There has always been a long-standing relationship between MUSIC AND FASHION, largely due to the fact that both of these industries make up the most influential parts of our society, and have historically played large roles in shaping a generation and its POP CULTURE.

By Angelic Vendette

Now, more than ever before, Canadian designers are at the very forefront of the international music and fashion scene—whether it be on the red carpet, on-stage at the Grammy Awards, or even worn by the most influential singers and celebrities in their day-to-day—the spotlight is shinning bright on Canadian talent, and we couldn’t be more proud. In the past, Canadian designers have often found it challenging to pierce the international scene. Today’s digital era is breaking all social and geographical barriers, allowing the very best art and talent to shine through and making it easier for stars and stylists to discover our local designers! At the moment, all eyes are on Canadian talent.

Their designs and work speak for themselves. Here is a look at some of our best homegrown designers, currently shaping and moulding the fashion scene as we know it.

 

Rad Hourani

Self-described visualist, Rad Hourani has achieved more than most artists in his young career. As a filmmaker, photographer, and designer, Hourani has not only been acclaimed and praised for his work in fashion, but in all the disciplines that he has undertaken.

Rad Hourani’s photographs have been showcased in some of the most prestigious exhibits worldwide, including at the Jardins du Palais-Royal in Paris and the Arrtco Gallery in Beijing. His film projections have also been shown at the Montreal Phi Centre and at Centre Pompidou in Paris. Most notably, however, in 2013, Hourani was invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris to present his garments; he changed history with his first unisex haute couture collection ever. With the collection, Rad Hourani established a name for himself, but also for Canadian fashion design amongst the greatest couturiers the fashion world has ever seen.

As a designer, Rad Hourani’s designs are widely recognized as clean, modern, and androgynous. Rare is the garment from his label that isn’t monochromatic, particularly black and sometimes white. The artist’s disregard for gender labels, however, is what truly sets him apart and makes him part of a true cultural revolution. He famously said:

.

leto-

Jared Leto for Dress to Kill, photo: Rad Hourani, Kate Moss & Cara Delevingne, Lenny Kravitz, Lady Gaga

Androgyny, gender neutrality, and sexual ambiguity have all been pop culture topics of conversation since the later part of the 20th century. Famous singers like David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Prince, and Lady Gaga have all pronounced their views on the matter. One of the earliest examples of Bowie’s androgyny is depicted in his album The Man Who Sold the World, in which he created his androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust.

In recent years, the discussion has been more widely popularized in large part due to Lady Gaga (and the support of her army of Monsters). As a further wink to gender neutrality and to Rad Hourani, Lady Gaga has also been spotted wearing the artist’s designs on more than one occasion.

The pop music scene may have been the pioneer in starting the discussion on gender neutrality, but Rad Hourani’s stance shows us that fashion also has a large role in social commentary and social change.

 

 

Mikhael Kale

Known for his intricate detailing and edgy feminine looks, Mikhael Kale’s designs are as beautiful as they are ornate. His collections juxtapose street style and haute couture, and are as easily worn on and off the red carpet.

After having graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins and having worked with labels such as Antonio Marras and Bally, as well as perfecting his skillset in a design position under the tutelage of Sergio Ciucci for Exte, Mikhael Kale returned to Toronto from Milan to start his eponymous label in 2007. The designer hasn’t looked back since!

All attention is currently on Mikhael Kale. Not only has the Toronto-based designer been recognized as the Womenswear Designer of the Year at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) in 2015, but he has also gained much notoriety abroad, especially with the stars. Mikhael Kale is now a celebrity go-to for red carpet events. Having dressed some of the most influential names in the industry: Gigi Hadid, Sky Ferreira, Jennifer Lopez, and the queen of pop herself, Beyoncé.

