“Doing my internship working for Denis [Gagnon] influenced me a lot, and this is perhaps where it all started. I love his cuts, his unusual materials and prints; elements that you do not expect to see in those kind of clothes”
Born and raised in Quebec city, Roxane Bédard had the chance to do an internship with Denis Gagnon before tackling her third and final year of studies in management and fashion styling, at UQÀM. The 22 years old tells us how emotional dependency and the ever-present need for attention inspire her to create new fashion trends and clothing design.
Baron: As a fashion designer, how would you describe your aesthetics?
Roxane Bédard: I like square shapes and everything that is structured. This year, with my collection, I tried to get out of my comfort zone.I’ve been knitting yarn a lot; it’s a flexible material but harder to structure. In general, when it comes to colors, I work with a monochrome palette, which is surprising, since people say I’ve got a colorful personality. Yet, when it’s time to draw some sketches, I always choose black. In fact, I struggle with color mixing; three are too many!
B.: What part of the creation process puzzles you the most, especially when it is homework?
R. B.: The beginning. The uncertainty. Questioning myself as to whether I am in the right direction or if I’m completely heading the wrong way. And I know I’m only going to find out in the end. There are, also, a lot of “ifs” and “buts” that are creatively binding when you are conceiving.
B.: Despite all that, you managed to create a very interesting collection. What are the inspirations at the source of your project?
R. B.: At first, I wanted to work around the concept of emotional dependency. The link ended up being quite vague, but we can say that the reflection led to a square-like form.
B.: How would you describe your collection?
R. B.: It is quite refined. There is nothing superfluous and no extravagant detail. Last year, I made a collection using very rigid spheres; I used it as my starting point. As I had already worked with round and rigid fabrics, I told myself that it would be good to do the opposite. So I knitted a soft material in the shape of a square.
B.: What clientele did you have in mind, while crafting Pression?
R. B.: Women who wish to feel good in their clothes and be chic. My challenge was to create knitwear that combines these two aspects while still being a high-end item.
B.: You will officially be looking for work in a few weeks… What are the major challenges and issues that today’s fashion industry faces?
R. B.: Everything revolves around the “made in Québec” debate. Some people brand their clothes as locally made, when it isn’t entirely true. Then, there are those who think that fashion clothing from Québec is too expensive. I’d like to break these false perceptions. Being a designer in Montréal is very difficult; it’s a big challenge. But I think it’s becoming more and more accessible. There are a lot of new players out there that do not have as much notoriety as Denis Gagnon, but have interesting products nonetheless. From the top of my head, I would say Rachel F. is a good example.
B.: What are your goals for the coming years?
R. B.: Without necessarily reinventing fashion, I would like to create and make clothes in Québec. I want to create affordable clothing for everyone. I’m not trying to be Denis Gagnon. I’m aiming at a completely different niche. I would like to establish myself as a local brand, instead of designer. I’ll be heading back to Québec city soon and I hope I’ll get to work for Maison Simons.