Calgary: Lara Presber

As the Calgary fashion scene gains momentum, there’s one local designer who’s taking her success one sketch at a time. “I honestly have to pinch myself daily,” Lara Presber‘s ( exclaims as we pore over the pages of her 2009 Spring collection, influenced by early 1900 aerial views of Kenyan landscapes.

Recently celebrated as one of the Canadian design world’s top 40 under 40 by the National Post, Presber is positively making a splash in the fashion world. As an architecture graduate, the several years she spent drafting plans for hospitals simply wasn’t enough to fuel Presber’s creativity–she needed more. Deciding to reinvent herself through fashion, the designer made for Milan to attend the world-renowned Domus Academy–on a partial scholarship, no less.

Presber, who still works part-time as an architect, builds creations that have been described as chic-quirky–something she admits is an extension of herself. Calgarians will have the luxury of perusing the designs next year, when she’ll be one of the few handpicked designers to have her very own boutique in the highly-anticipated Fashion Central (, slated to open in October. Fashion Central’s Jodi Opsahl, says she’s had her eye on Lara and is thrilled she’ll be under their fashion umbrella.

What’s on my Christmas wish list this year? Presber’s exquisite long-sleeve shirt and organic cotton skirt (both shown, $290 and $220) from her Spring 2009 collection. You can pick a little something up for yourself at

Photography by Duran Cheung

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