A few weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to model the new Spring/Summer 2016 Collection for the sustainable Toronto-based womenswear label Simone’s Rose, and work one-on-one with the incredibly talented designer herself, Michelle Maynard. From what I saw in previous collections, and the sneak peeks on the label’s Instagram, I knew I was onto something special. The collection is feminine and stylish, connecting pieces through scalloped edges, pleats and soft details. Drawing from a recent trip to Paris, Michelle has created a line that oozes class and elegance, but still hints at that fun, flirty side that spring and summer calls for.
To see more of the collection, visit the website.
But here’s the best part: each and every piece is handmade the Toronto studio by Michelle, right here:
Not only is each piece carefully constructed, in small batches or often on a made-to-order basis to prevent waste, but each fabric used is intentionally selected. Instead of ordering new fabrics, Michelle sources deadstock and overstock (leftover, extra fabrics that were not used) materials from other companies and designers, as well as vintage finds to use as detailing, such as trims. Many leftover materials that don’t get used are sold online, so that they could be re-purposed and used by someone else. Simone’s Rose also strives to use organic and natural fiber textiles, such as organic cotton, linen, hemp and bamboo.
There’s something really cool about hanging out with the same person who made the clothes you’re wearing. It makes every garment more personal and more fascinating than anything you would see on a hanger in store. The amount of appreciation I have for not just Simone’s Rose pieces, but everything in my closet, has grown so much. This shouldn’t be so shocking, since all of our clothes is made by someone, somewhere in the world. Unfortunately, most of them don’t have as comfortable or safe of a set-up, and work long hours for very little pay. It’s easy to forget that there are real people behind our clothes, not just machines.
However, despite all the work that needs to be done when it comes to large companies and fashion houses, it’s uplifting to see changes in the approach of local and small designers. More and more are choosing to search for overstock and vintage fabrics over buying new, and looking into organic textile options. It can be overwhelming to think about starting to buy all your clothes from an ethical source, but its easy to forget that looking into our very own cities, or nearby cities, and seeking out locally-made pieces is an option, as well. And, because I always have budget in mind, you can be sure that your quality purchase will long out-live a similar, more hastily made version that you’ll find at the mall.
As Michelle Maynard says on her website:
It’s all about having style – both in the way we dress and the way we affect people and the world around us.
Who doesn’t want to wear something that was made with so much love?
Have you bought a piece from a local designer before? Let me know in the comments below!