A couple of weeks ago a friend and I went to see Breeyn McCarney’s runway show at the Courthouse event space on Adelaide. When I sat down with Breeyn afterwards, we talked about Beauval, Saskatchewan, the paintings of Sam Weber, and author Haruki Murakami, whose 2001 novel inspired the title of her Fall 2010 collection, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Breeyn says her work invokes a “bleak dreamscape,” but I personally think she is a dream for the future of Canadian fashion. Here’s part of our conversation.

How do you know when you’re finished a collection?

“Honestly? I stop working when I have to show the collection. Otherwise I would keep on working and working and working…”

Who would you love to see wearing your collection?

“Lady Gaga. Fiercely creative and dedicated to her work, I think she’s an inspiration to all young women.”

Do you have a favourite model in your show?

“Francis Combe from Elite Models. I just love her.”

Do you have any survival tips for presenting your own work?

“Get some sleep! I only slept twelve hours in four days.”

Do you have any vices that help get you through—coffee, tea, Red Bull etc.?

“All of the above!”

What’s the first thing you did on the morning of your show?

“I don’t remember—I haven’t slept yet.”

How do you dress for your own show? Is that important, or something you figure out the day of the show?

“I wore a white dress that I had shown two years ago at Alternative Fashion Week. My producer, Gail McInnes, helped me choose it.”

What’s your favourite Fall 2010 show from the international collections?

“[Alexander] McQueen. He was an inspiration—the craft, detail and workmanship. I took his passing quite hard.”

For his spring 2010 show, Mark Fast sent plus-size models down the runway. When you cast your models, how much of an issue is size?

“I fully support diversity in the industry, there’s no question about it.”

The Canadian tuxedo (denim on denim)—yes or no?

“I’m a bit of a girly-girl, so I only wear jeans when I’m working in the studio.”

Do you have a favourite pair of socks?

“I have a pair of black socks with rainbow toes and heels. They’re like comfort food.”

Below, a selection of looks from Breeyn McCarney Fall 2010.

All images courtesy of Breeyn McCarney/Magnet Creative.

Designer Breeyn McCarney. Photograph by Christopher Lewis.

6 thoughts on “PORTRAIT IN STYLE: Breeyn McCarney

  1. While the clothes are undoubtedly fantastic, when I see comments like “I fully support diversity the industry” in the context of this photo spread Ms. McCarney clearly means “but I have no intention of doing it”. It’s the continuation of a harmful stereotype of female beauty. If Ms. McCarney is the “…a dream for the future of Canadian fashion” as the author purports than I am truly disappointed.

  2. East of Yonge – in response – I have modelled for Bree a number of times, and I buy quite a lot of her clothes from both the signature line and her cheap and cheerful http://www.anotherwordforpink.com, and she does, 100% support diversity in models. This i can guarantee for you…as I am, at best a size 8 with lots of curves, height and leg.

    I’m sure that in order to get an up and coming model from Elite, Breeyn and Gail had a limited number of girls to chose from and I think the model is gorgeous.

    A look book doesn’t always resemble what the designer shows on the runway or how he/she would like their clothing to be worn in real life, so keep the faith!

  3. thanks for the reply, that’s good to know. it’s just unfortunate that the pics don’t represent what you’ve shared. cheers.

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