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A timeless take on tartan

Veronica MacIsaac recently presented her much-anticipated Judges Collection showcasing sophisticated and classic styles for both men and women

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Photos: Brent McCombs

Photos: Brent McCombs

I used to think that tartan was a look far too specific for yours truly to pull off. Simply put, I couldn’t imagine myself wearing one of the ever-distinctive patterns on a regular basis. However, after following Veronica MacIsaac’s design career over the past six years, my verdict has dramatically turned around.

Last week, MacIsaac presented her much-anticipated Judges Collection at The Prince George Hotel. She did things a little differently this time and graced the crowd with her presence and narration throughout. This was a welcome touch as she gave us snippets of the history and inspiration behind each look. While MacIsaac remains loyal to a sense of playfulness, one word resonated with me as I watched: sophistication. Showcasing only models over 30, MacIsaac presented a glamourous, wearable and gracefully mature line.

A touch of androgyny has always appealed to me in fashion so I was thrilled to see the men start off the evening. Male models proudly strutted the runway in traditional kilts from the MacIsaac Kiltmakers. Each look was classic and rugged, but favourites for me included the Fitzgerald tartan kilt in shades of soft blue and the muted weathered ancient tartans. I was also coveting the subtle tweed blue blazer and the argyle style overcoat. Even though they are designed for men, both were looks I’d gladly sport on a brisk Nova Scotia winter’s day.

Next up, the women presented a bevy of classic, form-fitting looks that are accessible to a wide demographic. Subtle peplums, boleros, fitted blazers and raw silk sheaths stood out, all with delightful hints of tartan (think at the kick, the waist and collar). Unforgettable pieces for me included the McQueen tartan sheath and the high-waisted MacKenzie tartan flared pants paired with the fitted Rosemary jacket. The showstopper was a final look with floor-length skirt and nipped waist blazer giving the model a heroine in a period piece novel air of romantic drama.

Essentially, MacIsaac’s Judges Collection to me really showed that this designer is all grown-up. The collection is full of classic looks with hints of sexiness that needn’t be overt to speak volumes. The verdict is in for me. MacIsaac’s Judges Collection just might be her most thoughtful and impressive collection yet.

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