A look from House of Nonie's spring 2018 collection.
CAFA nominee House of Nonie is a brand to watch.
The second instalment of RE\SET returned to the Great Hall in Toronto earlier this month. The two-day event saw a jam-packed line-up of runways shows and static presentations by Canadian designers. One standout was Calgary-based House of Nonie. The offering was a mostly monochrome mix of pieces that balanced striking silhouettes (flared helms flowy layers) with an appealing wearability. We caught up with the label’s designer, Nina Kharey, after her presentation in the hall’s stunning Conversation Room—a dreamy heritage-infused space which was warmly lit by the afternoon sun. Here’s what she had to say about the local industry, and how her heritage influences her simple-with-a-twist aesthetic.
House of Nonie spring 2018
ON HER DESIGN INFLUENCES
I looked back at my parents’ pictures when they came to Canada, when they immigrated. They came in the ’70s. Immediately I felt a wave of inspiration when I saw pictures of my parents and the whole line stemmed from that. I kept true to my aesthetic, though. I incorporated the Indian tunics, which are actually backless, because that’s been my inspiration as well — my Eastern heritage.
ON THE TEXTILES IN THE LINE
I went hunting for the printed fabric in this line. I went to an Italian mill and I just looked and looked and looked. I kind of had an idea of the colours, and then finally I found one that had not just the print, but it also had the texture to it.
ON HER DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
I make clothes that are easy to throw and super simple. This season I incorporated big bows and bell-bottoms.
ON PARTICIPATING AT RE\SET
I just showed in New York and I wasn’t planning on [showing] in Canada. But my mentor [Barbara Atkin] really encouraged me to do RE\SET and I’m glad I did. We need more support in Canada, it’s really sad how we feel pressured to have to leave and go places to be supported. Once you go to New York and start talking to people there, I feel like it really amplifies the brand and gets the right people interested quickly. I feel like the problem isn’t with exposure, but with retailers. It’s hard to make nice clothes, it’s really expensive, so if we had the right backing we wouldn’t feel like we had to go to New York Fashion Week.