Designer Spotlight: Beaufille

Designer Spotlight: Beaufille

In A New Column For V, Mathias Rosenzweig Highlights Up And Coming Designers To Know Now. Here, Sister Designer Duo Beaufille

In A New Column For V, Mathias Rosenzweig Highlights Up And Coming Designers To Know Now. Here, Sister Designer Duo Beaufille

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

Sisters Chloé and Parris Gordon know the importance of a name. They called their fashion, jewelry, and accessory collection Beaufille, which translate from French into "handsome girl"—capturing notions of combined masculinity and femininity, hard vs. soft. Of course, androgyny is less than revolutionary at this point, particularly within an industry that has become exponentially more gender-fluid within the past few years. This change in tide forced the Gordons to explore their own niche within gender duality, matching knitted wool pieces with more rigid ones like silver chokers and exaggerated metallic rings found ubiquitously throughout the collection. We spoke to the Canadian siblings about working with family, their particular brand of androgyny, and gathering inspiration from their mother's robust collection of vintage fashion mags.

Are you two similar when it comes to creativity and aesthetics?

We are similar in the sense that we both have the same taste level, standards and attention to detail, but we appreciate different things in art and design. Bringing those two view points together helps us make a more well-rounded product, and essentially defines Beaufille.

What are your respective backgrounds in fashion? 

We both went to art school in Nova Scotia, Canada, at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). [Chloé] majored in textile design and minored in fashion design. [Parris] majored in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing.

What does androgyny mean in today's more gender-fluid context, and why are you drawn to it? 

To us, it's just an extension of self-expression. Androgyny seems to be the outcome of most of our designs because we combine our different individual styles. Growing up [Chloé] always wore our older bothers hand-me-downs, and dressed like a boy. [Parris], on the other hand, would always wear dresses—the more volume, ruffles and drama, the better. We both represent different ends of the spectrum and bring that together in our design process. We are both women but want to dress originally; [Chloé] isn't your stereotypical tomboy, and [Parris is not] your stereotypical girly girl. We are trying to take the stereotype out of womenswear; It doesn't have to be one thing or typecast. It's a balancing act. It's where we can have some fun and create something new.

What is unique about your womenswear line? 

Our approach to designing womenswear alongside our hands-on, from-scratch, conceptual training. Our approach, as mentioned before, stems from trying to break away from stereotypical creation—we want to make things that are not obviously feminine, or if we do, we will do it in a really intense, hardcore fabric to bring in that masculinity and edge. Or if we're doing a masculine silhouette concept, it's translated in a more free-flowing, feminine fabric. Our respective backgrounds in product creation allow us to take detailing to the next level, whether it's through hardware or textile manipulation. We are both classically trained in designing, creating, and making. From start to finish, we take our abstract concepts and physically make them into a saleable product.

If you could choose anyone to be the face of your line, who would it be?

Lou Doillon

What is the most challenging part of your work? 

Time. For a small growing business within which each of us wearing multiple hats, it's always a challenge to juggle [everything]. We balance all aspects of the business while designing collections and creating them, sampling them, and simultaneously working on large production orders.

From where do you each pull inspiration? 

How we get inspired varies from collection to collection, but we always use the "Reference Library" as a resource to look at old books. Our mother has kept every Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and L'Official since she was 16, so we use that collection as a constant resource as well. People watching is always a source of inspiration. We also constantly consult the creative people in our lives, namely our mother Eve, who is a fine artist, Monika Tatalovic, our consultant and stylist, and Sarah Blais, who has been capturing our collections and branding Beaufille since day one.

What is it like to be working with your sibling?

It’s great and extremely fulfilling; like every partnership, we have our good days and our bad. But the good far outweigh the bad. We came to working together because of our tight-knit relationship growing up. We were always very creative together. We always knew we wanted to work together because we were passionate about similar things, but both had a different approach and perspective. Two heads are always better than one.

Credits:

Photographer Sarah Blais  Stylist Monika Tatalovic

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