I had the pleasure to meet Connally McDougall last season at Vancouver Fashion Week where she was showing as the Emerging BC Fashion Designer sponsored by NICHE Magazine. She was sweet, quiet and very hungry.
People do not realize how grueling a day at VFW can be. You totter in wrapped tight in designer clothes, uncomfortable heels and then bam, bam, bam, there is a scrum of mingling, runway, networking, posing for photos, runway, networking, posing for photos and so on and so on. This regimen continues right through the dinner hour and until 9pm. I had already experienced a few lightheaded days and thoughtfully packed my clutch full of snacks – almond and dried fruit zippy bags, chocolate chip granola bars and a handful of $5 bills for white wine to wash the goodness down.
Vancouver’s front row grand dame Marilyn Wilson sat Connally and myself next to her, like a mother hen and her chicks, and so our friendship began. Small talk over shared snacks.
“Connally McDougall is based in London, United Kingdom. She studied at Central Saint Martins and her collections are produced in England. Shel is a highly acclaimed Canadian fashion designer, mastering her discipline at Central Saint Martins and now living in London, England.
Her work is rich in textural details, architectural silhouettes and is fundamentally designed with confident, international women in mind. Her line encompasses ready to wear and couture as well as accessories and intimate apparel. The materials used in her collections are sustainable and responsibly made in the UK and pieces are made by hand in her London studio.
Traveling with her missionary parents as a child gave her a broad scope of inspiration and respect for the work that goes into well-crafted garments and her work is a celebration of tradition, utility and ceremony.
After honing her skills with private clients and collectors, her first collection was featured in Vancouver Fashion Week to an international audience with great success.
Subsequently, she has been invited to show at Fashion Weeks in Beijing, London, Los Angeles and Boston. Her work will also be featured in an upcoming film by award-winning director Gulrukh Kahn and has been worn on red-carpet events across North America and Europe.
@connallymcd / @oliobymarilyn / @niche_online / @tracey_online / @vanfashionweek / @edngphotography
(This article was written by Helen Siwak)