By Katrina Caspelich
One to Watch: Toronto Designer Kaelen
In 2010, Toronto native Kaelen Farncombe made her fashion debut with her fall/winter collection. A year later, this young designer has continued to grow her line of edgy and modern, yet timeless, pieces to much industry praise.
From Kaelen’s Roots in Toronto to the Fashion World at Parsons in NYC
Kaelen fell in love with fashion at a young age, shopping for special-occasion dresses with her mother and grandmother at The Room at The Bay, the upscale women’s department in one of Toronto’s flagship department stores. On these shopping trips, she was drawn to clothing, finding it beautiful and exciting. Years later, after receiving a degree in English literature, Kaelen decided to pursue a career in fashion by studying marketing at Parsons The New School for Design. While there, she found herself more attracted to fashion’s creative process, not its business side. And after interning at both Jenni Kayne and Stella McCartney, she decided to create her own line—something she could put her whole heart into. While pieces run between $250 and $1,500, most of the collection is priced under $500.
A fan of design labels like Rick Owens, Preen, and Maria Cornejo, this New York-based designer creates looks for a girl who has a strong sense of style and an intellectual approach to fashion. Thus, her desire to dress actresses like Lara Stone and Chloë Sevigny.
Comfortable in jeans, a tee, a cool jacket, and heels, Kaelen would probably be a DJ if she weren’t a designer. And she’s been pursuing her alternate career just for fun. Among her other interests? Reading and cooking.
Fun Fact about Kaelen When She is Not Designing Clothing
She loves watching true-crime documentaries. Snapped and 48 Hours are 2 of her favorites.
Product Pick from Kaelen’s Designer Line
Need a new spring dress? Try Kaelen’s Frida Dress, $495. Available this spring, the 2-tone silk-charmeuse mini dress is guaranteed to turn heads. Wear it day or night, and double the fun by wearing it as a tunic. Pair it with leggings or white jeans, some fabulous jewelry, and strappy sandals.
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By Katrina Caspelich
New Fashion Accessory Line: Madame Mathilde
Want to look like an heiress without having to spend like one? Meet Jennifer Niles, the face behind the one-of-a kind, flashy, and fun fashion accessory line, Madame Mathilde. The line not only screams statement piece, but captures the essence of Jennifer’s childhood in the Hamptons and inspiration from time spent in West Palm Beach. Each accessory is crafted from pieces she has found at antique stores, fairs, and flea markets.
Handmade Beaded Jewelry Begins the Path to Madame Mathilde
This 26-year-old’s love of fashion, particularly jewelry, began as a child, when she would create beaded jewelry and friendship bracelets to sell at her family’s beach club.
After graduating from Parsons New School for Design in 2007, Jennifer joined the fashion industry, working in both visual merchandising and marketing. Two years later, she decided to take her hobby of jewelry-making to the next level by starting her own jewelry line. She has since expanded to include other items such as clutches. And soon, Jennifer hopes to build a lifestyle brand by adding small accessories like snakeskin and python pouches, coin purses, passport cases, and iPad sleeves. In addition, she is creating a “home” section on her website, which will include a selection of art deco and Hollywood regency home accessories.
A fan of Sarah Jessica Parker and Blake Lively, Jennifer designs for the woman who knows how to have fun with her wardrobe and enjoys making a fashion statement. Despite their seeming over-the-top color and glitz, her pieces are quite versatile. From a plain white tee and jeans to a formal dress, her accessories complement a variety of looks. Priced from $49 to $700, the collection has a piece for every budget. Jennifer’s picks? She loves the Fine Deco Clip Necklace and the Small Champagne Python Clutch.
Fun Fact about Jennifer When She Is Not Designing Accessories
She was the runner-up in a reality-TV styling competition. The show was only shown online, but her friends and family got a kick out of watching her on the commercials that aired on MTV and other channels.
Madame Mathilde Product Picks
Accessorize this spring by choosing bold accessories that really pop. Sport Madame Mathilde’s Fine Deco Clip Necklace and Small White Python Clutch with every outfit. Wear them separately or together. The necklace, for $235, is made from sterling silver, antique chandelier crystals, and a deco rhinestone clip with emerald rhinestones. The clutch, for $395, is made from genuine python skin, with a detachable paisley vintage brooch and zip closure.