensile, have been designing together with the same dogma in mind: dress women with elegance. It’s the goal of many designers, but how many are actually able to succeed? Tavan & Mitto have the required class. To say the least, the designing accomplices went to good schools. Throughout the ’90s, Tavan worked at Gianfranco Ferré, while Mike Mitto spent a few seasons at Chanel.
In the past, they admit to having been lost at times, whether it was in making compromises, or in seeking to please the masses. But those days are gone. What was the turning point? “Two years ago, famous stylist Annie Horth called us to design dresses for the musicians of Céline Dion’s show in Las Vegas. We realized that elegance and luxury were really at the heart of our designing DNA.”

Their collection this Fall/Winter is testimony to their return to grand chic. It features dresses and skirts boasting impressive volume, oscillating between fluidity and rigidity; “loose” pants paired with organza tops; and clothes presented in luxurious fabrics from silk, organza, wool, cashmere, sequins, to wild fur. In sum, it’s a showcase of incredible delicacy.
As for the topic of love? “Love of fabrics and colours,” Tavan quickly replies, while sketching with his hands the touch of smooth, raw, and soft fabric… all that defines the richness of a garment. “My speciality are finishes. I can spend days working on one seam, a line between two fabrics,” admits Mitto. “We are a bit like Yin and Yang. We compliment each other and are inseparable,” says Payam. Their creative process is like a long, tranquil river? The question seems to amuse the duo. The response, unanimous: “Definitely not! And therein lies the beauty of creating as two!”

It’s best not to rely on their acclaim and try to instill permanence on complex and arduous work whose result leaves neither room at rest (of the creator), nor at respite (of the woman who is always in search of more elegance). As such, better than a long, tranquil river, the analogy is best described as a turquoise sea: calm on the surface, but tumultuous at depth.

— Ela Vecchi

Photography SYLVAIN BLAIS
Styling YSO
Clothing by Tavan & Mitto.

Styling, YSO at Folio. Hair & makeup, Jessica Lablanche at Folio. Model, Ryan at Folio. Assistant photographer, Julien Barbès. Retouching, Marie Pier Toutant.

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