Fashion Weekly had the chance to meet with some of the top designers to get the inside scoop of this year’s shows. One designer, who we’ve seen grace the Toronto fashion scene through the luxury genius that is Pavoni, has stepped out on his own to debut his own collection: MIKAEL D.
Growing up in his parent’s workshop, Mikael Derderian felt fashion was “the only way forward.” Surrounded by design, Mikael comes by his talent honestly—his parents designed and manufactured children’s clothing in their original home of Beirut. The exposure spurred an inner desire and cultivated an imagination for the world of design. After relocating to Montreal in the 1990s, Mikael embraced the educational opportunities and flourished in multiple disciplines—earning an honours’ degree in marketing and business. He, then, continued his education through working in multiple fashion houses across the globe and honed his ‘taste, style and proficiency in fashion computer aided design’ at LaSalle College.
Starting at the bottom where many young, driven lovers of this industry begin, Mikael recounts his first job entering data for a Montreal-based company. These experiences spark his great outlook on the road to success: “[you] have to really work very hard and relentlessly towards your goals, there is no time for second guessing yourself.” He expresses the notion that the possibilities for knowledge are endless and the importance of gaining as much experience as you can. The road from data-entry to beloved designer is one of perseverance and Mikael notes having ‘no regrets’ along the way to MIKAEL D.
You are debuting a new line this year, what makes MIKAEL D different?
The signature of the brand is a tribute to the female silhouette, with exclusive hand-worked details and the use of modern elements; mixing fragments and silhouettes of the past into something new and fresh for today’s modern woman. MIKAEL D is all about the attitude made with refinement and a dose of sex appeal.
Can we expect similar influences in the overall design or will MIKAEL D showcase something completely new?
MIKAEL D is still about luxuriously hand-made eveningwear, and it will be done through my vision and personal aesthetic, thus the similarities are unavoidable. I have however grown as a designer and learned to embrace new and more daring elements within my personal style, which will ultimately have an influence on what you see on the runway for the new MIKAEL D Collection.
What influenced the change of brand from Pavoni to MIKAEL D?
This decision came along because I wanted to continue this amazing journey on my own. Having previously been with a business partner at Pavoni allowed me a chance to nurture my talent and gain confidence in myself. However, I wanted to take the brand into new horizons, and new ventures. I also wanted to have the ability to explore my true vision as a designer and ultimately my individual fashion aesthetic. I believe that my new brand “MIKAEL D” will be the perfect opportunity to achieve that.
What does participating in Fashion Week offer to you as a designer?
Participation in Fashion Week offers an amazing platform to the world, with its media and Internet coverage globally. It truly allows our brand to become more recognized on the international level and gives people access to our product and a facility to find us.
How would you describe this year’s collection?
Geometric Glamour exuding sensual luxury.
What was one piece of advice you’ve received that has always stayed with you?
Believe in yourself, or no one will believe in you.
His first collection was a great success with seven dresses that oozed elegance and was a ‘glorious tribute to the female silhouette.’ The designs have expanded since then and can be seen gracing the red carpet on numerous celebrities, such as Carrie Underwood, Halle Berry and Mariah Carey. Although Mikael’s designs have spawned a nearly endless stream of celebrity admirers, his favourite celebrity was Julia Roberts in her Lancôme perfume campaign. “[Julia] has always been my favourite actress and having her in one of my dresses was truly an awe-inspiring moment.”
The Summer 2014 collection features ‘Art Nouveau arabesques and Art Deco-inspired streamlined looks’ with focus on the elaborate elegance of the evening dress. The allure of sensuality can be seen in plunging necklines and open backs. With soft feminine materials and a regal colour palette of sapphire and emerald, this season is the epitome of poise, luxury and radiance. One design we can’t wait to see translate from paper to runway is this sapphire gown, complete with feminine curve.