MONTREAL DESIGNER EVE GRAVEL SPRINGS ETERNAL

Posted on March 14th, 2013 by .

Chicoutimi-born designer Eve Gravel moved to Montreal at the young age of 18 to pursue her studies in fashion. Since then, she’s become a symbol of the exciting local designer scene, with an ever-growing distribution (now in the U.S. and Europe!) and a loyal fan base…


Her studio is a stylish Mile End loft full of recuperated materials and wood surfaces in a not-so-stylist old industrial building – “just to show that there are hidden treasures in these ugly old things,” she laughs. Eve Gravel and her team of five staffers are in the ever-gentrifying area just east of Saint-Laurent around Saint-Viateur, where new yoga studios, coffee shops and restaurants are rapidly improving the landscape. When she moved her business here eight years ago, it was for practicality’s sake: “There are still tons of sewers and furnishers in these industrial blocks, so it’s so handy – when I need something from them all I have to do is cross the street,” she says.

Gravel’s design style is distinct: she makes pretty, beautifully cut pieces for women that are eminently easy to wear. She focuses on dresses, blouses and skirts, and there’s always a detail ­– a Mao collar, a half-sleeve, a geometric cutout  – that distinguishes her prêt-a-porter from the rest of urban wear. Because Gravel’s aim is that anyone can wear her clothes. “I want to see them in the street,” she says. That’s why her pieces are affordable and flattering on as many shapes and sizes as possible.

Though she’s known for her black and white palette, enhanced with only a splash or two of colour, the current collection celebrates lively hues with unusual abandon. “It’s because of Asia! As I was conceiving of spring-summer 2013 I travelled around Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia for five weeks. The fabrics there were so multicoloured there – when I got back, I wanted to surround myself with colour. I think I even surprised myself!”

Always influenced by her world travels – she’s been going on three or four trips a year since she was 16 – Gravel promises Mexican vibes in her fall-winter 2014 looks; think Frida Khalo with gothic inflections. “I like to keep a simplicity in my designs, but they also have to be different enough to be worth the purchase. If it’s too basic, people can buy it anywhere. I want my customers to be proud of wearing a piece I’ve signed.”

THE DETAILS

Shop online or at one of these Montreal stores:

Belle & Rebelle (6321 St-Hubert, 514-315-4903)

Boutique Unicorn (5135 St Laurent, 514-544-2828)

Cokluch (410A Villeray, 514-273-5700)

L’appartement (1871 Mont-Royal E., 514-658-2500)

Magasin Général Bruxe (5662 Sherbrooke W.)

Off the Hook (1021 Ste-Catherine W., 514-499-1021)

Onze (4146 St-Denis, 514-223-6938)

Onze (4151 St-Laurent, 514-844-2662)

Onze (1853 Ste-Catherine W., 514-223-4379)

Simons (977 Ste-Catherine W., 514-282-1840)

Three Monkeys (1455 Peel, Cours Mont-Royal, 514-284-1333)

Photos by Coey Kerr

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