ST. PETER’S, N.S. —
Celebrating culture and heritage is at the heart of the work of fashion designer Veronica MacIsaac, who incorporates her love of tartan into her creations.
For the first time, the longtime designer will bring a collection to Cape Breton for a show at the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn in St. Peter’s Saturday.
Based in Halifax, Veronica MacIsaac is the daughter of Mac and Rosemary MacIsaac, who own MacIsaac Kiltmakers in St. Peter’s, so it could be said that her love of tartan is inherited.
“It’s going to be really great for that section of my family to come and see it, as well,” she said.
MacIsaac said her focus is enabling people to wear their family tartan, in a modern way.
“I try to come up with styles that are fairly timeless and classic so that it’s easy for people to wear them for years to come,” MacIsaac said.
When people are first introduced to her work, they seem to be more surprised than anything, she said.
“I think it’s hard for people to picture what my clothes look like without seeing a photo of them. If somebody says, ‘I’m a tartan fashion designer,’ I think they think of gift shop stuff and so I think it’s always a surprise to people to see what my stuff looks like.
“But, at the end of the day, I always say tartan is a fabric, it can be made into anything, it doesn’t have to be a traditional form.”
It will be a new collection that the audience will see Saturday. MacIsaac said that recently, she’s been inspired by Edwardian and Victorian fashion, not so much in terms of it being a rather conservative collection, more so in looking at the accessories and embellishments that were used on the garments.
“There will be some elements to that, I suppose, to pieces in this collection,” she said.
MacIsaac said she had approached Celtic Colours in the past about possibly collaborating on an event but that didn’t go anywhere and, ultimately, she was contacted by Bras d’Or Lakes Inn about holding an event.
The show will feature live entertainment by musicians Melody and Derrick Cameron, and Katie Hicks. Another Nova Scotia fashion label, Halifax-based Michelle-Rober, will also showcase some designs to open the show. The minds behind that label are Robbie and Cindy McGee, with Cindy a native of Reserve Mines.
“She has never had a fashion show in Cape Breton before, either,” MacIsaac said. “Their aesthetic is vastly, vastly different from mine, so you’ll see a good variety.”
In all, about two-dozen models will be travelling to St. Peter’s to participate in the show. MacIsaac and a handful of her models will arrive a few days early to do some photo shoots with pieces from the new collection.
“There’s going to be some great Cape Breton scenery in some of the shots that come out of this,” she said.