Vancouver Fashion Week SS23 Interview With Veronique of Maison de couture signé Véronique Lortie (Montreal)

Runway photos by Arun Nevader, courtesy of Vancouver Fashion Week

Bio -

Self-taught and fashion anarchist for 22 years, Véronique Lortie prefers creation to conventions. Inspired by history and fashion classics, she creates timeless and unique models. Several touches inspired by the past adorn his creations which combine style and comfort. The goal is to bring emotions to people who buy their clothes.

Véronique Lortie herself chooses the fabrics she uses for her creations in order to offer you the best possible quality. Adept at slow-fashion before the concept hit the market, sustainability doesn't stand in the way of attention to detail We design, cut and manufacture all our models, here in Quebec.

Interview -

Please share a bit about your journey to embrace fashion design as a career.

After years as a secretary, I was very bored and did not see myself staying in this profession. I walked into a medieval shop and fell in love with it straight away! Having learned to sew when I was only 10 years old, I started sewing again for my own pleasure. I did small fashion shows at home and sold my first piece. It was a revelation for me. This is how I opened my first little boutique-atelier in 1999. Over time I distributed in 16 shops in Quebec and now I am part of the Dracolite adventure, the largest medieval shop in the world, located in Montreal. I also have a foothold as a fashion house signed Véronique Lortie where you can find my elegant dresses and my exclusive creations.

How did you learn your skills?

My aunt taught me to sew when I was 10 and I got my first sewing machine when I was 12. I made all the clothes for my dolls! I even made a few dresses for myself. I always had a needle and thread in hand! When I started my career as a designer, I realized that I was missing a lot of techniques. So I hired an experienced seamstress who taught me a lot. All my knowledge today I owe it to my incredible seamstresses who have worked with me for 18 years now. I have great respect for them and we have a lot of fun working together. I believe that talent cannot be studied, we are born with it.  I define myself as a rough diamond! But the fact remains that I am also a hard worker!

Who are you as a designer? Aesthetic? Customer? Brand?

I started in the medieval world and made my mark there. But for several years now, I have been creating collections that are a mixture of modern and historical. I have always had a passion for historical fashion. My signature is therefore without a doubt the corsets and the lacing on my clothes. I like well-fitting clothes which highlight the curves of women and do justice to the masculinity of men. My clients are people who have a creative and artistic spirit and who are looking for unique styles. I want my collections to become timeless in your wardrobe.

What comes easiest for you as a designer? What is hardest?

All the creation, marketing, and fashion show aspects are easy for me. The most difficult is to maintain my social networks. I have no talent for computers and all that is internet! Although we have a person in charge of the websites and some Facebook publications, I have to be present on social networks, for exchanges and messages.

Where do you find inspiration for new collections? How important is color to your design process?

I create two official collections a year for the Dracolite boutique, in addition to small collections for the bridal segment and fashion shows. Usually I start from a theme and draw around it. Like many others, inspiration comes to me at night. I am a great insomniac! In the shower too! Colors are very important. I stick to a few colors to make sure the clothes in the collection can all go together. It is important for the customer to have several options.

Readers would love to know more about the current collection you showed at Vancouver Fashion Week.

The collection is called Renaissance. To underline the return to life after the tornado of the pandemic, but also to wink at the environment to which I belong, that is to say, the history. But it's also a way for me to come out as a recognized designer. After 23 years of career, I want people from all walks of life to discover my collections. I have always put my four children first. They are now grown up and it's a good time for me to take my public career by storm. 

I had a lot of fun creating Renaissance. I started with the floral embroidered silk fabrics that you have seen in the collection. I made a beautiful dress with a little duchess collar. All the clothes in the collection had to follow the same line of thought as this beautiful fabric. I completely abandoned myself to this collection. I created clothes for me, not to please requirements. It is a vibrant and colorful collection.

Do you have a favorite look in this collection?

Sure ! My two favorite pieces are the turquoise set, consisting of a corset, shorts and a half skirt on top. I love the pearl and swarovski jewelry we created to adorn it. My second piece is the final kit for men, with the long red frock coat with silver appliqués that took us forever to make! But at the end it is so wonderful !

Where can readers purchase your designs?

You can find our collections at Dracolite in Montreal and Terrebonne. Also online on the Dracolite website.

What's next for you as a designer and your brand?

We are currently working on redesigning the Maison de couture website in order to be able to sell the exclusive collections online. It should be ready for Christmas. I would also like to sell my ready-to-wear collections in a large Quebec designer boutique located in Montreal. And we will be at the show at the National Women's Show in Montreal. Several fashion shows are in our sights, to be continued….

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