Art-a-PorterPublished on May 14, 2017


  • Magical Thinking 
by Heidi Conrad

From canvas to couture, add a little culture to your closet with wearable art pieces.

In a world where art and fashion often collide, a new collaboration between one of Ottawa’s most stylish boutiques and a talented local artist gave rise to a design dream team, curating a fashion and art crossover collection. Schad Boutique owner Chantal Schad worked with Montreal-based Art-A-Porter to bring local artist Heidi Conrod’s work off the wall and onto the backs of some of Ottawa’s most stylish men and women. 

The limited-edition collection features tops and dresses that have been printed with the artist’s works. “I think fashion provides a great new medium to showcase art,” offers the boutique owner. “Choosing your clothes is a means of expressing either how you feel, your personal tastes, or the image you wish to portray to others. Wearing the art you love is a natural extension of those elements.”

Chantal has a keen eye for fashion and knows that her clients are always looking for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, so when the Montreal firm suggested she work with a local artist, Heidi was at the top of her list. “People love the idea of promoting and wearing art, especially that of a local artist like Heidi. They make for great conversation pieces.” 

Both Chantal and her husband Andre Schad are long time fans of Heidi’s art and own some of her paintings. “Art is very personal, so to me, what makes Heidi’s pieces so special is the different layers that they encompass. They make me wonder, and create all kinds of scenarios of what the story is behind each one, particularly those that feature images of persons.”

Most of the pieces from the collection came from a body of paintings created in 2016, where the artist explored the space between figuration and abstraction. “I was combining portraiture and landscapes with abstract, painterly marks in attempts to create surreal worlds of the imagination or memory,” says the artist. “In one of the designs, called Magical Thinking, I combined a portrait of a woman’s face in profile, with painterly marks that appear to be floating in space.”   

The process of creating wearable art involves taking a high-resolution image of the artist’s painting or drawing and transferring it digitally onto the fabric. “The designers at Art-A-Porter really have an eye for accentuating and/or cropping parts of the artwork to make it look interesting in three dimensions, as well as taking into consideration the proportions of the body,” says Heidi.

Her pieces are all under $200 which puts them into the affordable category for this calibre of fashion, and it pleases Heidi to see her pieces worn, “It is very exciting to see people wearing my art. I have always loved fashion and am often inspired by patterns and colours on certain fabrics and designs, so the combination of art and fashion in this project feels very natural.”

This spring, make a statement with a piece of wearable art that lets you show off your cultural side in a personal way. Schad is only steps away from the National Gallery of Canada, so you can stroll along Sussex to visit an exhibit while wearing your own.

Melissa Shabinsky

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