Emerging Toronto Designer Luis Padilla Discusses Style, Creative Energy And More

Although Toronto-based designer Luis Padilla may be a new name in the Canadian fashion industry, Padilla’s eponymous label is rapidly rising. For the upcoming season, the designer has shown his collection at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week and most recently, at Fashion Art Toronto 2017. With a penchant for androgynous, architectural design, Padilla is quickly becoming recognized for stark geometric silhouettes. Joining forces with his wife and business partner, industrial designer Ana Carpio, Padilla showcased his Mesomorphic Emotions collection which touches on themes of technology and contemporary life.

Intrigued by Padilla’s no-fuss yet detailed approach to geometry, Real Style spoke to the creative enigma backstage at FAT 2017. From the unique influences behind Mesomorphic Emotions to his designer icons, read on to discover more about Padilla’s aesthetic and approach to style.

Real Style: What was the inspiration behind your collection?

Luis: The inspiration was the constant movement of nature, and the desire we have to remain part of the nature of this world. At the same time, we are trying to escape from each other in a way, through technology. That is tearing us all apart, rather than keeping us close to each other. As well, it’s about all the feelings we experience through a lifetime.

Real Style: Which designers do you look to as your role models?

Luis: Mainly the Japanese ones, like Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto. I’m very attracted to that kind of design in general.

Real Style: Where do you find your creativity?

Luis: From what I experience on a daily basis, but mostly from feelings and emotions. I try to experience concerts and music, anything that moves you deeply.

Real Style: Do you have a dream celebrity client who you would love to dress?

Luis: Not really. I want my clients to feel identified with my clothing, it doesn’t matter who. When the connection between the customer and the garment is established, you cannot undo that connection. It is not a style, an experience of feelings that I want my clients to identify with. I want to share those experiences with everyone.

Real Style: What are your favourite fabrics?

Luis: The ones made from natural fibres, mainly silk, linen and wool. For now, I’m focused to use fibers that can be dry cleaned to save water. But in the future, I can not wait to work with new materials and technologies that would change the way we dress, and I will focus on the ones that will contribute to preventing the waste of natural resources.

Real Style: Do you have any favorite colours to include in your collections?

Luis: That would depend on the mood; there is no color that I dislike. Some colours complement each other, and I take advantage of that. For instance, in Mesomorphic Emotions, I used a colour palette of seven colors, and in most of the pieces, I used three different colours in one garment. The result was very contrasting and at the same time very appealing to the eye. Currently, I’m working on a unisex collection for Spring/Summer 2018, and I’m mostly using black colour fabric, which I’m combining with many different textures of black leather to create a clash or textures in one piece.

Real Style: What is the definition of great style, in your opinion?

Luis: It is being yourself and expressing yourself, through wearing accessories and garments. That is what great style is.

Photo 1: Courtesy of Luis Padilla

Photos 2 and 3: Amanda Skrabucha