Estonia-born Torontonian MARET KENDRA of Maret’s Designs has developed a specialty in paper creations: from exuberant bridal bouquets to remarkable special event environments composed of gigantic blossoms or colorful paper “ribbons.” Self-taught, Kendra’s multi-platform career has been singularly design-focused, segueing fluidly through floral and landscape design, restaurant flower arranging and retail window display.
A fantasia of 700 pure white and pastel pink, crystal-dewed 3D BT roses, plus its portrait collar simulating a breast cancer awareness ribbon, make MARET KENDRA’S Cashmere Collection creation the ultimate embodiment of meaningful fashion.
MANI JASSAL’s eponymous collection of red carpet-ready evening wear “combines her South Asian heritage with her Canadian upbringing.” The inescapable drama in every hand-sewn couture creation—be it via embellished silk, peek-a-boo lace, gilded brocade or swirling chiffon—is appreciated by stars such as Ashanti, Sereyah and Sonam Bajwa.
Hardly shy about embellishment, designer MANI JASSAL’S multi-textured masterpiece juxtaposes Cashmere BT that’s been artfully crinkled, ruffled, pleated and then turned into 3D flowers, studded with reflective crystals and mirrored discs.
In 2014, CANDACE DANIELA established her self-titled brand of tailored, contemporary outerwear with a commitment to using natural materials—wool, organic cottons, faux furs and vegan leathers. Her men’s and women’s coats and jackets have since been featured in VOGUE Italia, Dress to Kill and FLARE Magazine, just to name a few.
Yards and yards of pure white Cashmere BT went into the handkerchief-point layers that tumble from the sheer, faux-flowered bodice of CANDACE DANIELA’S sensational evening gown.
Style with a cool, contemporary ease that’s executed via expert tailoring and refined fabrics is the essence of ANDREW COIMBRA’s namesake brand, launched in 2015. This Toronto-based designer’s impressive résumé includes studies at OCAD and George Brown as well as an internship at Proenza Schouler in NYC and work with Canada’s Pink Tartan and Phillip Sparks labels.
Deceptively simple, decidedly sassy. That’s ANDREW COIMBRA’S cleverly- constructed, daringly leg-baring Crystal Ball dress for the 15th annual Cashmere Collection.
When designer MARITA MAMUCHASHVILI joined forces with artist KAKHA BERI (both of Georgian, Europe heritage), a unique fashion collaboration was born. Since 2014, their Vancouver- based Fesvedy label has produced intricately layered and seamed women’s wear that is often exquisitely patterned in motifs inspired by various cultures, from First Nations traditions to Georgia’s temples and monasteries.
Crystals, with their smooth facets and acute angles, were the inspiration for designers Kakha Beri and Marita Mamuchasvili of FESVEDY. Hence the keen-edged silhouette, pronounced asymmetry and dimensional surface decoration of their fascinating Cashmere Collection dress.
House of Suri
In two short years, LEILA ZADEH has established the distinctive minimalist style that’s earned kudos for her House of Suri collection of contemporary women’s wear. Conceived and manufactured in Toronto, her pared-down, streamlined silhouettes— with surface interest provided via subtle pleats, panels, fringe and Suri accessories—impeccably achieve her stated goals of striving to challenge conventionality, and of creating clothes that give ultimate prominence to the wearer.
A masterwork of modern fashion architecture, HOUSE OF SURI designer Leila Zadeh dramatically reveals the ropes and struts — all made of luxuriously soft Cashmere Bathroom Tissue—that undergird her gown’s striking deconstructed glamour and asymmetrical cladding.
Lebanon-born, Toronto-based designer MAYA CHARBIN’s early creative outlet was as a make-up artist for MAC Cosmetics. She then studied at ESMOD in Paris and Beirut to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a fashion designer. Her namesake collection, launched in 2015, revolves around her “versatile silhouettes” concept, wherein flowing, feminine dresses, tops, pants and skirts can be folded, wrapped, tucked or re- configured depending on the wearer’s whim.
Toronto designer MAYA CHARBIN achieved a subtle moiré effect in the Cashmere BT of her glamorous gown. Its sparkly crystal-embellished bustier tops a voluminous, floor-length skirt accented with a crystal-strewn side panel for added sizzle.
Czech-born MARIE COPPS is an accomplished fashion designer, accessory designer and milliner extraordinaire. Though Marie settled in Canada nearly 20 years ago, her elaborate neck pieces, dazzling jewelry and phenomenal fashions have made international appearances, having been featured in Las Vegas, Dallas, Singapore, Melbourne and Rome to name just a few.
MARIE COPPS produced the fanciful allure and eye-catching textures of her Cashmere Collection confection by making yards and yards of double-edged Cashmere BT ruffles which she then rigorously applied in sinuous swirls and frothy tiers. Her stunning headpiece adds glittering height to this haute BT Couture.
