With a piece of lingerie inspired by a Dolly Parton song, Fortnight Lingerie had no trouble capturing the hearts of wornettes everywhere. Their 2012 collection takes its cue from the classic rock muse, providing women from sizes 30A to 38E the chance to float away and follow their creative spirit—be it under the pencil skirt she wears to work, or in the privacy of her bedroom. When WORN was given the pleasure of using a few pieces from the most recent collection in Cut and Print, the photo shoot inspired by Ed Wood Jr. for issue 14, the entire production team was left drooling over the intricacy and subtle charm of every stitch and strap. Handmade by designers Christina Remenyi and Addie Chown in their lovely Toronto studio, each garment feels as if it holds its own mysterious past. Here, we speak with Christina to get to the bottom of where Fortnight Lingerie began, their inspirations, and even some of their own dirty laundry.
Tell us about how Fortnight came to be. When did you decide to start designing together?
I’ve always been drawn to lingerie, but had a hard time finding designs that I actually wanted to wear… They were either too basic, or too elaborate. I really wanted to create a line of lingerie that presented a new vision of feminine style by embracing structure, tailoring, and modern design all at the same time.
I studied lingerie design and construction overseas, after graduating from fashion at Ryerson University. I also worked in a bra-fitting boutique where I witnessed firsthand the huge void in the market for fashionable lingerie in a wide range of sizes. I spent several years developing this idea and when I was ready to develop a (very) small collection, I magically met Addie [Chown]. She had just come back from traveling across Central America and was looking for temporary work. Addie came on to help with pattern-making and production, and the rest is history! Addie has since become an integral part of the development, design, and growth of the company. Addie had worked for notable Canadian designers in Montreal and Toronto before joining Fortnight Lingerie.
Describe your work process.
Iʼm closely involved in every aspect of our garments’ creation. Most days Iʼm in production and part of the sewing process. Right now weʼre working on a new collection, which is a really exciting time. Addie and I start by searching for new fabrics, then we go through a rigorous testing stage, where we make sample after sample to ensure the fabricʼs ʻperformance abilityʼ and to perfect the fit of each new style we design.
Lingerie is so rich in history, controversy, beauty, and craftsmanship. Iʼve always been drawn to this layer of clothing, because itʼs the secret weapon behind every womanʼs wardrobe.
What made you decide to provide a wider scale of sizes in your designs?
Itʼs really shocking that so few sizes are typically available to the North American consumer versus the European. This really never made sense to me. Because fit plays such a huge role in the impact and value of lingerie, I wanted to design a line that was accessible and wearable for women of many shapes and sizes.
Where does the inspiration for your pieces come from?
Iʼm constantly inspired by my surroundings, including art, movies, magazines, and music. The great thing about lingerie is that weʼre not pigeonholed into a particular fashion trend, and we can design based on what we think is beautiful and what we believe women will want to put on, first thing in the morning.
Besides your own designs, what is the most treasured piece of lingerie you own? How and when did you acquire it?
My boyfriendʼs mother is an amazing antique hunter… for Christmas she gave me a flawless 1920ʼs pink silk bra. The careful construction and delicate details are such an inspiration to me.
What fictional character would you most like to see in your designs?
interview by Casie Brown
video by Mackenzie Duncan and Brett Rostrup
music by J. Eygenraam
photography by Mackenzie Duncan