Volume, shine and versatility - these are the components that make designer Eliza Faulkner’s work so impactful. The Montrealer has quickly developed a following for her line of pretty-meets-practical pieces. Available in an array of textiles from cozy fleece to sumptuous Italian jacquard, most of her styles can be combined in a way that Canadians who are desperate for creative ways to dress up during sub-zero holiday party hopping will appreciate.
Faulkner’s pieces boast whimsical names like the Poet top and Tallulah dress, but the romantic quality of the clothes doesn’t stop there. The designer, who graduated from Central Saint Martins in London, employs proportions that are often outsized, drapey and festooned with bows and bell-shaped sleeves.
A preference for bold hues has become another important calling card of Faulkner’s brand. “A lot of people see my fall collections and think it’s summer because there’s so much colour," she says. In her mind, peppy palettes and floral fabrics are an easy way to put the fab in drab Montreal winters. Her dreamy dresses are often styled over long-sleeved shirts, hinting at a seasonless approach to dressing that can stretch your wardrobe.
An interest in sustainability extends to other aspects of Faulkner’s business. Selling primarily though e-commerce and social media means she controls the number of garments she creates each season, and she has begun sourcing more materials such as vintage deadstock fabric for her designs. “Really the only way to be sustainable is by upcycling," she says. She has a cache of retro tablecloths and other textiles waiting for a new life as a chic dress or top, and sells hair scrunchies and bags created out of fabric scraps collected during her line’s manufacturing. At the 2019 Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, all of these element helped garner Faulkner a nomination for the H&M Sustainability Award, but fashion still comes first. “My thing has always been to make something really beautiful and remarkable,” she says. “Sustainability is a bonus.”
The thoughtful way her clothes are made in Canada means Faulkner’s customers can be confident about the provenance of their purchase. “I like to see the faces of the people who are sewing my clothes and know that they have a decent lifestyle,” she says. This emphasis on connectivity extends to how Faulkner brings her customers into her world through social media with images that rely less on perfection and more on process and authenticity. “I was trying to do the whole neat, tight thing, then I had a kid...,” she says, referring to her brand’s early online persona. Now, it’s shifted to being lighter, brighter and more carefree, much like the clothing itself.
For more information, visit elizafaulkner.com.