Canadian Designer Profile: Catherine Regehr

Canadian Designer Profile: Catherine Regehr

CULTURE

January 22, 2018

Cathereine Regehr graced the runway last November with her stunning collection to open the Fight for Beauty Fashion Show. The show was a collaborative effort of Westbank CorpFairmont Pacific Rim and CAFA, which saw five Canadian designers from coast-to-coast come together for a Vancouver fashion-first: an exclusive runway show at Fairmont Pacific Rim. Paris-trained and Yukon-born, Catherine Regehr first worked as a designer in New York, before settling down in Vancouver where she now designs and exports her elegant collection of gowns to leading department and specialty stores worldwide. Spotted on movie stars and royalty, her designs combine unusual textures and luxurious fabrications with simple modern sensibility, which she describes as “the culture of luxury.” New to the team is Catherine Regehr’s Daughter Eva, who is collaborating on the designs of the new collections.

 

Fairmont Pacific Rim: Who are you and where are you from?

Catherine Regehr: I am from the Yukon and grew up in Whitehorse.

Eva Regehr: I’m from Vancouver but from a young age I spent a lot of time in the Yukon so both places feel like home to me.

 

Tell us a little bit about where your interest in fashion stemmed from?

Catherine: Growing up remotely I always sewed my own clothes. My art teacher in high school (Lilas Farley) worked with the group of seven and has worked at the Vancouver Art Gallery, showed me my first Vogue Magazine.

Eva: Fashion and the design process has always been a part of my life so I think my interest stemmed quite naturally. When my mother first started her company her studio was in the basement of our house so there were always gowns, fabrics and patterns around. When I was in my teens I would go to NYC and Paris market with the company so through each step of my life fashion has been involved in some capacity and my interest naturally evolved. 

 

Where did you study fashion? Was there a mentor or someone who inspired your passion?

Catherine: I studied at L’Ecole de La Chambre Syndicale in Paris. Madame Grès was our directrice and she inspired me: her work and she was very kind. In fact, I still have a photo with her!

 

How did you start you fashion career?

Catherine: School in Paris after studying at Emily Carr in Vancouver. I worked in NYC on 7th Ave and returned to start my own business.

 

Who are your style influences or muses? 

Catherine: The simplicity of Madame Grès’ old Dior Couture. I love the drama and femininity of her designs.

 

Where can we find your collections?

Catherine: Throughout the USA, Saks Fifth Avenue, and specialty stores throughout the Middle East, Saudi, Qatar, London, Switzerland, Singapore, etc.

 

Which celebrities have worn your designs?

Catherine: Sarah McLaughlin, Diana Krall, Kim Kardashian wears our vintage pieces, Aretha Franklin, Sela Ward, Kim Basinger, etc.

 

Tell us something people may not know about you.

Catherine: I spend every summer in the Yukon canoeing and climbing mountains near my home in Atlin, BC.

 

How would you describe your personal style? What’s your one prized style possession?

Catherine: I have a very small wardrobe. I never buy trends. I appreciate good quality, functional pieces and I buy for longevity and will pay more to do this.

Eva: Quality is really important to me. I find that I always feel good when I am wearing pieces that are well made and are not trendy per se. Whenever I am looking for a new piece to add to my wardrobe I want to make sure that it can stand the test of time. I’d say my prized style possession is my Goyard bag, I use it for everything!

 

Do you ever get designers block? How do you overcome it?

Catherine: Whenever I spend summers in the north it clears my mind leaving me ready and full of ideas.

Eva: Not really. Though I find if I am ever feeling uninspired, looking at vintage work by designers like Cristobal Balenciaga, Charles James or Halston can help to get me feeling excited again.

 

What is your one guilty pleasure?

Catherine: I love to garden. I have spent endless dollars on endless plants for my garden. Also, potato vodka.

 

What is one thing you always travel with?

Catherine: Men’s cashmere socks, qiviut throw and a hot water bottle.

Eva: My Alpaca scarf

 

What’s something really weird that you love?

Catherine: My Norwich Terrier – she’s weird!

 

Finally, what does a globetrotting fashion designer like you consider as your travel uniform?

Catherine: For business – jean cut black Joseph pants, Dries Van Noten Classic Rain Coat (Black), men’s Classic Prada Loafers and a Catherine Regehr Class Cut Shirt Black Canclini Cotton.

Eva: I always wear black when I’m travelling because you can be comfortable but still look relatively formal. When I travel I typically wear black Acne jeans, a black cashmere sweater, black Burberry trench coat and my black leather Chanel boots.

 

To keep up with Catherine Regehr online, visit:

www.catherineregehr.com

Facebook: @catherineregehrvancouver 

Instagram: @catherineregehr