Marie Dooley celebrates 25 years on the Runway
(article originally published in Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph 4/11/2012, you can get a glimpse of it here )
Truly excited for the night to get under way, Marie Dooley peeked through the doors of the exquisite Salle de Bal within Le Château Frontenac. What she saw was hundreds of eager fashionistas awaiting her 25th Anniversary Signature Collection on the night of April 4.
Once with youthful aspirations of becoming a lawyer, Québec native Marie Dooley now fills armoires with what she describes as "classic pieces with longevity". That is a plus for those who are budget conscience and have a desire to welcome each season with a few "must haves". Dooley understands that building a wardrobe requires clothing capable of transcending the boundary between weekday and weekend wear. Ideally, these investments should be versatile enough to mix and match through the seasons. "I dress real women", says Dooley. Looking around the room at her clientele it is clear that she has spent years perfecting apparel while mastering the art of helping her clients express their individuality. "Being beautiful doesn't mean being perfect", she says, "That is why it's so important to know your clients. And, I know my clients". Known for her impeccable tailoring skills, clients can also look to Ms. Dooley for timeless interpretations of high fashion trends.
The fashion show is underway and for sixty minutes all eyes fixed on forty-three pieces from Marie Dooley's Spring/Summer Signature Collection. The obvious consumer approval was marked by nodding heads and continual clapping. Without question, outfitting yourself for spring and summer will be anything but a yawn. Exciting pastels, patterns, sculpted necklines and full on color from top to bottom had wandering fashion spirits uniting. It was clear that the adoption of trends does not mean that a collection has one look. Hemlines hit the floor and played peek-a-boo with knees. The return of the long jacket did not mean you cannot wear your short one. In fact, Dooley showed us they are both perfect to pair with attention grabbing stretch denim skinny jeans. She also put the cotton t-shirts aside and made room for the innovative comfort and durability of bamboo. This natural flowing fabric has the richness of silk yet does not require trips to the dry cleaners. Showing off her versatility, Dooley explored the roots of origami by coupling her signature buttons and figure flattering cuts in an array of colorful twisted tops. Throughout the night models flirted with sexy while maintaining sophistication in a variety of dresses. With nostalgic silhouettes from eras gone by, some of her 60's style dresses may even steal the heart of popular TV series and this season's fashion buzz, Mad Men's Don Draper. Her whimsical silk dresses are sure to inspire romantic getaways or long strolls through Vieux Quebec.
In her 25 years as a designer, Dooley has been an active member of the Quebec arts community. Recently, she collaborated with the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec on theModeet Apparence dans l'Art Québec, 1880- 1945 exhibit. Inspired by Adam Sherriff Scott’s work Anne, Wife of the Artist, Ms Dooley designed a modern version of the dress seen in the painting. She captured the essence of art and fashion through a breath-taking floor length emerald silk gown. Envisioning the night of a special event Dooley shared part of her interpretation saying, “What matters to me is that women feel great about themselves. I want women to be able to forget about what they are wearing once they get dressed.” As timeless as the artwork, her dresses exude confidence, radiance and the perfect amount of femininity.
It is no coincidence that the 25-year capstone was a flowing white silk wedding dress inspired by the dress made for the Mode et appearance exhibit. The final gown brought everyone to their feet and a smiling Marie Dooley out from behind the curtains to take a final bow.
So there you have it. My first newspaper article.
Let me know if you are interesting in seeing the newspaper version by emailing me.