- I admit it. Ottawa is not a hotbed of fashion to the outside world. The big designers do not inaugurate their lines locally and the press doesn’t flock here in droves to see runway shows. It’s still all about London, Paris, and New York, maybe Milan. Ottawa, however, has a style of its own and supporting the economy by buying regional designers is a point of pride. Read on and find out what you may be missing.
There are, of course, the usual big department stores like Holt Renfrew and loads of well-known boutiques. Shopping here instead of online would be very patriotic. Getting out of the house and away from computer could be eye-opening! There isn’t anything you can’t find from Europe and the US. Most Canadians also know that there, in fact, a viable clothing industry. We even export it. After all, it’s a big flourishing country. Elle Canada is a popular magazine that points out the assets of homegrown talent like Jeremy Lang, Pink Tartan, and Greta Constantine. Fashionistas also cite Denis Gagnon. These artists are getting more and more attention on the world fashion map. They are national brands with international cachet, but capital city Ottawa has also garnering kudos for locally-made apparel. Oxyrotin is a new status symbol for trendy sweatshirts, crewnecks, and hoodies in simple, basic colors emblazoned with great graphics. This is “fashionware” for casual hipsters of the younger set—super popular.
In the back of our city’s designer boutiques, you may see a leather sewing machine or two whizzing along, with operators fabricating special creations unique to the region. They are hard at work meeting growing demand. Here you get one-of-a-kind winter coats and jackets, handmade sweaters, gorgeous cocktails dresses, and sassy pants. Elena’s Creations, D’Aku, Yolande Deschesnes, McCaffrey Haute Couture, Sarah, and Teruko Creative High Fashion, among others, would be on anyone’s must visit list when looking for fine apparel. Add Lynne Kiel and Macleod fashion and you will see seasonal fare that is exquisitely made and tailored to the climate. Handbags, scarves, accessories, jewelry—a virtual feast for the eye.
You can get ready-to-wear, again locally made, or custom designs. Many women love to order mother-of-the bride and prom dresses for their daughters, or even summer travel garb. Work clothing is no problem. Suits for hard-to-fit ladies are a breeze in any fabric or style. Women want fashion forward and comfortable items that are memorable. When you have a long list of requirements, Ottawa’s designers are the absolute way to go. You absolutely must give them their due.
So don’t send your money off to China or Romania. Buy local and support the creative efforts of residential designers. Garment services include alterations and styling in many places. They are a one-stop shop for busy working women. Save yourself hours of scouring the Internet and big intimidating stores and find out the secret benefits of Ottawa’s finest. The tedium of keeping up-to-date and chic may be just a few blocks away.