What is it that drives us to be creative? And, why is it that we are the only creatures on the planet with the desire to create for fun? When I think of creativity, I think of Laurie Brown. As a member of the Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival, I've known Laurie for several years, and I'm always amazed by her endless ability to create garments I never knew were possible. The first time I met Laurie, I was modeling in one of her fashion shows and I'll never forget the pieces, dresses made out of magazines (for real)! To this day, I'm still in awe of the construction on those garments.
Laurie was born and raised in a small mining community of northern Manitoba. Flin Flon provided a safe and wholesome environment for her to develop her creative flair and ability. She and her brother were raised by their single father in a home where creativity was always supported and encouraged. At a very young age, Laurie's babysitter, Florence Wallaker, exposed her to textiles and taught Laurie her first sewing techniques.
Shortly after graduating high school, Laurie moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to throw herself into the work force. At the age of 19, and after a handful of odd jobs she found herself working at a Fabricland as Manager in Training. From there, what was already an intense curiosity towards textiles and business blossomed into a passion that would forever change the path of her life.
... To a Metropolis obsessed with fashion
At twenty years, Laurie decided it was time to take a leap of faith. She moved to Toronto in September of 2006 and entered the Fashion Arts program at Seneca College. Immediately, a hidden talent was awakened that would help her excel in the program.
Between Laurie's second and last year of school in Toronto, she completed a work placement at clothing company, Nine One One Outerwear in Saskatoon. Because her talent was needed, Laurie decided to take a year off from school to expand her resume and support the community.
In the fall of 2009, Laurie returned to Toronto to finish her program and was determined to leave her mark on the city. Excelling in all of her subjects as though she had never left, Laurie pushed her limits and created a collection that awed the audience at the Seneca 2010 Fashion Show. Laurie incorporated specific paper detailing and origami into her designs and pushed herself even further to create garments never been done before. Hand-crafted and designed to move, the end result included motorized dresses, able to change shape before your eyes and come to life on stage. Due to her efforts throughout the year, Laurie's Green Movement collection lead her to graduate with honors and receive the Seneca Prestigious Student of the Year award!
... and back to the Land of the Living Skies
After experiencing a huge success in Toronto, Laurie now resides in Saskatoon. She works for her own, self-labeled, design studio and continues to help drive Saskatoon's growing fashion industry forward. Laurie and her peers are pioneering the scene in Canada's prairie city with events that are steadily gaining popularity.
The Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival is very proud to witness the success of Laurie Brown over the years and is very excited to welcome her back to the 2015 Festival. Laurie's 'must see' collection is viewable on Friday June 5th at Bottega Trattoria in Saskatoon.
Credit and references: Models: Kristen Antunes (independent) and Rhianna Long of Edge Agency, Makeup: Sara Lindsay Makeup Artistry, Hair: Alicia Soulier of Capelli Salon/Industry Tools, Photography: Erin Crooks, Bio: www.laurie-brown.com