Eliza Faulkner

 

Eliza Faulkner is certainly one of our new favourite discoveries, she was nominated in the Emerging Talent Category at the Canadian Art & Fashion Awards in 2014 and ELLE Canada named her ‘One of the Top Ten Canadian Designers to Know’. Eager to hear about her life and work, the Canadian designer talked to Dash of Alchemy about her early years in West Coast Canada, her game-changing time in London and how she designs for smart women who are unafraid of being feminine.

Tell us a little about your background and how you developed your interest in fashion.

My mum made me everything growing up. She would take me to fabric stores and let me choose a fabric and then she’d make me something with it. I chose some weird fabrics but she never said ‘that doesn’t work’, she always made it work for me in her own way. Then, when I was a teenager she opened a shoe store. That’s where I learned about buying, retailing, and marketing. I was surrounded by it (retail) and I watched her, so it feels like I’ve been interested in fashion since before I even knew I could be interested in something.

 

Tell us about your time in London. 

London was a hugely influential time for me. I moved straight from Vancouver Island to London and the experience was eye-opening. Our lessons were taught in the same building as the fine art students so I learned about that world as well…it was a serious education not just in fashion, but also fine art, sculpture, painting, and music. I interned with Erdem, Roland Mouret, Zandra Rhodes, and Roksanda while I studied. All those designers influenced me in some way, whether it’s how they drape or toile, or how they run their business, working for others is really how you learn how the business works.

Describe the Eliza Faulkner aesthetic.

Bold, feminine womenswear with an emphasis on clean lines and classic silhouettes.

Describe the Eliza Faulkner women.

She’s smart, feminine, and not afraid to show it.

What is your creative process in developing your collection?

It always starts with fabric and colour and what’s available to me at the time. I don’t really focus in on any one thing, but I’m always looking at EVERYTHING. Ideas come and go but if I’m still hung up on a shape or an idea a week after having it, then I know it’s a good one. The most successful styles are the ones that come most naturally. If I try too hard to be interesting, it never works.

Who inspires your work?

I make what I want to wear. If I’m not dying to wear it then I’m not going to make it. And I think of my customers too…what do they want, what will they be comfortable in? I look at everything around me; art, Tumblr, Instagram, books, and then I see what comes up.

What lies ahead for the Eliza Faulkner label?

I’ve mostly been selling online through my webshop, but I’m opening up to a few retailers again. I also want to find the right business partner. I need help with that side of things so that the business can grow.

 

What is your creative process in developing your collection?

It always starts with fabric and colour and what’s available to me at the time. I don’t really focus in on any one thing, but I’m always looking at EVERYTHING. Ideas come and go but if I’m still hung up on a shape or an idea a week after having it, then I know it’s a good one. The most successful styles are the ones that come most naturally. If I try too hard to be interesting, it never works.

Who inspires your work?

I make what I want to wear. If I’m not dying to wear it then I’m not going to make it. And I think of my customers too…what do they want, what will they be comfortable in? I look at everything around me; art, Tumblr, Instagram, books, and then I see what comes up.

What lies ahead for the Eliza Faulkner label?

I’ve mostly been selling online through my webshop, but I’m opening up to a few retailers again. I also want to find the right business partner. I need help with that side of things so that the business can grow.

Name an interesting person that you like following on Instagram and why.

I like Reese Blutstein from Double Exposure right now. She’s so nonchalant about what she wears and even though she’s getting very popular she still supports smaller brands. Also, Nariman Jay, he’s a stylist and art director in Toronto and everything he posts is like a work of art. I’ve actually printed and blown up his images and I have them in my house.

Which fashion brands do you think are doing creatively interesting things at the moment?

I love all the small London designers, like Molly Goddard, Rejina Pyo, and Simone Rocha. They’re so unashamedly feminine and I adore that.

If you could be outfitted by one designer for the rest of your life, whom would it be?

I’m pretty happy wearing all my own clothes – I get exactly what I want and always in the perfect size. If I couldn’t wear my own and had the budget, I’d wear the 3 mentioned above!

Living in Montreal, tell us about your favourite spots in Montreal (food, coffee, shopping).

I love the terrasse at Olympico on weekends and I head to Dispatch for coffee when I’m at the studio. Larry’s for breakfast and Dinette Triple Crown for Dinner are my go-to’s. I don’t do much shopping but I love to peruse through Les Etoffe – it’s great research for seeing how quality clothes are constructed.

For more information on Eliza Faulkner’s label, check out her website and Instagram account.

 Dash of Alchemy creative direction by TSEB 

 

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