Marie Saint Pierre - fall/winter 2003

“I try to bring haute couture to comfortable everyday pieces.”

Marie Saint Pierre doesn’t just try; she succeeds in spades. She was part of the star Montreal contingent that invaded Toronto Fashion Week on its last day. Saint Pierre explains how she can use painterly voiles of lemon yellow and fuchsia in her Fall 2003 collection and get away with it.

“It’s always a challenge to add colour—there has to be harmony and a certain sobriety, too. It’s not obvious. In this collection I used colours from active wear in the late sixties and seventies.”

There are other eye-catchers in the new goodies. Saint Pierre’s designs are instantly recognizable for their silhouettes, more specifically in the daintiness of the shoulder and tapered sleeve. Intersecting lines and little black utility belts put fluidity (not to mention Mondrian logic) into the silhouettes, something that has long been a priority for the designer.

“Movement is really a guideline for me, it gives me a direction on which bias cut to work.”

The full-length black soirée jacket with sandstorm pleats comes as close to perfection as a garment can. This perfect form is also perfectly capable of undoing itself, as we see in the measured chaos of the bouffant crinkle ruching that decorates one riding jacket.

Control is key for the consummate businesswoman, and as such, Marie Saint Pierre is always hatching new marketing strategies.

“I really want to go back into the European market and I have worked on the label’s price-point in preparation. We also want to package the crinkle fabric to market it outside traditional retail venues, to go outside the cities.”

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer