Cruelty-free, size-inclusive women’s-wear designer Hilary MacMillan is known for her versatile ready-to-wear pieces in bold colours and textures. In 2017, the launch of the Feminist Capsule Collection gave her Toronto-based brand an international boost and earned it some high-profile fans including fashion designer Victoria Beckham. A portion of sales from the collection of varsity jackets, emblazoned with slogans promoting gender equality, are donated to Up With Women, a charity that helps recently homeless women rebuild their careers.
For MacMillan, who sells directly to consumers through her website, it’s all part of helping to move the fashion industry forward. “I think responding to and providing solutions for some of the issues that women face with fashion makes the industry a better place,” she says. MacMillan’s specific focus is on size inclusivity and sustainability; by her spring 2019 collection, she had transitioned all of her products to completely vegan materials and is in the early stages of launching a new label that will produce clothing made of biodegradable textiles through eco-friendly processes.
For her most recent spring collection, inspired by the colour cerulean blue, MacMillan extended size offerings and produced a greater number of pieces in sizes 2 to 28 and XS to 4X. “The plus market is in desperate need of attention, innovation and care and I believe we will get there through open and honest dialogue season over season,” she says. Her design focus is on versatile suiting made with cruelty-free fabrics sourced in Europe. “The woven blue and gold fabric from France, as seen in the patch pocket crop, is truly unique and artistic in its craftsmanship.”
Hilary MacMillan, hilarymacmillan.com.
Hilary MacMillan Satin Boyfriend Blazer, $280.
Hilary MacMillan Jumpsuit, $225.
Hilary MacMillan Patch Pocket Crop, $190.
To help address the environmental impact of online shopping and the packaging it entails, Vancouver-based non-profit Canopy has announced some new additions to its Pack4Good initiative. Eleven brands including Stella McCartney, Aritzia, Mara Hoffman and Telus have recently made the commitment that, by 2022, their packaging will be free of ancient and endangered forests, designed to reduce material use, maximize recycled and alternative fibres and will use FSC-certified paper when virgin forest fibre is used. The Pack4Good initiative was started in October, 2019 and now includes 22 companies representing 71 brands. For more information, visit canopyplanet.org.
Two Canadian design events have opened up calls for submissions. Instead of taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Interior Design Show (IDS) will feature virtual programming and events at smaller venues throughout the city from Oct. 1 to 8. With a theme of Natural Wonder, IDS is accepting applications from brands and designers wanting to host live workshops, receptions, launches or installations at vancouver.interiordesignshow.com. In Toronto, the DesignTO Festival is looking for exhibitors to produce independent projects and host venues for window installations, events and exhibitions. Slated to run Jan. 22 to 31, 2021, the festival is accepting applications at designto.org.
Those who’ve discovered joy in jigsaw puzzles during the pandemic can now puzzle while supporting local businesses. PieceTogether is a series of designs that celebrate independent Canadian businesses and artists while raising funds. Each 300-piece puzzle sells online for $35 with $15 from each sale going back to the partner business or artist, a list that includes live music venue the Cameron House and artist Mary Scattergood. Customers can also make an additional donation to the business at checkout. Based in Toronto, PieceTogether was founded by creative designer Paddy Harrington of Frontier and printer Rich Pauptit of Flash Reproductions. For more information, visit wepiecetogether.com.
Louis Vuitton has launched a new collaborative series of window displays at its stores around the world, with one of the first appearing at the Toronto store on Bloor Street West. Dubbed The Rainbow Project, each store display features its own unique interpretation of a rainbow created either as stickers or digitally displayed through animated screens and designed in part with Louis Vuitton’s employees and their children. On display in cities that include Rome, Madrid, Milan and Frankfurt, each city’s windows feature local drawing contributions like those in Paris created by local children.
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