“It’s nice to see a designer embody her own ethos”
And I undeniably do that. I try to exude the same chic, old-school, uptown propriety as do my upcycled vintage inflected clothes I create for ERA Vintage wear. It fits right in with the well-appointed setting of the loft. I also happen to be my best customer!
The fact that I register so low a profile in the overhyped world of fashion does not bother me a bit. It’s not about me, it’s about the product. I rail against the syndrome of Global Fashion, the overexposure that occurs when the same ‘’IT Look’’ are shot for every magazine and sold at every stores. Sometimes I do my part to fight the phenomenon by offering stylists and photographers (my Chosen Ones!) the option of borrowing from my upcycled luxury pieces from the vast collection. I think it is chicer not to be overexposed. Even if it means not getting the credit due to me. Many socialites buy many of ERA Vintage Wear pieces but won’t admit to it. I am their best kept secret. Once asked what they are wearing, they will mention it is vintage but they will not say more. Some day someone will rant that it is a sustainable design made by someone who really cares about style, bla, bla, bla…. so until then I just shrug… at least they keep coming back to me.
My attitude, rare in a world of militaristic PR operations, appeals to my clients/fans, which I always refer to as my ERA Girls. I have a few friends who also wear my clothes and their friends too. When I see them, I never look & think Oh, that’s an ERA. I look & say ‘’ You look amazing’’
Also I enjoy when I see someone wearing my work and it doesn’t smack of, ’’Oh, you’re wearing so-and-so’’ I like to think: She’s wearing a secret weapon, she is wearing ERA.
I never attended fashion school for the sake of fashion. Fashion has run in my vein since childhood, courtesy of my mother, who had closets-full of stylish clothes. I recall watching a Chanel couture show with my mother, then still designed by Coco herself. I asked my mom: ‘’Why do all the models have beige shoes with black tips?’’ She said it was to elongate the leg. So on my first trip to Europe when I was 18, I bought my first pair of Chanel shoes, a beige spector 2’’1/2 heels with black tips and I still have them to this day! I have been collecting Chanel shoes has a guilty pleasure ever since.
After I got my graduate Degree in Paintings & Drawing from Concordia University, here in Montreal, I work for an impressive Contemporary Art consultant who was a member of the Canadian Art Council, mostly researching and sourcing artists work while I exhibit my paintings in local galleries. Through it all, I started working with an incredibly talented Montreal Base Designer, Denis Gagnon. We worked on his collections, styling runaway shows, selecting pieces for photoshoot for magazines and television too. That was my introduction to Fashion. Until then I had remained an artist that had an extensive vintage collection I had been building since I was 8 years old. And one things led to another and I merged all of my passion, training and ideas into this ERA thing: what I critically call my fun with accumulation, appropriation and curating in the aftermath. Over the year it has been nice to be the Alfa ERA Girl because I practice what I preach. Stylistically speaking everyday 24/7 I am ON! I live to show women of all ages, shapes, & sizes the endless possibilities of STYLE!