U of O student unveils original clothing line at Her Campus fashion show
Photo: Shanaya Sarin
For fashion designer Julien Boissonnault, time was of the essence. In 24 hours, he would be revealing his next collection for the first time for a crowd of 300 people, and he still had a few pieces to complete and get set up for Capital Catwalk.
“If you feel right about it, go for it,” he said.
That’s how it’s been for the style-savvy student, whose original fashion line was strutted down the runway for the first time at the Her Campus Capital Catwalk on Feb. 1.
Born and raised in the French region of New Brunswick, Boissonnault came to the University of Ottawa to study communication and business management in 2012.
Now in his fourth year, the 20-year-old runs his own fashion line called Julien|George, and has made a name for himself in Ottawa’s style scene.
It all started in the summer after his first year when he decided to stay in Ottawa rather than head back home. Knowing he wanted to do something related to the fashion world—and partially motivated by the boredom of the summer—he decided to send his resumé to Ottawa Fashion Week. They liked him so much that they made him a volunteer design coordinator.
Soon after, a good friend and fellow designer turned him on to a business grant that helped him launch his business.
As the founder, CEO, and head designer, Boissonnault distributes his designs online on his website and hopes his business will continue to thrive and expand.
His fashion philosophy is to make clothes that are dressy, but still appropriate for everyday wear. “You don’t have to be formal,” he said. “It’s about being classy with a twist.” His clothes allow clients to dress it up or mix in a more casual look.
Although his first collection had been very colourful, Boissonnault’s latest collection was inspired by the femme fatale image often seen in American Horror Story: Coven. His newest pieces are an ode to the beauty and mystery of women.
With the way trends come and go in the age of technology, Boissonnault says it’s better for up-and-coming designers and fashion-forward folks to stick to social media for street style inspiration rather than wait for monthly publications.
“Look up to other people without copying them,” he said. “Look in the streets, make up your own outfit around it, and try things you find interesting.”
Getting to know Julien
•Model he would like to use in his work: Coco Rocha, Cara Delevingne.
•Fashion designer inspiration: Mademoiselle Coco Chanel. “She was revolutionary in fashion, she came from nothing and became an immortal icon.”
•Fashion don’t: Fanny packs.
•If he had to wear one outfit for rest of his life: Black suit, white shirt, and black tie.
•Favourite stores: Hudson Bay and Zara.
•Hobbies: Singing and playing piano (which he’s done since he was nine years old).
•3 things he would bring if he was stuck on a deserted island: Laptop, case of champagne and someone to keep him company.
•Favourite Movies: Devil Wears Prada and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
•Last song he listened to: Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Ballet.”
•Pet Peeve: Slow walkers.
•His idea of a perfect day: Alone on the beach with a good book, sipping a cocktail.