Nerdy never looked so chic

Rachel Sin showcases her Fall/Winter 2013 collection at the Arsenal art centre on Feb. 3, 2013, a collection she named “Geek Girl Gone Chic”.
Rachel Sin showcases her Fall/Winter 2013 collection at the Arsenal art centre on Feb. 3, 2013, a collection she named “Geek Girl Gone Chic” (Photo Maddy Hajek)

There’s a certain dress code that needs to be respected during Montreal Fashion Week. Heels are a no-brainer essential for women; a quick change from boots to pumps by the coat check line is an easy fix when transitioning from the outdoor blizzard to an indoor cocktail. As for the perfect outfit that can transition from day at the office to front row on the runway, that’s a dilemma Rachel Sin understands all too well.

“As a working girl, you’re running from meeting to meeting and the last thing you need to worry about is your clothing,” said designer Rachel Sin. “At the same time, you want to look good and you don’t have time to change from one outfit to another. I think those are all things I think about and it’s from personal experience.”

It’s no coincidence that after only one season at Fashion Week last September, Sin was given the opportunity to showcase her new collection in the main room this year. Women across Canada have fallen in love with Sin’s designs because they are effortless and flattering. Her eponymous line is functional and chic, allowing women to transition from day at the office to dinner downtown. She designs for the “want-to-do-it-all woman” because she understands “that” woman; she is that woman.

Before plunging into the fashion world, Sin studied architecture and graduated from Carleton University with a Master’s degree. Although Sin has been in fashion since 2009, she cannot help but allow her architectural background influence her designs.

“A building has to be functional and at the same time, for me, clothing just really needs to be wearable in the sense of versatility. It will take you from day to night,” said Sin.

While in the past, Sin sought inspiration from the architectural world, this season she tapped into her quirky side and has given us a collection a little more fun. On Feb. 7, Sin showcased her fall/winter 2013 collection at the Arsenal art centre, a collection she named “Geek Girl Gone Chic”. Through her designs, Sin reaches out to other women like herself; the high school nerd who grows up to be a confident and successful woman.

With hair up in a loose bun, burgundy red lips and eyewear from Georges Laoun Opticians, Sin’s models strutted down the runway with full force and attitude. Along with the classic winter shades of black, white and khaki, Sin adds a pop of colour with a bright aqua, rich emerald and a vibrant poppy. In some of her designs, Sin balances the structured ponti stretch knit (a fabric favourite of the designer) with a “fun, whimsical” sheer, polka dot pattern.

While Sin did incorporate her signature feminine peplum shirts and form-fitting, knee-high dresses in the collection, she also includes beautifully tailored, tuxedo-inspired pant-suits with black or white stripes running along the side of the trousers.

My personal favourite was the trendy and very elegant cape blouse. “I call it the Boardroom Superhero look,” said Sin. “The working woman inspires me. I like to see women that are independent, strong and know what they want.”

What Sin wants is a challenge; to take on the United States in the hopes of acquiring space in department stores. There is no denying that Sin’s success stems from her understanding of what women need and are looking for when they browse through their walk-in.

To purchase Rachel Sin designs visit


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