STYLE

Celebrity stylist Leslie Fremar aims to help Canadian designers with concept shop

05/26/2015 05:01 EDT | Updated 05/26/2016 05:59 EDT
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - She's a top-ranked stylist to Hollywood's glittering A-list but New York-based Leslie Fremar is still connected to her Canadian roots.

"When I grew up here, the industry, it was small," says the Toronto-born Fremar, who interned at Flare Magazine.

"It's definitely emerging and there's more talent, and I think people are realizing that to be a fashion designer can be a career.

"I think the city is doing a lot of things to help young creative people build brands and build businesses, and hopefully, in the future, I can also contribute and help to that."

The star stylist who has helped outfit Oscar winners Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron is working to elevate the profiles and sales of Canadian designers through a new retail initiative.

Fremar is curator of the SQ1 Concept store at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, west of Toronto. The boutique is dedicated to featuring creations of emerging and established homegrown talents.

The pop-up shop launch comes ahead of a scheduled 2016 expansion at Square One, which will include Canadian retailers Simons and Holt Renfrew. The growth in the high-end or luxury category mirrors a trend being seen across Canada with the arrival of U.S. retailer Nordstrom — and Saks Fifth Avenue soon to follow.

Creations from John Muscat and Jennifer Wells of John & Jenn and Line Knitwear, and womenswear and accessories brand Beaufille are being featured at SQ1 Concept.

Menswear designer Christopher Bates, design duo Greta Constantine, accessories brand Ela, Toronto-based clothing company Outclass, jeweller Alan Anderson and womenswear designers Stephan Caras, Erin Kleinberg and Sid Neigum will also have their collections showcased.

"I was just excited to kind of dig in and see what they're doing and see what Canadian talent is producing," says Fremar, who selected key pieces from the collections.

"As a stylist or as an editor, you're editing based on things that kind of work for you, or the story that you're creating. So usually, within most collections, you can pull out pieces and create stories.

"When you're looking through magazines or you see photo shoots, it's really the stylist's point of view on their collection. For me to get to kind of go through and pull things that I liked and what I gravitate to and create this cohesive point of view is interesting."

Among the standouts selected by Fremar was an ensemble from Beaufille, helmed by sisters Chloe and Parris Gordon. She paired a button-down blouse with sheer accents with a skirt embellished with gold hardware from their collection.

"I think that they're really on-trend. They have a strong point of view that translates to the streets but can also be elevated and look really elegant and sophisticated, which is I think is really hard to accomplish."

The pop-up shop is slated to stay open until June 20. Square One marketing director Toni Holley says they plan to revisit the concept if all goes well.

— Follow @lauren_larose on Twitter.

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