A thriving designer, and fashion enthusiast, Orphane, joins us for as a featured fashion designer for Reveal Ottawa, and shares great insight on her brand that bears the same name, ORPHANE.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who is Orphane?
I am a street wear/ready-to-wear designer and an all-around fashion enthusiast. On my days off you can find me sketching at a newly discovered coffee shop somewhere around town while listening to some 90’s R&B!
What is fashion to you? (How has your personal history influenced your views on fashion?)
Fashion is my preferred method of self-expression, I make the conscious choice every single morning of showing what I want to the world. Sadly enough, at a younger age my love for fashion came from my desire to hide my body, it was a way for me to hide behind my clothes. But now it’s a part of who I am.
Fashion for me has changed over the years and will still continue to change but I believe that it is the freedom of building an image without having to explain yourself; what you see is what you get.
What is the Orphane brand, and when was it founded?
ORPHANE is a ready-to wear brand that makes minimalist fashionable classic pieces with a street wear twist. We stand for uniqueness and self-expression; the minimalist aspects of our designs allows our clients to add and to layer our clothing in order for them to express their style. Even though ORPHANE is still under construction, the brand was created in January of last year.
What led to your involvement in the fashion industry, and ultimately the creation of Orphane?
As most fashion designers, I am very picky about my clothes and how I like to wear them. I went into fashion because I wanted to create clothes that fit my style and made me feel more confident with my body and ultimately share those clothes with others.
Where (or from whom) do you draw your creative inspirations from, and how do you overcome creative blocks or get unstuck creatively?
I like to draw inspiration from conservative fashion and twist it and make it my own. Ottawa’s style being more conservative, I draw inspiration from it. I like to deconstruct classic conservative pieces to make them more casual.
I also draw inspiration from the street style at the numerous fashion weeks happening around the world.
What inspires your collections and choice of pieces?
I am greatly inspired by minimalism and versatility when it comes to my designs. I like to design pieces that are simple yet unique and that can be worn in more than just one way. When I sketch a collection I like to start with a color palette and some prints that inspire me and work from there.
How would you describe your pieces? Who do they appeal to?
My pieces are clean, crisp, simple yet unique. The details catch your eye and make you curious. When I design clothes, I have myself as my client, but I think my clothes can appeal to more than just young adults. Styled differently they can appeal to an older clientele.
What interests you the most about female fashion, and what are some key wardrobe essentials? What would you say a good investment piece is?
What interests me the most about women’s fashion is how to blur the lines between women’s fashion and men’s fashion while still keeping a hint of femininity.
Some key wardrobe essentials are black high waisted pants, black and white t-shirts, black and white button up shirts, a leather jacket and a nice blazer. A good investment piece in my opinion is a blazer that fits your style, it can worn so many different ways and can be dressed up or down!
The future of fashion, what are your thoughts on this; what type of changes will you like to see, and bring to your brand?
The future of fashion in my opinion is in sustainable fashion. I would like to see less fast fashion and less plagiarism within the industry. In the future I would like my brand to be more sustainable and environment friendly.
Where do you see your brand going in coming years?
I would like my brand to be known across Canada, but my dream is to make a name for myself internationally.
Being a resident and an equally active member of the fashion scene in Ottawa, what is it like here, fashionably speaking?
The fashion scene in Ottawa is small and in my opinion very hidden. There are always events happening that are fashion related but it’s hard to hear or to find out about them.
Fashionably speaking you see many people with great style, but I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t leave their house in certain outfits because “Ottawa people wouldn’t understand”. I think that people are toning down their fashion forward outfits because they’re scared of being judged for their style. Personally I see Ottawa’s more conservative style as the perfect way to fashionably stand out.
Is fashion as a whole a thriving entity in Ottawa? What can be done to persuade people to be more interested in fashion?
In my opinion it’s getting there. I think we need to change people’s mind by wearing our bold or simply fashion forward outfits and prove them that Ottawa isn’t boring and fashionably bland. If that change could be documented on social media that would give us the opportunity to show the world what Ottawa’s fashion has to offer.