When asked about his role in dressing Queen B, Kale has previously stated:

kale

 Beyoncé, Gigi Hadid

Most recently, model and latest music muse Gigi Hadid has also been spotted wearing Mikhael Kale on multiple occasions. The influential fashion and Instagram model, who appeared in three music videos in the last year alone, adorned a Mikhael Kale two-piece set at the Much Music Video Awards (MMVA’s) at the end of the summer. The stunning two-piece set was paired with a customized white, iridescent jacket, emblazoned with “#HADID” across the back. Needless to say, Mikhael Kales’s outfit alone set the social media world on fire—reminding us that the hashtag is truly part of our current generation’s pop culture and that perhaps soon, the name Mikhael Kale will be too.

.

creta pink

 Coco Rocha, Pink

Greta Constantine is a brand synonymous with luxury, sensuality, and elegance. The designs are sleek, yet sexy, with always a hint of the unexpected, which speaks greatly to Greta Constantine’s ability to remain true to itself, yet ever evolving and surprising to its clientele.

The creative forces behind the brand, Kirck Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, have been collaborating together on Greta Constantine for the better part of the last decade now, and they have maintained their original muse and focus: women. Both Pickersgill and Wong have distinct approaches to fashion and design, yet, when married together, their viewpoints help the design become something else, a creation of its own. Originally known on the international fashion scene for their signature draped jersey gowns or the dresses that launched their career, Pickersgill and Wong’s designs, now sleeker and sharper, are still rooted in shape—that of the female form, rather than of the abstract, sculptural variety.

It is no surprise that, over the years, Greta Constantine has amassed a legion of sexy feminine celebrities—including Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Coco Rocha, Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Hudson, Naomi Campbell, and more—having worn their designs

Greta Constantine has leveraged its strong media buzz and celebrity clientele to develop an extensive international retail network. The duo’s collection is available at over 35 locations worldwide, which is a great feat given that all their operations remain proudly Canadian-based and strongly rooted in their downtown Toronto studio.

Coco Rocha, another strong proponent of the Canadian Fashion industry, has been seen wearing Greta Constantine on multiple high fashion profile occasions: at the Metropolitan Opera Season Opening in New York, the Mad Men special screening, and multiple red carpet events.

The fashion designer is currently nominated for the 2016 CAFA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award, further proof that fashion designers do not need to leave Canada to gain worldwide success and to make their footprint known in the industry. Greta Constantine is changing the way we think about Canadian Fashion and its success.

 

 

Tanya Taylor

Tanya Taylor’s designs are young, colourful, and energetic—all characteristics also describing her loyal and growing customer fan base, which just so happens to include one of the most powerful women in America and one of the most influential women in music.

While creative patterns and feminine flare are what Tanya Taylor’s designs are known and coveted for, it is the designer’s strong focus on wearability and her emphasis on fabric that have set her apart from other designers. Toronto-born Tanya Taylor uses innovative materials, such as silk twills and silk cotton prints, in her designs, most usually embellished with laser cut patterns of various shapes and colours. As any true artist, the designer also draws inspiration from various forms of art to create her patterns, and has collaborated with different mixed-media artists and painters for everything from art installations in her showroom to hand painted invitation cards for her shows.

Tanya Taylor is now based in New York City, where her collections are also made. The designer, who is both business savvy and extremely creative, originally studied finance at McGill University, but soon gravitated to fashion, landing a design role at Elizabeth and James after graduating from Parsons.

Soon after launching her first line, Tanya Taylor was called “one to watch,” and her designs have been seen on everyone from Taylor Swift to Zendaya, Lady Gaga, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Tanya Taylor is thrilled about the opportunity to dress these high profile women and has stated:

.

own-style

 Lena Dunham, Abbie Cornish & Taylor Swift

Michelle Obama has been photographed in several of the designer’s dresses, and Taylor Swift has also been seen in several of the designer’s two-pieces when out and about. The influence and power of these ladies is currently shaping society’s younger generation into confident and empowered women (#squadgoals anyone?). With these highly influential women strongly supporting Tanya Taylor, the designer has become a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry.

Comments