Un jour je va ecrire en francais mais premierement, je dois practiquer! Et alors, au jour ‘hui, j’ecris en anglais. On y vas!
Everyday at work I talk to Chinese factories who produce clothing we’ve contracted them to make. Sometimes we ask them to make a sample of a shirt so we can get an idea of what it will look like in 3D. If the fabric we’re using for the shirt isn’t ready yet, we tell them to make the sample in whatever available fabric they have. And then we wait to see what they’ll send. More than likely, although we ordered a solid white shirt, something like a shirt in bright green with striped blue sleeves and a grey collar will arrive. Sure we have a good laugh at the hideous choice of fabric and as funny as it may be to look at the surprises they send, it doesn’t do much to change the rumour that Chinese design has a long way to go before being taken seriously on the world stage. With that in mind, you can imagine my surprise when I was walking down Mount Royal avenue in Montreal and discovered a store called Very Studio. Selling exclusively Chinese designs that are not only fun to look at (in a good way) but are inventive and well cut too
The majority of the clothes in the store are made from natural fabrics which I find really refreshing. I feel like I’m forever drowning in a sea of polyester when I shop in popular stores like Forever 21 and Zara. When walking into Very Studio, I immediately knew something was different. And I liked it. Earth toned fabrics in natural fibers, avant garde cuts that are surprisingly flattering to the body and collectible knicknacks had me lost in the Very Studio for almost an hour.
My biggest surprise was discovering the brand JNBY (Just Naturally Be Yourself). With approximately 500 stores that are mostly based in China, but are also worldwide, I wonder what mountain of rocks I’ve been living under that I didn’t know about this brand before. Their clothes have the most feminine architectural cuts and manage to find a balance between formal and casual, conservative and avant garde, structured and fluid. After falling in love with a t-shirt that has woven fabric suit-like lapels in the front and batwing sleeves and sides in a jersey t-shirt fabric draping across the back to accentuate curves in all the right ways, I broke down, pulled out my credit card and bought it.
JNBY likes to make convertible clothes that can be worn in 3 or even 4 ways, and you don’t have to worry about trying to figure out how to wear them because they come with an instruction book! Although I’m not sure these pictures do it justice, here’s an example of a 3 in 1 dress. If you get the chance, I recommend you try on the clothes so you can really see how sophisticated the cut is and how different each way to wear really is.
At Very Studio, you can also find Shanghai based brands Even Though and LIU2. Many of the styles are made in small production runs which means you won’t be showing up at a party wearing the same outfit as your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. Now that’s something that’s worth the investment!
If fashion that’s a little bit avant garde isn’t your style, they also have a great selection of t-shirts including, the hard to find in North America, Pigg t-shirts that have a cult like following in Asia, and that come in the collectible soda pop can container!! You can also find t-shirts in a tv, t-shirts in figurines with block heads and Feiyue running shoes from France!
Husband and wife team, Vivi He and Bin Feng, run the store and are geting the attention of Montreal top design community including Seven magazine that I mentioned in a previous post. Drop by now before they become huge and you’ll have to have your people contact their people if you want to have a chat.
I highly recommend that you pay a visit to their facebook page, Vstudio, to get a better idea of the drool worthy goods offered in the store. Get your tissue ready!
62 ave mount royal est
Also look for them at the Vente de Trotoire sur l’avenue Mont-Royal le 30 aôut à 2 sept where you can find many of the clothes at 30-60% off!!
If you miss that they’ll be having an in store event to celebrate the arrival of their Fall clothes in about 4 weeks. Keep checking their facebook page for more details.
See you there!