Wider Horizons asked Caitlin Power (Fashion Design and Marketing ’08), the owner and creative director of the contemporary women’s label that carries her name, to share a few words on fashion, flare, and finding your own style. To see the some of her latest creations, head to the runways of Toronto …or check out caitlinpower.com
Wider Horizons: Whose style influenced you at 12? At 22?
Caitlin Power: At 12 it was Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I watched a lot of their movies and TV shows and read their books. At that time I was inspired by their style, and I tried to replicate it. At 22 it was Kate Lanphear. I love her androgynous style. She always looks well-put-together and extremely fierce!
WH: What one key item should every man have in his closet?
CP: A European tailored suit. It’s a slimmer fit, very stylish, and compliments most body types. I would also say a great fitting leather jacket.
WH: What makes an outfit move from “meh” to marvellous?
CP: I think that’s all up the wearer. Personal style, confidence and the right accessories can make an outfit come to life.
WH: What colours will be hot this summer?
CP: I always see pops of colour used in spring/summer collections. I think orange is going to be hot this year. If you’re not used to wearing bright colours, you can always pull in colour in your accessories, like a great bag or a statement necklace.
WH: What three items must every well-dressed woman own?
CP: A short leather jacket, a tailored white blouse, and a pair of black skinny jeans. They can be worn together for a great polished, edgy look, but are also great as separates.
WH: Dress up or dress down when taking a long flight?
CP: Not too dressy, and NEVER in pyjamas! I admit I have travelled in leggings, but dressed them up with flat, high boots and a longer blouse.
WH: What fashion rule do you sometimes break?
CP: I sometimes break the “no leggings as pants” rule, but always wear a long shirt over top. I might be breaking the “dress is too short” rule at the same time!
WH: What should I dump from my closet?
CP: Nothing! Keep everything! You never know when something will come back into style. High-waisted jeans are a prime example of this. They were hot in the 80s and have resurfaced. Flared jeans are also coming back. Although I’m not sure if I would follow that trend personally, I have seen a friend pull it off well.
WH: What lessons can a real person take away from the runways?
CP: The runway is all about telling a story with clothes. It shows wearable and non-wearable pieces. I think it teaches people to be more experimental with their own style. I’m very inspired by the future, and like to tell an “out of this world” story. The story for my spring/ summer 2012 collection was Primal Futurism. It fuses the ancient, the raw and the primitive with the highly technical modern day aesthetic. Think Blade Runner, Star Trek, and Flash Gordon.
WH: Any advice for someone wanting a career in fashion?
CP: It’s all about the drive. You need to be focused and hardworking, or you won’t get anywhere.
WH: If you weren’t designing amazing clothes, what else would you be doing?
CP: Growing up, my career choices were either to be on the women’s Olympic hockey team or to be a fashion designer. If I wouldn’t have chosen fashion, I’m sure I’d be on that team.