Originally hailing from Tacoma, Washington, a city with a reputation for being both grimy and gritty, Kat Brightwell is an American girl who recently found her new home in Toronto. Her adoration of architecture is clear in her structured, strong, and often bold clothing choices and her interest in restoration lies not only in buildings, but also in eyewear and shoes. In the future she wants to study architecture, not so that she can create new buildings but so that she can use her knowledge toward sustaining the past.
What’s the first outfit you remember wearing in Toronto?
The first outfit I remember wearing in Toronto consisted of a plaid bubble-hem skirt, and a shirt with a little sailor collar. It was December of 2009, we were going to Casa Loma, and I wanted to look fancy.
Were you sartorially prepared for your first Canadian winter?
Yes – sort of! I bought a pair of good snow boots when we were visiting Toronto last February, so I had those. I still needed a parka, but I got one not long after we moved here before the weather got too cold. My favourite winter accessories, though, are my red-and-white knit maple leaf mittens. I feel more Canadian every time I wear them.
Do you see any connections between your love of architecture and the way in which you choose to dress?
Absolutely! I’ve always loved form and design in general, so I see architecture and fashion as being very complimentary. I love little details, both on buildings and clothes. When people talk about “architectural” clothing, I think they refer to clothing that is very structured and tailored, and I love that sort of thing; I don’t really own anything that could be described as “slouchy”. But I’d love to see more literal architectural detailing on clothes, actually taking ornamental forms from a building and applying the design to a garment. I want to do some of that myself; I love to sew and hope to be making some architecture-inspired clothing in the very near future.