Inspired by the photographic impressions of a water pool’s movements, Baldwin is a women’s mid-season clothing line. As photos’ rectangular shapes dictate the garments’ silhouette, the contrast made by creating patterns out of hanging fabric pieces recreates the water’s constant oscillation on the pool’s concrete contour. Reflective and transparent materials also transcend the picture’s composition’s Olympian mood to the collection.
Such a poetic description of Evelyne Morin’s work, tells of certain sweetness in its aesthetics. Time to take a deep breath before diving into Morin’s watery creative universe.
Baron: What’s you story, fashion-wise?
Evelyne Morin: I’ve done a DEC in fashion (specialized in furs) at Marie-Victorin. Meanwhile, I worked at Tristan for five years. I did both customer service and import duties. I still work as an import assistant now, at SgTextile, a European fabrics importer, based in Montreal.
B.: Have you done any design internship at SgTextile?
E. M.: No. When it came to my B. A.’s internship, I wanted to explore a more creative side of the industry. That’s why I ended up working as an assistant designer at Martin Lim; Danielle Martin and Pao Lim’s clothing brand. I learned a lot through the internship. I’ve had the chance to see some pre-fashion show action, where everybody’s rushed since there’s so much to do, and also work on a larger scale production, post-fashion show. Spending time in a small business made me witness the creative and productive dimension of it all.
I’ve enjoyed watching just how ingenious Danielle and Pao are when working with soft fluid fabrics. These two really have a unique style.
B.: Talking about unique styles, how would you describe your own work? Your own aesthetics?
E. M.: Since I’m quite instinctive, I’d say my style mixes femininity and innocence. Even if I like to surprise, I keep using curves, soft fluid fabrics and materials because they inspire me. I wonder if it is possible to say that our style is defined when we’re barely out of college?
B.: How would you describe your collection, then?
E. M.: I think Baldwin has a philosophy that lies in between masculinity and femininity. I worked my fabrics in layers to give them more fluidity, combining organza, silk and cotton. I’ve also coated some waxed cotton, in order to suggest water flowing.
The materials are modeled for volume, in aerodynamic shapes. These volumes’ shapes are curved, while my cuts aren’t. I tried to give the whole a fluid and somehow sporty look. In order to do so, I used cover stitching on the organza, a technique that is seen in sportswear making.
B.: What inspired Baldwin?
E. M.: I take a lot of pictures of everything that crosses my path. I find that to be very inspiring. I did a series of photos portraying municipal pools and, since I already knew I wanted to work with organza and other transparent fabrics, it all came together as the concept behind Baldwin.
B.: Do you find any part of the creative process puzzling?
E. M.: Combining style and functionality always seems problematic. I think there’s some sort of rivalry between these two and that it’s up to the designer to “settle their argument”.
B.: Since you’ve had a lot of different experiences in the fashion industry, would you rather work for someone or have your own business?
E. M.: Eventually, I’d like to be self-employed. That’s why I wanted to do my internship in a smaller company. But, before that, I wish I could spend some time working abroad, seeing how fashion is made and thought of elsewhere. If I can land a creative job, that would be great, even if there are more opportunities in the ready-to-wear industry. COS is one of my top picks!
B.: What will be the fashion industry’s next big issue?
E. M.: Slow wear versus fast fashion. It really means something to me. I hope people in Montreal will get interested in local design and fashion. I wish people would know how “made in Québec” clothing stands out. I think the situation’s getting better, but there’s still a lot of work to do. As a matter of fact, the Fashion Revolution initiative, that will take place on april 24th, aims to raise people’s awareness of the production process behind the clothes they buy.
B.: What are your impressions of a designer’s reality in Montreal’s fashion industry?
E. M.: It is a real challenge. You need good reliable partners and solid contacts if you’re gonna start your own business. Collaboration is paramount to your success. This is also why, while working on Baldwin, I teamed up with jewel maker Léa Giguère Santini. She went to Marie-Victorin and at l’École de Joaillerie de Montréal. She’s a friend with whom I’m glad to be working. I think that having people who share the same goal helping you out is the key to your success.
Discover Evelyne Morin’s Baldwin on April 29th, as part of the collective fashion show of UQÀM’s Fashion management - design and styling graduates, at the university’s Design Center’s gallery.