Snugly positioned next to the States, it’s understandably difficult for humble ol’ Canada to stand out with its fashion. USA has numerous fashion states (think New York, L.A. and Texas). Canada has Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal but even so, these countries don’t exactly come to mind when the term “fashion city” comes up.
Note: I’m trying to fix the links to the products. Check back soon for the fixed links!
Imagine my delight when I stumbled upon an expertly selected crop of homegrown Canadian fashion (courtesy of a Refinery29 article). Brands like Noul, Oak&Fort, Matt and Nat; these brands don’t exactly come to mind when the term “fashion” surfaces, but rest assured, they’re as high quality and aesthetically pleasing as it gets.
I’ve only been in Canada for a year and have yet to pinpoint the essence of Canadian style. It’s a wonderfully eclectic mish-mash of styles. Of course, there are the basic styles of each season. Yes, Lululemon, leggings with UGGS, and plaid shirts I’m looking right at you as I type this. Browsing brick and mortar stores in Canada like Roots, Aritzia and Ardene have further proved my hypothesis right. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon the brands mentioned in the article; they were beautifully minimal, reminiscent of COS, &OtherStories and Zara.
The brands I’m going to introduce are very Swedish; clean cut, simple with interesting shapes and structures. I was very drawn to their very oversized boyfriend shirts, wide legged pants and the general look of their website. Take a look:
As you can see, Noul has an extremely simple, minimalistic vibe about it; right up my alley. Pages and pages of basic pieces that are beautiful on its own or as a building piece for a louder outfit. Best of all, every piece screams casual-chic, which is ALWAYS the ideal vibe to go for; it’s the casual, swear-I-didn’t-try-too-hard outfit.
Oak&Fort has a similar aesthetic to Noul but while Noul tends to lean towards Zara influences, Oak&Fort is strongly reminiscent to COS and Acne Studios. Looser fits, oversized proportions and general ease seems to be a recurring theme in their clothes. Even the models have an exquisitely look about them that is both quirky and effortless.
Matt&Nat feels like a vegan Mansur Gavriel at a lower price point. Forgoing flashy logos and glittery prints, this homegrown Canadian brand favours versatile structures in a cheerful range of colours. Carry these bags to work, to brunch, to the museum, whatever. Pair them with a plain, understated outfit or a look of clashing prints and patterns. It always works
So there you have it. Brands planted and grown in Canadian soil. Looks like my bank account’s in for a rude shock when Boxing Day comes around this year eh?