d a g g & s t a c e y – stylishly good

FW12 - Empty Spaces d a g g & s t a c e y - FW12

By Kate | Women
Posted Aug 13, 2012

Since its inception in 2001, Canadian label d a g g & s t a c e y has produced limited run collections made primarily from recycled and vintage fabrics. Co- designers Karen Dagg and Stacey Paterson met just after university while they were working at a vintage store in the hipster neighbourhood of Kensington market in Toronto. Hired to design and remake one-of-a-kind pieces for the store, the recent grads (of photography and fashion design) soon realized they made a good team when the pieces they were making did very well and were getting a lot of attention. Within 3 months, they decided to start a line and d a g g & s t a c e y was born.

“We think eco-fashion is a bit of a grey area,” Paterson tells us. “It’s actually a term we try and avoid, it’s too general. We really feel as though everyone should do what they can, where they can to benefit their community and our environment.” To that end, the d a g g & s t a c e y line is made in Toronto, by local skilled trades people, for a fair and proper wage. “Being independent, we can’t always control the availability of sustainable fabrics, but we can always make the best choices in terms of fair wage and working with suppliers that also hold the same principles,” explains Paterson.

When asked what the duo’s favourite fabric is to work with, Patterson doesn’t hesitate, “Wool. We’ve always loved it. We just have a natural attraction to it. It has such depth of texture and the application of it can be soft and warm and feminine or masculine and sharp and rough.” The wool the pair use in their collection is made of recycled fibers from all of their coating. In addition, they work with several European mills that use sustainable practices in the processing and dying of their wools and fabrics. All water and dyes go in clean and come out clean.

“For Fall 2011,” Patterson shares, “the wool we used was actually coloured by boiling it which achieved different colours due to the length of time and level of heat. The yarn was then woven together to create a lovely pattern.” They have also used organic wool in the past but unfortunately it has proven to be both difficult to get and very expensive in Canada.

The upcoming Fall 2012 collection was inspired by empty spaces “We looked at abandoned hotel rooms, unoccupied apartments, and vacant houses. We felt as though there is so much style in these spaces where you can see the remnants of the occupant but not the occupant. When the person is not in their space the space is left to exist on its own, uncomplicated buy the comings and goings of people. We also looked at Bauhaus architecture and design, we really wanted to delve into modern lines, and to capture its spirit of unifying art, craft, and technology.”

The d a g g & s t a c e y collection, as always is manufactured in Toronto for a fair and proper wage and is made to order, to reduce excess inventory and waste. The goal: to make clothing that is a subtle balance of enduring, effortless style, quality craftsmanship, and femininity. “What matters to us most as designers is finding balance between our creative expression and design and creating a collection that women will love to wear.” At a time when other designers are bringing production back ‘home’ this line is proudly Canadian. Collections can be found in Canada, the U.S. and Japan, and of course, online

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