Almost 30 years after launching her eponymous women’s fashion label, Montreal-based Marie Saint Pierre is introducing a small capsule of men’s looks for spring/summer 2017. The iconic Canadian designer has debuted accessories, and even furniture over the years, but this will be her first-ever foray into menswear. Previewed this week at the Cabinet Éphémère pop-up at Rally Ossington Gallery in Toronto, the capsule will be available only by special order.
Inspired in part by the way a male manager at the Marie Saint Pierre boutique in Miami would incorporate certain women’s collection items into his wardrobe, the compact selection showcases classic ready-to-wear pieces from the womenswear collection that have simply been reworked to fit men’s bodies. At first glance, it’s difficult to tell the 20-odd piece capsule apart from the women’s range for spring, which is exactly the designer’s intention. In fact, many pieces from the capsule have been ordered by women looking for a different fit. “There’s no reason to say why a piece is feminine or masculine,” says Saint Pierre. “It’s good to liberate our [preconceptions] and wear what you like.”
From polished Bermuda shorts to boxy floral tops, Saint Pierre’s architectural designs and neutral, urbane colour palette translates effortlessly into their new, menswear-inspired proportions. Yet the brand’s tailored silhouettes, European fabrics, and distinctive construction techniques remain solidly in place; for example, just like in the women’s line, none of the jackets in the capsules will have shoulder pads. “Because they are derived from feminine construction [methods], these men’s clothes have a very different feel,” explains Saint Pierre. “They’re structured, but in a very soft way.”