Canadian Designer Hilary MacMillan On Her New Collection For Spring 2016


Photo: Hilary MacMillan 

With a focus on wearable and vibrant patterned designs, Toronto designer Hilary MacMillan recently unveiled a Spring 2016 collection of punchy prints and bold colours on the World MasterCard Fashion Week runway. Last season, Real Style chatted with the emerging designer (who founded her eponymous label in 2012) about her Fall 2015 collection. This time, MacMillan spoke to us about the exotic Tanzanian influences behind her latest collection, the evolving colour in her newest designs and her sartorial journey back to the groovy 1970s. Here’s what she had to say backstage at WMCFW.


Photo: George Pimentel 

Real Style: What was your inspiration behind your latest collection?

Hilary: I love the 1970s, I’m really influenced by them the past couple of seasons. I also went to Africa last year and I sourced the printed fabric. I went and volunteered at an orphanage down there, and I was just touring the marketplace to get a feel for the community. I found this beautiful, peacock-esque fabric that kind of worked perfectly with the 1970s. I bought as much as they had in stock and kind of went from there.

Real Style: What’s the biggest difference between your Fall 2015 collection and this latest line for spring?

Hilary: Fall is a little more dark and moody. I didn’t use any black or any white in this collection, which is a first for me. I decided to go all colour. I did have a stripe of pale white in the leather, but that was about it. So not using those two shades was kind of a big change for me.


Photo: George Pimentel

Real Style: What is your favourite element of 1970s fashion and your least favourite element?

Hilary: My favourite element is culottes. I love them! I’ve been using them for the past couple of seasons, so it’s kind of obvious that I’m super into them. My least favourite would be anything that was kind of disco-y. I wasn’t so into that!

Real Style: What’s your best fashion memory?

Hilary: I guess my first show. I was thrilled, it was a high and I had no idea what to expect. No one knew who I was. I was kind of coming out of here with no clue and then kind of coming back here and seeing the whole production, what actually happens behind the scenes. I’ve been to shows before, but never actually experienced it (except peeking in the windows). That was kind of the big moment for me.

Real Style: Do you have a favourite piece from your Spring 2016 collection?

Hilary: I love the long tunic dress that is kind of a deep V with the big billowy sleeves. That is my favourite. I just love the print, I’m obsessed with the print. I think the style is a very easy thing to wear. You could wear it to the beach or out at a nice dinner with a pair of heels, so I think it’s very versatile and it works on many different body types.

Free to join! Get the hottest fashion, beauty and celebrity news, enter exclusive subscriber giveaways and be the first to receive the full digital version of REAL STYLE magazine every month.