Mellinda-Mae Harlingten's Spring Summer 2009 collection at Toronto Fashion Week

Mellinda-Mae Harlingten at L'oreal Fashion Week

Some girls just seem to have it all and Vancouver-based designer Mellinda-Mae Harlingten is one of them. At only 27, she's graduated with honors from London College of Fashion and she's showing at L'oreal Fashion Week for the second time. Oh and she's gorgeous (she's the one modeling in these pictures).

Mellinda-Mae's Spring/Summer 2009 collection will be shown on Oct. 24, Friday at 6:00 pm. Inspired by 1970s bohemia and Native American beauty, Mellinda-Mae calls her collection "From Earth to Air". "To me, both of these ideas bring forth a feeling of nature and a harmonious closeness to the earth." Leafing through her lookbook, the use of soft neutral tones and light flowing fabrics styled with hippie-chic accessories evoke a "Summer of Love" feel. I could definitely see girls on Queen West donning these once we're back to double-digit weather.

Q. This is your second time showing at L'Oreal Fashion Week in Toronto. Any interesting stories from the FW08 show?

Mellinda-Mae Harlingten's Spring Summer 2009 collection at Toronto Fashion Week

A. As FW08 was my first time showing and publicly launching the MMH label, the entire experience was very memorable. I came to Toronto thinking I was simply going to show my collection and it turned out to be so much more. I received a tremendous amount of press and was very well received - it definitely exceeded my expectations!
Q. Did you learn anything from your first time at L'Oreal Fashion Week that you're going to take note for your show this week? What makes this collection, "From Earth to Air", different from your last show (aside from the seasons of course)?
A. One big thing I learned from last season was to bring multiple sizes for the models. Last season, it was really hard fitting the models as I only had one size for each sample and some of the garments were too big and had to be altered significantly in such a short period of time. This season I came prepared!

As well, this season is much different from the last as it has a considerably more colourful palette and a very soft bohemian esthetic unlike the FW08 collection, which was much darker.

Mellinda-Mae Harlingten's Spring Summer 2009 collection at Toronto Fashion Week

Q. How have your travels as well as being a Canadian contributed to your design aesthetic?
A. Traveling brings a whole new perspective to one's design process... you really get a chance to not only experience new and exciting cultures, but also to see first hand all the different styles and components used in fashions cross-culturally. Being from Vancouver is only one perspective, but having traveled has given me so much more to work with as I have all the different elements I have experienced during my own creative processes.

Q. Any differences between showing in Vancouver and Toronto?
A. Showing in Toronto is fantastic as it has made such a mark for Canadian fashion as a whole. The sheer size of LFW is the main difference - Vancouver is great for local exposure whereas Toronto attracts media from around the world.

Q. From what you've observed, how do Vancouverites and Torontonians vary in terms of style?
A. I think that Vancouver is more lifestyle-driven where as Toronto seems to be much more metropolitan and fashion-conscious.

Q. What do you like and dislike most about Toronto?
A. I love the buzz that T.O has. Like I said before it has a very metropolitan feel which is great! But still, there's no place like home!

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