Fashion, Features

WMC Fashion Week Exclusive: An Interview with Mikael D

By Aly Zorn After an inspiring several days at World Master Card Toronto Fashion Week, the final runway show by Mikael D has just finished. A throng of starry-eyed people begin exiting the runway tent, already excitedly reliving their favourite moments, myself included. The runway presentation titled "Digital Eden," offered a fleeting glimpse into the creative mind of designer, Mikael Derderian, the Montreal native of Lebanese and Armenian decent. His designs bordered on the realm of fantasy, taking us to a mythical place of romantic lace and Swarovski paneling, tulle skirts and floor-sweeping gowns. Mikael began his career under the name Pavoni with another designing partner, but in 2012 took a leap of faith, establishing the private label Mikael D. His brand intertwines various cultural influences from Montreal to Italy and France, resulting in a timeless and contemporary elegance. As I make my way backstage, the energy is electrifying and I can hardly wait to hear about the Spring 15 collection and future plans for the brand from Mikael himself. As I begin the interview, Mikael is both parts humble and proud.   What was the inspiration behind the line? The idea this year was the title itself, “Digital Eden.” It’s like fashion’s modern paradise, so it’s taking something that you know is so mythical and bringing it to the modern world. It’s making it digital. I love to do these contrasts between athletic detailing, with racer backs and super detailed panelling in Swarovski and then have these really super glamourous, timeless gowns from the forties, fifties. I always love to play with contrast in every collection, it’s always between romantic and modern, and between traditional and new. I love to bring both worlds together.   How do you go about the design process for each collection? The process itself starts in your head months in advance. I like to think about a lot of ideas, so before I even get to the drawing board I love to have everything figured out. I don’t do drafts of anything. Most of my sketches that I do always end up being produced, so I really think it over in my head mostly. It’s almost like an internal computer! Because I visualize it very well I can take the idea and sort of translate it. I wouldn’t even always need the sketch.    Can you describe the Mikael D women? Definitely strong, confident and sexy, but very elegant, not in an overt way. She wants to be in the centre of the room or the attention, but without taking the spot light. I think it’s more about the clothes empowering her, rather than overpowering her. That’s what I love about it. I want the Mikael D women to look at herself in the mirror and really feel like the dress is an enhancement of the inspired.    Tell me about your plans to do Couture in Paris? Well it’s always a possibility. It’s a difficult task simply because the company is a self-financed company. It takes time before things start really moving up and I don’t want to take too many strong steps. Baby steps are always more safe and I really want to still come here next season and the season after. If you make mistakes sometimes it could really jeopardize that. I love showing in Canada, I would come regardless of how long I would be elsewhere. It’s home town, it’s my best friends, it’s my family, it’s always the best and you almost only trust their opinion. They can be really harsh and they can be really great. That’s what I like about it.   What other plans do you have for the brand over the next several years and in the future? Slow growth. We have a few runway shows coming up. We got invited to a few places. We’re going to be in Kuwait, we’re going to be in Dubai. There’s a lot of movement, a lot of brand exposure here and there. We just want to make it visible. We want to promote it. We want to make it happen! Slowly, but surely, I think. I’m really happy that you guys are responding really in a positive way because it’s really up to you to judge.   At SHE the verdict is in and we sense the beginning of a long-winded love affair with Mikale D. We're certain you feel the same way!  

 WMC Fashion Week: Mikael D Spring 15

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