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Spotlight

An Interview with Beaufille

23 Apr 2020

Sisters Parris and Chloé Gordon are the creative forces behind this sought-after Canadian brand, which has been winning over journalists and fashionistas alike. Meet the duo.
 

 

What was your first experience with fashion?

Parris: I remember dressing myself for the first time for kindergarten. I wore white tights, a navy-blue corduroy above-the-knee skirt and a white turtleneck. There was probably a red headband involved as well. I remember our mother making clothes for us with a seamstress friend of hers. Big bright bold things! They would have us model them with other kids, too. I remember sewing at our mother's machine. I made a green gingham skirt with green tulle underneath.


 
Chloé: In grade 5, I cut up my denim pants and inserted leftover leopard print upholstery fabric in the form of large godets. I transformed them into denim and leopard flared pants. This was the first successful experiment which would lead to many more. Growing up our mother made a lot of her own clothes and patterns. I remember coming into her room and seeing the process of pattern making, sewing, fitting, and the final product. 

When did you decide to launch your brand?

In 2013, we launched, or rather transitioned to Beaufille after several years of experimenting with making and selling collections; which we started to do in university. We wanted to streamline our work into a more specific vision and aesthetic which developed into the concept of Beaufille.


What's your favourite step in developing a collection?

P: I love the stage before starting a collection where everything is possible and inspiration flows freely. Honing into learnings from the previous season, having a gut instinct, and navigating the path ahead with that as a guide. I love visiting my local suppliers to source materials, taking the time to browse aisles and aisles of potential material, taking lots of pictures, and daydreaming of possibilities with the materials I can’t stop thinking about. Otherwise, if I already have an idea of what I want to work with, I enjoy the treasure hunt in finding the exact right variation of material. Then, diving deep into imagery that I love, specific and timeless inspirations, and figuring out how to translate them into our brand identity, into objects of fantasy, and ultimately into wearable pieces. 

C: My favourite stage of creating a collection is somewhere between the prototypes and the final product. When ideas take form visually and physically, then playing with where you can take a piece, whether its adding, taking away, or changing directions completely. I get most excited when I can physically see an idea develop and adjust it through fitting, playing, and gut instinct. At this stage the piece is in development and hasn’t become fully realized so there is the flexibility for it to become anything.
 


How does being a duo impact your work?

P: It’s a great luxury to have someone to bounce ideas off of, make decisions with, and navigate business anxiety and creative fear with. It truly takes a village and this cannot be done alone. We also have a really strong partnership, creatively and business-wise, with our director of operations. We are lucky.  


C: Our relationship as sisters is the foundation of our work, of our design process. Being sisters and working together, there is a lot ingrained trust and understanding of one another. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use that to our advantage in the dynamic of our work.
 

For the current quarantine situation, do you have a book, album, or recipe to recommend?

P: I'm about to read Dolly Parton's “Dream More.” I can't think of anything more comforting than the whimsical yet practical and poignant advice from Dolly right now. I'm trying to listen to soothing music right now. Try the playlist “LENGTHENED” by @theamberj, it's perfect.


C: Right now I am trying to take advantage of being home by cooking or baking things I have always wanted to but have not had the time to. I recently successfully made sour dough bread from scratch, which is a three-day endeavour. The recipe is from Paris's most famous bakery, Poilâne.  

Can you think of a mantra that helps you relax or find more perspective in these challenging times?

P: I'm finding comfort in the idea that out of every crisis comes a better way of living, working, being and doing; these things happen for a reason and if we have our health, we have the opportunity to let a pandemic like this change us for the better. It's not what happens, but how it's handled and what you choose to get out of it.

C: “After every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.” – Bill Gates