When fashion shows turn into extravagant spectacles with multimedia effects and illusions, it might often detract attention from the clothing line the designer is trying to display. But when designers embrace the theory of less is more, one cannot help but focus solely on the clothes.
Marie-Eve Emond – the head designer of Betina Lou – chose a minimalist approach to unveil her spring/summer 2013 collection at the Arsenal on Sept. 5. Three slim-looking models with fair skin and bright red lips kicked off the catwalk with the song “Le Temps De L’amour” by French singer Françoise Hardy.
“My whole collection was inspired by French movies from the filmmaker Marcel Pagnol,” says Emond. “It’s really hard to describe inspiration, but in my head I saw young pretty ladies going on vacation in the south of France with their skirts and dresses.”
Emond’s goal has never been to design clothes that attract too much attention. Her decision to opt out of trends that are sexy and flirty gave room to create pieces that are feminine, elegant and most importantly, timeless.
“My clothes are designed for women whose age range from 20 to 34 years old,” she said. “These women usually study or work in creative areas such as film, music, communications [and] web.”
The collection featured high waists, below-the-knee pencil skirts, floaty collared dresses, and well-fitted sweaters in classic nautical colours. Emond’s clever decision not to use accessories, except for thin waist belts, made every garment stand out. A personal favourite was a red pleated skirt with a striped light beige sweater, tucked in.
“The colours of spring/summer 2013 will have a nautical inspiration, so navy, red, beige, taupe and white,” said Emond. “But I also always incorporate black into my collection even if it’s summer. In Montreal, we wear black all the time.”
The best thing about Emond is that she knows exactly what her customers are looking for – comfort and practicality.
“I think that my pieces are for everyday wear and that you can put [them] into your wardrobe very easily,” said Emond. “They are easy to pair; they fit well. People often talk about the quality of the fabric that is also different. I do a lot of research to have fabrics that other designers won’t have. People are always impressed by that.”
Although Betina Lou’s spring/summer 2013 line has just been launched, the designer is already thinking about fall/winter 2013.
“I always start gathering ideas one year in advance. I already have ideas for the shoot, the makeup and for the clothes,” she said. “But it’s too vague right now. We don’t get to see the fabrics from the supplier till October. Until I see the fabric, I can’t tell you.”
Betina Lou’s entire collection will be available in March of next year. You can find the individual pieces in stores such as Three Monkeys at Les Cours Mont-Royal, Unicorn on St. Laurent, Magasin General Bruxe in NDG, and Boutique Archive on Villeray.