Canadian Outerwear Designer Joseph Tassoni Talks Coats, Style And More

With our nation’s freezing temperatures and endless winter, it’s no surprise that Canadian coats are known for being practical yet chic. As a Montreal-based outerwear designer, Joseph Tassoni is passionate about layering and comfort. Tassoni recently showcased his Fall 2017 “Queen of the North” collection at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, taking his inspiration from the notoriously frigid climate of our country. On the catwalks, rich fur-trimmed coats and royal purple shades shared the stage with a dramatic white robe, which could easily fit the sartorial tastes of an ice princess.

Real Style talked to Tassoni about his vision for coats which are proudly made on Canadian soil. From sourcing fabrics to taking his cues from the women in his life, here’s what the designer had to share about his label.

Real Style: Tell us more about the artistry that goes into your designs.

Joseph: I always like drama, whatever it is that I do. I start off with the blacks, rich furs, lots of textures, but everything is all about fit and how you can dress in different climates throughout Canada. Whether you’re in Alberta or Ontario, everyone dresses differently. Alberta has been up to -45, they may wear heavyweight parkas. The entire collection is inspired by mythical nobility, my fantasy lies in the philosophy of my brand. The philosophy of the brand is just all about having fun.

Real Style: Canadian outerwear is such a major aspect of our fashion industry. What are some of the challenges of competing in the market?

Joseph: I don’t even think it’s about competing. I think all of us are great companies. However, I think it’s just about finding the right manufacturer, the right people to work with and the best people to deliver the best product to your consumer. My entire collection is 100 percent made in Canada, minus the zippers and the snaps. Everything else is Canadian.

Real Style: How do you source your local materials?

Joseph: All the mills are local. It’s just about hunting. It’s all pretty much through word of mouth and finding the reliable mill that will deliver you a superior fabric.

Real Style: Do you have a signature colour palette for your designs?

Joseph: I like those pop, bubby colours that I had mixed [in my Fall 2017 collection]. I like all colours, starting with black, the whole spectrum of colours. I love tartans and plaids, especially, and then ending with white.

Real Style: Where do you find your creative inspiration?

Joseph: It just comes to me. I think maybe from the people who are around me, and then inspire me, whether it’s my mother, my sisters or I am travelling somewhere. It’s about the people you surround yourself with.

Real Style: Do you have any favourite outerwear trends for the current season of Spring 2017?

Joseph: I think trends really do come in and out. For me, it really is about that classic, timeless silhouette that will take you through the trends. If the trend is a colour, if it’s orange or yellow, so long as your body stays the same throughout it, I love that timelessness. I try to stay away from the trends, because it is either hit or miss.

Photos: Belle Bunag for Top of the Runway