Written by: Michael Jodha
Fashion designer Sid Neigum went out of his way to make sure his home was furnished with authentic, accurate portrayals of historic outfits directly from The New York Public Library.
“I went to The New York Library and bought a bunch of slides of … religious uniforms and military uniforms,” says the designer in an interview during Toronto Fashion Week. “I just took them from the library and paid for the cost to replace them, and framed them. They’re really old drawings and pictures, and that’s what’s on my walls.”
And it’s that passion for clothing-as-art that makes this designer stand out from the pack at Toronto Fashion Week.
“I’ve always liked the idea of the clothing having more meaning than keeping you warm, and I like to create looks that portray that,” says Neigum about his collection and his love of uniforms.
“The essence of clothing is more than just functionality – it’s the representation of something else,” he continues. “I like to portray the feeling of maybe more of a meaning than meets the eye.”
His fall 2013 runway features a lot of different elements and styles for fashionistas to interpret. However, the line is tied together using a heavily patterned, samurai/futuristic theme which Neigum explains was homage to his childhood.
“My grandmother was a seamstress and she used to make my little sister full-floral outfits – like matching dresses, pants, scrunchies,” says Neigum. “I started paying homage to that idea of print on print on print on print, and take that early ‘90s era and make it more modern and, like a futuristic version of my childhood.”
As for the samurai look, Sid Neigum just chalks that up to his love of the culture.
“It’s hard to explain how the Asian got into there,” he admits. “I just got back from Asia, and well, some of my favourite designers are Asian. I’m pretty Asian obsessed, so I think that always sneaks through somehow.”