Feature Friday: Michelle Duncan

Time to Get Comfortable with Your Wardrobe:

The foundations of a fashion line by Michelle Duncan

Sketch: Michelle Duncan
Sketch: Michelle Duncan


I love fashion design. Many people do. What I love about fashion design is design – in fact, I don’t care for fashion all that much. Trends are fun to follow and explore and they demonstrate so much about culture that I do have a vast appreciation for them. However, today’s fashion seems to be based a great deal on consumerism and that I can do without. With each season boasting a new silhouette, colour palate and fabric compilation, it’s become difficult to afford quality pieces as they will most certainly become passé in only a few short months. This is the challenge I am striving to overcome.

Sketch: Michelle Duncan
Sketch: Michelle Duncan

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy fast fashion pieces at inexpensive prices, especially when attending events where I will likely never wear said garment ever again. However, I have come to learn that from day to day I have a relatively limited wardrobe consisting of about 20 pieces I wear on a weekly basis. I like to be comfortable. Comfort can mean something different for everyone. I may be comfortable in my fleecy plaid pyjama pants that are about a foot too long for me, but I am very uncomfortable in these pyjama pants when I have to greet an unexpected visitor at my door. I may also be comfortable in my new skinny jeans that make my butt look great when I’m out on the town, but when I get home to chill out on the couch and the crotch starts riding up and the fabric starts bunching under my knees, I am no longer in my comfort-zone. So when I say I like to be comfortable, I mean I like my body and skin to feel relaxed and breathable and I like my mind to feel confident and at ease.

Sketch: Michelle Duncan
Sketch: Michelle Duncan

So how can one achieve total comfort in their garments? Fabric is a HUGE factor. Our bodies need to breathe! Not just from our lungs, but our skin needs air to wick away moisture while we regulate our temperature with layers of fabric. Unless you want to be wearing your workout-wear 24/7, you may want to consider natural fabrics as a refreshing alternative. Each fabric has its own set of benefits and draw-backs. From my experience and research, I have decided to focus my upcoming line on linen exclusively. Why linen? Isn’t it all burlapy and wrinkley? Well… kinda, but (and this goes back to the timelessness I’m aiming for) linen only gets softer with wear! Linen certainly does crease and wrinkle, but this is part of its nature, allowing it to soften and drape naturally. It is also the perfect fabric for temperature regulation. Linen absorbs moisture, wicking it away from the body allowing it to remain cool in warmer months AND stay warm in cooler months! The fabric itself has antibacterial qualities, is resistant to moths (a common issue with plant-based fibres) and will not pill or break easily with abrasion.  Linen offers longevity and comfort along with some understated health benefits, so with this fabric selected, what kind of garments will I be creating?

Sketch: Michelle Duncan
Sketch: Michelle Duncan

Comfort and subtle sensuality are my design goals. I like gathered fabric with drawstrings and bows because they are both feminine and functional as they can manipulate the fit or shape of a piece of clothing. I also love ruffles mostly because they create texture on a comparatively blank colour palate – Did I mention the line will consist only of neutral colours? White, beige, grey. With these easy to mix, match and layer tones, added texture creates visual and tactile interest and infuses movement and playfulness into the slightly stark pieces. I want my line to be effortless and sophisticated, focusing mainly on what I will loosely describe as “loungewear.” With a lingerie-esque feel, the line will include undergarments and versatile day-to-evening-to-night wear. There is no specific category for the garments as they are meant to be worn however you like – as nightly sleepwear, casual wear for your day off, sexy negligée for a night with your sweetie, or a fab ensemble for a night out – so long as you are comfortable!

I hope my line will inspire you to create your own personal and timeless “fashion” and cannot wait to share more of what is in store as I continue on to develop this new and exciting project! xo

“Be comfortable in your own skin.  If you’re not you’ll never convince others you are.”

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