Interview – Noemiah

Noemiah by Noémie Vaillancourt, creative director.


What is the story behind your brand and how would you describe it?
I studied literature before jumping into fashion. My feather jewelry collection, launched in 2008, was the starting point to designing clothes and accessories.  I followed design courses which allowed me to acquire the necessary competencies for the quality I was aiming for. I perfected my skills through internships with experienced local designers such as Valérie Dumaine and Travis Taddeo.

In addition to my hand made designs (everything is made in Montréal) and my preference for natural fibers (silk, linen, cotton), my renewed collaborations with various local artists  throughout my collections defines my brand. 

Tell me about your creative process? What inspired your new collection?
Last March, I was working on my fall 2020 collection. I’m a little late because we had water damage at the workshop (the roof is leaking). But I moved everything around, I put plastics everywhere and I’m sewing. I have to say that what takes shape delights me and pleases my collaborators, I almost forget the room as if it was ripped open with the hole in the ceiling and the big plastic slamming in the wind. 

End of March. I fill my travel bag with feathers, I abandon my sewing tools at the workshop (with the sinister that to this day is still not closed) and I leave with my boyfriend to take refuge in the forest, at the cottage. I try to be the best director I can be and I reluctantly decide to put all my projects on hold. The launch of the Fleur de peau collection in an art gallery in Centre-Sud is postponed indefinitely and I am evaluating the possibility of skipping the fall collection. 

Mid-April. I read this sentence by Boris Cyrulnik: “Creativity to avoid suffering loss”. I need to make something out of this strange spring spent in the forest walking on snowy paths, watching the beeches swinging in the April sun, discovering with my city girl’s eyes the passage to spring. I gather a few scribbled ideas and send them to my friend Estee Preda. From this correspondence is born an illustration in which the house is the central theme, this unique witness of our dismay, our resignation, our hope. 

What are your influences at the moment?
Estee’s whimsical illustrations fill me with joy and I take great pleasure in transposing them into embroidery.

What is your signature piece?
The Cecilia dress.

Who is the Noémiah woman?
She is curious, sensitive, likes to laugh and is ageless.

What is your fondest fashion memory?
The launch of my anniversary collection with my friend @VeryJoelle.

How are you coping with COVID?
I created a routine that I fiercely respect, as I patiently wait for things to get better. I look for light and try to infuse a little beauty through my social media.

On a different note… which book is on your nightstand at the moment?
Like many, “L’Amour aux temps du choléra” by Gabriel García Márquez.

Which song are you listening to over and over?
“Pass This On” by The Knife.

Which television series are you binge watching?
“Halt and Catch Fire”.

What is your favorite recipe of the moment?
I discovered a Québec amaretto, Miele, and in these difficult times, I like to mix it with milk creating a sweet and comforting drink.

Which movie inspires you?
“Great Expectations” directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

Andrew McNally

When asked what it is that I do for work, I like to joke that I am a fashion hybrid. I am lucky enough to work in various ways within this industry which I am passionate about. I am a fashion columnist at Journal de Montreal for which I write for different columns, including Mode de stars (Fashion of the Stars) and Dans la garde-robe de… (A Glimpse In His.Her Closet…). I also do image consulting for several performers and actors in the Quebec entertainment industry. In addition, I work behind the scenes as an Artistic Director at many fashion events and fashion shows. The rest of my time is spent teaching fashion at LaSalle College.