I don’t know about you, but an invitation to a summer wedding is always my cue to think about picking up a great new dress. And while I often find myself perusing the fast fashion destinations that are familiar, I think this year it’s time to be a bit more thoughtful, and maybe save up a little bit for a local, Canadian purchase.
There are lots of reasons to shop local Canadian designers, including the fact that we’ve got some incredibly talented homegrown creators. And while you’ll likely pay more for these pieces than you would if you just headed to the mall, you can rest easy knowing that you’re supporting a Canadian industry, and likely, an individual entrepreneur. Here are some of our favourites!
When I knew I wanted to pick up a new dress this summer, I knew I would be heading to Horses Atelier. The dresses are feminine without being too sweet, and I love the oversized but still very chic look of this floral printed dress—which I actually did pick up a few months back. Expect to find simple silhouettes (including some great jumpsuits) with only a few colours or patterns from season to season. The result is pieces that are timeless but still very au courant.
If dresses aren’t your thing, we suggest it’s time to invest in a great suit. With Smythe, you can definitely find what you need, and you’ll never regret investing in one of the brand’s blazers—which is what it’s known for. Plus, there’s nothing more powerful than a woman in a suit.
Marie Saint Pierre
If you’re looking for something a bit more modern and sculptural, you’re going to want to check out Marie Saint Pierre. Her pieces are architectural in the best way, but still feature feminine detailing like floral patterns, tulle and ruffles. We love the light airiness of this dress which also has pockets.
Beaufille is another brand that plays with shape, texture and transparency in interesting ways. We love the asymmetry and overlays of so many of their offerings, though it’s this red, high-neck dress that will be stunning at a summer wedding this year—and next year too.
If you prefer your special-occasion wear with a side of levity you need to check out Hayley Elsaesser. Although not too many items in the collection scream wedding guest, we think it’s the perfect way to celebrate a more casual affair—like a city hall wedding or a cocktail hour in the backyard. Bottom line? Everyone will smile when they see your outfit.
Feminine and bright, with lots of movement, the dresses from Canadian Tanya Taylor (who is now based in New York) are so beautiful you’ll have a hard time narrowing down your pick. This season, we’ve fallen hard for this ruffled and printed blue number that seems like the perfect thing to wear to pretty much any summer wedding.
If you prefer minimalism and neutrals to colour, you’ll want to head to Unttld, where you can find black and white perfection. Whether you’re looking for lace or silk, something casual or formal, you’ll be able to find something for your colour-averse self. Our pick is a simple striped dress which you’ll also find works well in the boardroom.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Alexandra Donaldson)