FASHION FEATURES AND PROFILES

DESIGNER MARIE COPPS BRINGS US INTO THE FAIRYTALE WORLD OF CANADIAN COUTURE

THE CZECH CANADIAN FASHION DESIGN TALENT IS EXPERIENCING HER MOST GLAMOROUS YEAR YET

By: Fatima Syed

Although we are only halfway through 2019, it’s clear that this year is already slated to be a memorable one for Canadian couture designer Marie Copps. The Czech-born creative force brought her unique mix of European flair, maximalism and attention to detail to the centre stage at her Fashion Shoot Extravaganza production at Toronto’s Daniels Spectrum in February. In the months that have passed since the debut of this larger than life fashion spectacle, Copps has been experiencing a rapid rise to the top. Her elaborate evening gowns, reminiscent of vintage bygone decades, can instantly transport any everyday gal living in the digital age to a romantic era of the past. Intrigued by the craftsmanship (make that craftsWOMANship, rather) behind Copps’ namesake label, inFATuated shared a moment with the proudly local design star. From drawing inspiration from her cultural background to experimenting with her fabric of choice, here’s more from this talented couture designer.

It seems that 2019 is going to be your year! From a spectacular visual feast for the eyes at Fashion Shoot Extravaganza to having pieces featured at the Sharleez Gala, the first quarter of the year certainly saw you seize the spotlight! What is next for you, for the first of 2019?

The beginning of the year was very productive. One more thing I was very happy about and would like to add, a stylist from a movie production borrowed some of my jewellery pieces for their film. That was a very nice surprise as well. But back to the Fashion Shoot Extravaganza show. I must say, that it was the most involved and creative endeavour in my career so far. It took five years to bring it to life, almost four years to develop the whole concept and a year and a half of pre-production leading to the February event. I will be honest with you, it took a lot out of me. The days before the show were just flying by. I have never experienced time going this fast before. Now I am back on my feet and ready for a new adventure. The Fashion Shoot Extravaganza II is shaping up a new vision and I think it will be amazing.

Being Czech, do you find that you draw a great deal of your creative and design inspiration from your European background? 

Yes, I actually believe that being European plays a huge role in my creativity. I grew up watching a lot of movies and fairy tale stories depicting queens, kings and princesses and I was always absolutely in love with the costumes, the style, opulent castles and the whole kingdom theme. We had brilliant film directors who produced a lot of these types of movies, back in the 80s when I was a little girl. I think subconsciously I was just soaking all this in, and once I started to create my own fashion, it just came all out. I was making rococo gowns, crowns, tiaras, pleated collars and necklaces. I think it all comes from my childhood years watching all these stories. I love creating elaborate over the top pieces. I am definitely not a minimalist.

On that note, how do you think that the Canadian fashion industry can benefit from more couture collections and labels, such as yours?

Nowadays, we are all inspired by each other. The Internet brought us together and all the different cultures around us are influencing our creativity. Fashion has no borders. The same trends are now seen in New York, Prague or Warsaw. We are living in a world where globalization eliminated all the nuances and originality coming from different corners of our planet. I wish we focused more attention on building our own style, instead of falling into the trap of seasonal trends being dictated by the global brands. I wish couture is something people would wear more often and would not be afraid to wear over and over again. We are consuming fashion in an unhealthy way. There are seven billion of us and the waste we produce annually with our fast fashion consumption is enormous.

Tell us about your favourite fabrics and materials to work with and design with. 

I love lace. I absolutely adore the intricate decorative elements and details in it. I do like working with different layers. I cut pieces and layer them over another fabric. I like adding trim and different textures. Depth plays a big part in my work. I rarely leave the original fabric alone- I have to do something to it.

For ladies attending any red carpet/formal functions this Summer 2019, what are your favourite eveningwear trends or looks of the moment?

I am a big fan of big gowns and over the top accessories, so anybody who falls into this category gets my attention. I love big, bold and daring. My favorite colour is black, so anything gorgeous in black is my thing.

How can women with different body types (such as petite women and plus size women) find flattering and beautiful evening gowns to suit their shapes?

Unfortunately the majority of fashion industry brands are still mostly focused on the average type of figure, so not everybody will be able to find proper garments. The best way [to find a perfect fit for your specific body shape] is to find a brand which specializes in this sector. Some brands now cater to these customers and they do a very good job. There is one more department I have to add to this, and that is tall woman. I am 5’11 and for me, it is just as difficult to find clothes as for anybody petite or plus size. I can totally understand the frustration when I go to a store and nothing fits me- and don’t even start me on shoes! Another more option is custom made. That is always the best way to go, especially for evening gowns meant for a special occasion. I understand it can be a bit pricey, but the fit and the confidence it brings makes a world of difference. We all know how it feels when we look and feel fabulous.

Photo Credits: George Pimentel

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