The latest instalment of Toronto Fashion Week has wrapped and one designer has emerged as a name to watch. Daniel Gregory Natale showed his eponymous line on the final day of the three-day showcase. His intimate presentation only had six models—Natale favours small, edited approach. But there was enough layers, textiles and details to keep everyone’s interest.
Natale’s heavily layered, organic-feeling collection was inspired by interior design. In fact, even the flowers were inspired by bouquets people keep in their homes.
I chatted with the Toronto native, who splits his time between his hometown and New York City, about his collection, making custom textiles and the next step to building his burgeoning brand.
Tell me about this collection.
“I was inspired by a couple of different interior stylists actually. One of them in particular is a Japanese woman who mixes modern furniture with very, very old antique furniture. I was trying to translate that into an idea of taking classical elements of clothing and modernizing them. You’ll see the ruffled cuffs and stuff but made in like a shredded denim chambray that I had made custom for this collection in Italy. And then a lot of the other fabrics too. There’s this pinstripe in just a classic cotton gauze and then underneath it is the same pinstripe that I developed with the same mill but I made the stripe with linen and polyester and different kinds of wool blends so it kind of modernizes the pinstripe.”
What’s your preferred presentation style?
“I really like to do very small amount of very, very dynamic looks so there’s actually six or seven pieces on each model and it’s playing with different textures on top of each other, different kinds of fabrics, different construction techniques, crochet, shredding the denim, deconstructing lots of things like that.”
You can also visually set them apart yourself as well.
“I guess it might be a little bit intimidating but I wish people would actually go up to the clothes and feel the different fabrics and look at them up close because you can’t tell from here but when you go up close, you can see the different weights of the linen and the different cottons and the different weights in the pinstripe with the polyester and the wool and it’s really, really interesting up close and I want people to experience that.”
How do you find going back and forth between New York and Toronto?
“I really like this pace. I love New York so much but I also really like Toronto and when I come to Toronto, it’s a lot more of a personal feeling with my studio especially because I share it with my family members who are also creators so we have this very personal space which is a lot different from New York. It’s really hectic and in New York, I’m always in meetings and going there and doing that.”
What’s next for you?
“Next is just Paris Fashion Week. So I’m leaving at the end of the month for Paris and that’s where I do markets so I’ll be doing all of my meetings there, my buying meetings.”
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