Marie-Lise Lachapelle Part 1

How long have you been designing?

Ever since I was a very young child, I’ve been drawing ALL the time. I’d never go anywhere without my sketchbook! Of course it went from trees and mountains, to portraits, and eventually fashion, or what my idea of it was at the time. As a teenager I loved drawing gowns, and outfits on models.

I became truly fascinated by fashion and all of its aspects. I loved how I felt by throwing on a great dress and perfect accessories (lots of accessories!). I personally always lean more towards classic trends as opposed to the huge “must haves,” but realized how with the right necklace, ring, cuff or oversized earrings, you could spice things up your way, and make a simple outfit seem completely revamped. (I promised myself that I would never bring this up, but I’ll confide to you: I had a bolo tie moment! There, I said it. That country/western looking tie with a big stone and two stings, that was me. For about a year… haha! Now DO NOT expect me to send a picture!)

While in college (bolo tie phase was over by then) I was a lot more interested in fashion magazines than linguistics. And geography. And history. And economy. I loved philosophy and the arts. So after a string a of odd jobs out of school, which included being a flight attendant and a stint in telecommunications (sold network solutions on fibre optic to internet service providers) I had decided I had enough of the corporate world, and stripped off my suit to move to New York where I took the plunge.

I was approached by a New York model agency so I quickly got a visa that allowed me to work in the states for 2 years. I felt like I had won the lottery!! I fell in love with New York immediately. So while here, instead of pursuing modelling (although I’ve paid my bills with jobs here and there), I realized my true passion was behind the camera. I actually started assisting photographers and stylist by pulling the right clothes together and helping with accessories… that was my favourite part.

I eventually graduated from assistant to stylist, personal shopper, and then style consultant, where I was in charge of pulling outfits from showrooms and stores and I felt my calling—going after that dream and really learning the craft and different techniques as opposed to just wired chains and stones together.

I took many short-term workshops and started making my own jewellery that I was able to style my clients with. So, the actresses wearing designer brands on soaps, such as Passions, were all adorned by … me! Then came the music videos, editorials and wealthy socialites, who all were hooked on my creations. It kind of snow balled a couple of years ago when I decided to take my line to an whole new level and focus on it full time.   was at a cross road where I had to make a decision. I followed my heart and did what felt right at the moment. I’ve never looked back.

Wow that is quite a history! When it comes to designing what experiences and objects, inspire you?

People I see in the city, old movies, music, the city I live in and love, my travels, and of course my dark haired angel has been bringing me a great deal of inspiration… not to mention my dreams! I often come up with a new idea for a collection in my dreams, like the frame collection for instance which I have designed for Fall/Winter 2011.

My daughter, is one of the biggest inspirations – she keeps me grounded and focused… or at least completely entertained. I’m not one of those artists who need darkness and loneliness to create, but I would say that I feel really blessed to be able to find inspiration in simple things…my sketch book follows me everywhere and I happen to live in one of the most stimulating city in the world!

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