WINNER AliceAzur by Miriam Baker
Fresh out of Ryerson University’s fashion design program last year, the prodigiously talented Miriam Baker (pictured first from right) felt a bit lost. “I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do,” says the 28-year-old. “But then I found out about the Toronto Fashion Incubator competition.” The challenge gave her instant focus.
With AliceAzur, Baker’s designer nom de plume, she created not only a concise, thoroughly ladylike collection of pristine, vintage-inspired dresses, skirts and outerwear, but one with a unique feature: all of her designs are made to flatter large busts. “Most of my friends are a D-cup or larger, but most clothing patterns are still being drafted for a B,” she explains, adding that the average woman’s cup size is a C. “I’m just trying to cater to those curves.”
The collection, which is predominantly black and white with hits of bubblegum pink, uses waist seams and princess lines for the best possible fit. (Those feminine touches made a quick fan out of Suzanne Rogers.) Baker admits she had some challenges along the way: “I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I try not to be because it really slows me down and can make me a little bit crazy,” she says. But every round of meetings with the judges, including designer David Dixon, Toronto boutique owner Arie Assaraf, Rogers and me, gave her the motivation to push herself across the finish line—right where she was meant to be. —Tiyana Grulovic
Photography by Jaclyn Locke