In early November, Wardrobe Apparel (67 E Cordova) hosted Greta Constantine. To my surprise the Toronto-based design duo of Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong actually made the trip to Vancouver! Incidentally, Greta Constantine is derived from Stephen’s mother, Greta, and Kirk’s grandfather, Constantine. Kirk and Stephen were very easy to talk to about their work and design process.
Since Wardrobe Apparel is the exclusive purveyor of Greta Constantine in Western Canada, Kirk and Stephen wanted to visit the boutique and meet the staff. The visit was also timed to kick-off the holiday season. Here’s how it works. Try on any garment from their collection and alterations, changes and additions will allow you to create your own “haute couture” look for the holiday season! Contact the store for details.
I asked Kirk and Stephen separately about their design process. For Kirk, it starts with fabric. Next comes draping the fabric over a dress form. If he struggles for more than an hour for a concept to emerge, he’ll start over. Kirk mentioned the Prime Minister's wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau has worn one of their dresses.
Stephen said at the beginning of the season he and Kirk agree on a theme for the collection then they design pieces separately. Kirk designs during the day while Stephen prefers to design at night. By understanding their client’s needs to feel sexy, powerful and fun, Stephen pointed to the Trixie (black and maroon) cocktail dress. He described, the skirt is fun, the plunge neckline is sexy and the padded shoulders are powerful. The effect their dresses had was quite obvious. Several customers frolicked and posed as they tried on each outfit.
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