Sunday, March 13, 2011

Serendipity promises to "take flight" at Fashion Week.

Edmonton designer, Kelsey McIntyre
I’m sipping a steaming cup of tea at a quaint coffee shop on Edmonton’s Whyte Ave, soon to be Fashion Avenue during Western Canada Fashion Week. Very fitting as I’m about to pick the brain of local, cutie pie designer, Kelsey McIntyre.

Kelsey is the bright-eyed creative behind Serendipity - an ultra feminine clothing line famous for its vintage-vibe dresses. In Kelsey’s words it’s “vintage chic”.

“My goal is to design clothes that make girls feel beautiful no matter what size they are. And to inspire women to celebrate their femininity.”

This will be Kelsey’s ninth appearance at Fashion Week and she’s got me gushing and giddy as she describes what we can expect from her show on Thursday, March 31st

Can you provide a teaser for Serendipity Fall/Winter 2011?
The collection is inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia / the owl scene of Harry Potter when the owls are delivering the mail…it’s really whimsical and fun. The collection is also 40’s wartime inspired, with strong shoulders and full skirts.

This year I partnered with jewelry label Ivory Willow. We got together, talked about my collection, and she created beautiful accessories to go with my theme like feathered brooches, earrings and necklaces. Kind of like this (she points to the top of her polished brown hair where an adorable white feather barrette with sparkling rhinestones delicately sits).

What goes into preparing for Fashion Week?
There is a lot of preparation. First, you have to find someone to do hair and makeup for your models. I’ve been blessed that Ricci Hair has done almost every show for me and Tonia LaRiviere does makeup. Finding models is next, but I generally don’t change my models from season to season. I kind of have my go-to team!

I love doing fashion shows because of the production side of it. Whether it’s finding props for the models to carry down the runway, or creating a video to play in the background, which I’ll be doing again this year. It’s really fun and exciting to create an experience for the audience.
Sneak peek of Serendipity F/W 2011
Why are events like Western Canada Fashion Week important to our city?
 Some people don’t recognize how many independent designers there are in Edmonton, so events like this help with exposure.

Edmonton is known for its art festivals, so I think it’s time for people to realize fashion is an art form too. Why don’t we celebrate that as well? It’s great to have people who love to support the arts come out for Fashion Week now.

Also there are so many young, upcoming designers with great ideas, and it’s great to have events like this to introduce them and inspire them as well.

How do you think the increase in local fashion bloggers and fashion magazines has benefited local designers?
It’s fantastic! It all seems to be a collaborative effort that comes full circle. As people hear about us they want to write about us. Then others read it and come to see the shows and check out the lines.

What is your process when designing a collection?
Every designer is different. Some designers find fabric first and are inspired by that. I start with an idea in my head of what I want to do. Sometimes it’s inspiration from movies or even just a colour I’m really into at the moment. Then I start sketching. I like to keep an era in the back of my mind that kind of focuses the collection. When people are watching it come down the runway they want to see cohesiveness. Sometimes it’s difficult because I have so many great ideas in my head, but you have to just focus on one theme to ensure it’s unified. Finalized sketches are next. Once I’ve determined how many outfits I want to show, it’s time to find fabrics and start drafting patterns!

What’s your future dream for Serendipity?
Obviously I would take over the world…(she giggles and rolls her eyes), but in the more attainable world, I’m hoping to have Serendipity available across Canada. My line is currently available in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. I would also like to do a bridal line again, because that’s my true passion. I love working with brides on custom pieces.

What designers are you excited to see at Fashion Week this year? 
Kelly Madden Clothing on March 31st and Sessa by Tressa Heckbert on Tuesday, March 29th!

Serendipity F/W 2011
Fun Facts about Serendipity:
  1. Edmontonians can purchase at Meese Clothing.
  2. Kelsey is a judge this year for the WCFW Emerging Designer Contest, which she won in 2006!
  3. Serendipity will be the only Edmonton line featured at Ottawa Fashion Week this year – REPRESENT!
  4. Shop Serendipity at and join the Facebook group here.
  5. You can buy tickets to the Serendipity runway show on March 31 HERE!


  1. Cool post!

  2. very interesting article on Serendipity

    i run serendipity girls designer dresses here in the Uk


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