Femme fatal meet the budding romantic at the Canadian based brand With Love. Its founder and head designer, Carrie Russell collection evokes glamour and intimacy with sensuous textures and luscious colour stories with classic feminine design and a luxury sensibility. The designer hit the runway at Fashion Art Toronto Apr. 24. http://fashionarttoronto.ca/
Tell me a little about your brand. Where are you from?
With Love Lingerie is about evoking glamour and intimacy through underpinnings that are made and worn with love. Instead of offering the anonymity of big box brands, With Love sell in more intimate setting of lingerie boutiques. The collection combines sensuous textures and luscious colour stories with classic feminine design and a luxury sensibility. Many of the pieces draw inspiration from the graceful aesthetics of decades gone by and are infused with modern elements and details.
With Love is proud to be part of the Canadian fashion community and chooses to keep production in Canada. And everything is made in the With Love Atelier in Toronto.
What does fashion week Fashion Art Toronto mean to you?
Lingerie designing is typically not seen as “fashion “designing. This collection is to showcase my vision as a creative and relevant designer through my lingerie designs. FAT is a great opportunity to show that my collections are significant as both fashion pieces as well as lingerie pieces.
How would you define your Brand?
With Love acknowledges that women have more than one style sense they may want to express and explore and designs lingerie for that dynamic and evolving woman. I enjoy draped robes and silk bustiers just as much as I love making vintage slips and garter belts.
How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?
The actual execution takes longer than the idea. It can take a month of sketching and testing details before the light bulb moment strikes and then from there it can take a day or two of solid drafting/draping and sewing (as well as many pots of tea) to have the finished sample.
Describe the general process you go through to design and what's your favorite part about conceptualizing a design?
The fabric sourcing is the absolute favorite part. A good design becomes a great design by picking the perfect fabric. Sometimes working with the fabric can be difficult if it is very sheer or delicate but I love the challenge. I love making something from a struggle look like an effortless piece in the end.
What matters to you most as a designer?
The act of creating.I used to design for larger companies where you looked at sales data, trend reports and then sketched the idea and passed it off to the technical and sample department. Then the sample came back all 3D and ready to preview. At first it was great but eventually I grew weary and realized it was being divorced from the process from start to finish that I missed. The sketching, the drafting and the sewing is so satisfying I couldn’t ever give it up again.
What do you believe makes a quality design?
A quality design should make your heart jump and the wearer feel something whether they feel beautiful, powerful, fresh, or timeless. But the design should not overwhelm the wearer.
How would you define the style your line exemplifies? What are some of your fashion goals?
With Love Lingerie is an indie “new” lux lingerie brand that bridges fashion with lingerie. The “new” lux not so much about a huge label and stuffy design house, it is a return to the artist, the craftsperson, the handmade and the intimately conceived. My goal is to keep doing what I’m doing and continue to delight my clients and to work with beautiful things every day. I’d like to continue to expand my client base and eventually hire an assistant and design out of a beautiful rural studio overlooking greenery and gardens.
What other experience do you have in the fashion industry (stylist, retail, marketing, etc.)?
I draw much of my inspiration from my background in Visual Art and English Literature. After earning my B.A. at the University of Western Ontario, I continued my education in fashion arts and construction. Since graduation, I worked with several North American lingerie companies, eveningwear designers and private labels on their design teams.
Beyond my design skills, my pattern drafting, draping and sewing knowledge have caught the attention of the Canadian fashion community and in the Fall 2012 issue of Flare magazine and I was named one of 25 up-and-coming designers.
What are your favorite patterns/materials [prints] to work with and why?
I adore sheer! Anything such as silk tulle, charmeuse, chiffon, stretch mesh. I love the idea of the body being cloaked in a diaphanous material. The body is such an amazing thing I want to adorn and highlight it not to hide it.
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
They check in on my website www.WithLoveLingeriexoxo.com or the following social media links: