Saskatoon Fashion Designer Laurie Brown Gets STITCHED!
On October 21, Saskatoon-based designer Laurie Brown won episode seven of the television fashion competition STITCHED. Entitled Paper, Jock, Stitches, the episode featured four designers competing in three elimination challenges. Originally from a small town in Manitoba and educated in Toronto, Laurie describes herself as a “fashion designer, wardrobe stylist, costume designer and textile enthusiast.”
STITCHED is a fashion face-off series that combines original clothing designs with memorable personalities from the North American fashion industry. The winner of each episode receives $10,000.
The show is hosted by Canadian model, Kim Cloutier, and has a high-profile panel of judges including celebrity stylist, Joe Zee, and ELLE Canada’s editor-in-chief, Vanessa Craft. Dedicated fashion reality show fans will remember Joe Zee from his standout supporting role on the late 2000s MTV show The City.
The guest judge on Laurie’s episode was fashion influencer, Ania B. Long-time Toronto stylist, Susie Sheffman, also assisted the competitors with accessories. Laurie’s episode had the added challenge of dressing models with “curvier” figures.
“Being in front of the camera is not exactly my cup of tea; as a stylist and designer, I’m usually part of the crew behind the camera. Appearing on STITCHED was a way to push myself outside of my comfort zone and to work under pressure. I’m so glad that I did it,” says Laurie.
Laurie’s episode began with a signature challenge to create an athleisure garment. This was followed by a surprise challenge where Laurie created a stunning sculptural paper dress and won the challenge. The final standout challenge was to create a floral fantasy formal gown, and Laurie also won this challenge. She describes her three-piece gown as “fun and romantic with a petal peplum and a skirt covered in tulle flowers.”
“I was in awe of the judges and everything they said was so right. Even if it is a criticism, I think the competitors 100 per cent respect what the judges say and we recognize what we can take away from those comments and then incorporate into our design work.”
Laurie cites cobbler Adam Finn — and his custom shoemaking company, Last Shoes — as the type of small-scale creative collaboration that she appreciates in “the great little city” of Saskatoon — and the feeling is mutual.
“Laurie is as hard-working as she is talented. Her ability to grasp the complexities of sewing shoe uppers is really hard to find; you need an eye for details. If you’re off by a millimetre or so, you can see it, or you’ve ruined the shoe because when it comes to leather, you only have one shot to get it right. It’s not like fabric that you can take apart and sew back together,” claims Adam, adding: “Her boundless creativity and technical skill make her work stand out in our industry. She is always an absolute pleasure to have in my Saskatoon shop.”
And Laurie’s final thoughts on competing on STITCHED? “It was exciting and an amazing experience! It’s hard to complete the challenges within the time limits, all while the cameras were watching me work. The win was a really nice ending. I plan to re-invest in my business and stimulate Saskatoon’s fashion industry.”
STITCHED airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Slice; episodes of the television series can also be seen at slice.ca/stitched. There are 12 STITCHED episodes in the season.
Photos courtesy Slice