How do you know you have real aptitude for fashion? Winning the Notable Award for Breakout Fashion Designer, as SEBASTIAN GUARIN did last fall, is a good indicator. Since 2015, when he launched Atelier Guarin in Toronto, this Colombian-born talent has been attracting attention for his bold ready-to-wear creations from publications such as Vogue Italia and FLARE. The Atelier woman is strong, has an excellent sense of style, and is driven to find standout pieces.
Dozens of feathery BT blossoms give ATELIER GUARIN designer Sebastian Guarin’s sophisticated, sexy 3-piece dance club ensemble an irresistible Latin beat.
A Canadian-Mexican who arrived here in 2002, OSCAR MENDOZA augmented his visual arts and sound design background with patternmaking studies at Lasalle and an apprenticeship with Montreal designer Joseph Helmer before launching his eponymous couture collection in 2013. Carrie Underwood and Caroline Néron are among those he’s enticed with his luxurious, often sensually seamed, body- conscious silhouettes and fanciful lace, tassle or ruffle embellishments.
Lace fused onto luxurious Cashmere BT is at the heart of OSCAR MENDOZA’S deliciously romantic, Bohemian/Victorian garment. The off-the-shoulder neckline, full sleeves, flower-bedecked bodice and dramatic (removable) hip panels over a mermaid-silhouette skirt only enhance its compelling charm.
SHELLI OH has long since cracked the code for delectably feminine women’s wear. Since her debut in 1997, this Ryerson alum has successfully expanded into accessories, men’s and baby wear collections, garnering countless accolades along the way. Her passion for design is matched by her commitment to giving back, making her a perfect fit for the Cashmere Collection’s breast cancer initiatives.
For her stunning cocktail bouffant dress, SHELLI OH contrasts a daringly deep V-neck bodice studded with 3D blossoms and sparkling crystals with full pouf skirt made from layers and layers of soft, floaty Cashmere BT.
Di Carlo Couture
Having learned how to hand stitch at the tender age of eight, ANTOINETTE DI CARLO was destined for a successful fashion career in one-of-a-kind bridal and evening wear. Study at the International Academy of Design, travel to Europe to scope emerging trends and inspiration, and a keen eye for perfection and attention to detail preceded this Montreal native’s launch of Di Carlo Couture. Her timeliness silhouettes and elegant gowns are in demand for media personalities and discerning brides-to-be alike.
Antoinette Di Carlo of DI CARLO COUTURE demonstrates uncompromising attention to detail in her sophisticated yet seductive Cashmere Collection creation: from the sparkly illusion mesh top to the crystal-edged petals accenting the waist to the ultra-feminine drape of its spiraling skirt.
CLAIRE LEMAITRE-AUGER has taken a long and fascinatingly winding road— patternmaking studies at LaSalle, marriage to singer Mario Pelchat, a stint with Denis Gagnon, running a vineyard—to her 2017 return to fashion. This Montrealer’s women’s wear employs unique combinations of rustic and luxury fabrics and design idioms to express her conviction: “Every woman is a heroine (and needs a Hero) in her own story”.
CLAIRE LEMAÎTRE-AUGER expresses the power of the eternal feminine— notably in the battle to survive and eradicate breast cancer—through her be-winged heroine’s gown for the 2018 Cashmere Collection. The graceful halter-neck features a crystal dove symbolizing hope and love.
“Challenging, and I like that,” says AUNEYA MUNIR about adding Cashmere bathroom tissue to her usual design vocabulary of liquid metal silks, rich-colored chiffons and shimmery satins ornamented with lace, crystals, jewels and embroidery. No doubt, the largely self-taught, Toronto-based talent behind Neya Couture brings a signature southeast Asia mystique to her elegant gowns.
Dramatic textures and ornamentation are a hallmark of NEYA COUTURE designer Auneya Munir. Her red carpet-ready Cashmere Collection gown is no exception, given its spider-webbed bodice, its floor- length skirt constructed from dozens of BT blooms and its exuberantly over-extended epaulettes.
Couture glamour is the hallmark of Mississauga native MICHAEL ZOFFRANIERI’S bridal and eveningwear designs. With his recently launched ZOFF collection, this Ryerson grad and former David Dixon protégé, won the 2017 Toronto Fashion Incubator New Labels competition. As for his participation in the 2018 Cashmere Collection, he believes in supporting the women and men who are currently battling breast cancer. He would like to dedicate his creation to the people in his life that are his Crystal Figures: stronger than ever, and shine so brightly.
The soaring hope inherent in Cashmere’s breast cancer initiatives takes flight inZOFF designer Michael Zoffranieri’s light-as-air, body-conscious gown. Hence the thousands of BT feathers that were meticulously pleated for the wings and torso appliqués and carefully hand-cut to create the cascading train.
An annual fund- and awareness-raiser, The Cashmere Collection™ unites the breast cancer cause with Cashmere's support of Canada's fashion community. This year's collection features 15 designers from all over the country who fashioned one-of-a-kind couture from luxuriously soft sheets of Cashmere Bathroom Tissue.