Toronto: Gaudet is bringing colour back

GAUDET Fall 2009
GAUDET Fall 2009

Design duo Norm and Gio Gaudet ( have one goal: to get you to ditch that basic black winter coat in favour of one of their bold and bright pieces. The pair, who specializes in hand felting techniques, showed their first collection at LG Fashion Week on Wednesday. They took a moment after the show to talk to us backstage about Canadian winters, poppies and the baby of the family.

How do you think the show went? [View the collection]
Norm Gaudet: I think it went well.
Gio Gaudet: We didn’t get a chance to see it, but so far what feedback we get it’s been positive.

Was it really hectic backstage?
NG: Oh yeah. But that’s normal.

Can you tell me a little bit about the inspiration for the collection?
GG: It was spring basically, spring flowers. After a long winter, it’s so good to see something colourful and spring-y.
NG: So we decided to bring colour back into winter. And we try to convince women that they don’t need to wear the safe black winter coat; that they can look at wearing something that’s full of colour and life.

Can you tell me about the process of going from an idea, to having an actual coat in your hands?
NG: For us the process is fairly long because we start off with the concept of whatever piece we want. We dye our own wool and then with the pattern we place all the accents onto the coat. The flowers that you saw in the collection, all those are silk. And then after [the wool and accents are] felted we sew it up and you’ve got yourself a coat.

Do you make it all by hand?
NG: All by hand.

Who is the woman who is wearing your coats?
NG: You know, it’s that woman that’s not afraid to stand out in a crowd. She’s the one who’s walking through and wants to be noticed.

What’s the once piece from your collection that every woman needs?
GG: Do you mean which one’s our favourite?
NG: Because I think every woman should have one of our coats so that she stands out.
GG: My favourite is the poppies, black with red poppies.
NG: I have lots of favourites, but we love this one because it was our first coat.
GG: It’s our first coat. In our collection it’s first.
NG: When we started making it, it’s the first one that we tried and it worked out beautifully. It’s our first baby.

Why did you decide to show in Toronto now?
NG: Well, I’m from Canada.
GG: And Canada actually has big winters.
NG: Yeah, very long winters.
GG: So you guys need something colourful.
NG: It seemed like the right place.

View the collection: GAUDET

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