How does your garden grow?

Laura came to Montreal recently to go on a plant-buying mission with a longtime friend. We met for a leisurely lunch. I arrived a few minutes early, so stopped by my favourite boutique for colour and pattern, Katrin Leblond.

Katrin is the antipode of strict, so if you seek the charisma of a glowing violet dress or the wit of a very well-designed original print on a top, she is your woman—and the level of service will make you feel like Grace Kelly received at Chanel.

And who should walk in, but Laura! She spotted one of Katrin’s most charming pieces faster than a botanist spots a rare blue poppy.

Below, she models the black hoodie with a blooming garden strewn across the front and back, both embroidered and appliqued. Even a handmade cattail as the zipper pull! Despite all that handwork, the piece is washable.

Not everyone suits this amount of embellishment and colour; Laura, a fine-featured, fair-skinned medium blonde, not only wore it well, she blossomed. The soft peachy-pink lining of the hood, the delicacy of the flora, and details like soft pleats at the edge of the kangaroo pockets gave her an almost ethereal air. This is an unusual piece (she will doubtless be asked about it) but it did not wear her.

Not a snap decision. We had a leisurely lunch (no wine!) and returned for another look. I like the versatility: wear as a top, a jacket, and indoors in winter when her garden is bare. Katrin’s on-site seamstress altered the sleeves in under a half hour.

While browsing, I saw women of all ages and sizes (xs to xxl) gaily trying and buying. A good two-thirds of the clothing is designed and made there; the styles are feminine, a touch retro, and a welcome relief after the stolid, sexless rectangles I have seen on so many racks.

I especially liked seeing someone try this glorious dress, twirling and smiling as a woman does when she finds something enchanting. (Katrin carries a large selection of Ivko, which fits her aesthetic perfectly). One of the prettiest summer dresses I have seen in years, and in an unusual colour.
Katrin takes her inspiration from masters like Freida Kahlo, then applies her own artwork or collaborates with local printmakers. You can shop the e-store or better yet, come to the boutique. A peek at the e-store below; prices in $US. See the home page to choose other currencies.  

Left: Loose-fit t-shirt with hand-drawn design, Katrin Leblond limited edition; price, $95
Centre: Ivko "Victorian" v-neck; price, $160
Right: Goddess swimsuit, Katrin Leblond; price, $145

Occasionally, I break out of my subdued palette and fall for a Katrin Leblond design. Then, to my surprise, I wear it four times as much as other stuff. The colour goddesses are on to something.

Oh, it is possible to find an elegantly-cut black top there, too, if you look.


Wendy said…
I love that hoodie. It’s another example of “fanciful but not juvenile”. It’s price is beyond my means, but inspires me - maybe I’ll take up embroidery in retirement! Thank you for all your beautifully written and thoughtful posts over the years.
Yes, those are lovely, and that deep forest green!
Unknown said…
I am humbled and honoured. You get me! It is a rare treat to have yourself reflected back at you. And, what a great writer you are. Thank you -Katrin
A very inspiring post – I rarely see clothes that I want to buy. As a maker, I am inspired by the jacket and will make something for myself. I've never been to Montreal but I would definitely make a beeline to the store if I could.
Amelia said…
What a lovely store selling clothes I would like to buy and wear. Laura looks wonderful in that hoodie. Katrin's store sells unique and beautiful clothes for women. How very nice it would be to have one of her stores in my locality. Thank you Duchesse! Amelia

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