I first saw Shelley’s work at a fashion show that was curated last year by The Style Initiative. What struck me about Shelley’s dresses and skirts was her attention to detail: you can see her background in pattern-making in the way she cuts her dresses, and in the very feminine elements in her designs.
A few months after that fashion show, my son and his girlfriend announced that they were getting married. I knew right away which shoes I wanted to wear – I had bought a beautiful pair of tango shoes in Buenos Aires the previous year – but I was going to need a dress to complement them. I didn’t want to go the “traditional mother-of-the-bride route”, I wanted something different: something colourful, a little flirty, and I wanted to be able to wear it after the wedding. Of course, I thought of Shelley. We exchanged a few ideas by email, then we met in her studio where she showed me some of her current designs and took measurements. We kicked around a few more ideas where Shelley was candid about colours and ‘looks’ (which I was so grateful for!), and the end product was not only perfect, it was extremely comfortable, and it’s timeless.
– Patti Loach
Name: Patti Loach
What’s a typical day like for you? Because I’m a pianist and self-employed I don’t really have ‘typical’ days but every morning without fail, my husband John – we’ve been married 34 years – greets me with a cappuccino and a huge smile. That’s a constant.
I bike the Martin Goodman trail every day until there’s too much snow or ice to ride safely. The rest of my day is filled with practicing, looking for new material to perform with the singers I work with, updating various websites I manage, shooting and editing photos, organizing music soirées we host in our kitchen, and hanging out with friends and family.
What in your life is really important to you? That’s a tough one. Obviously, family and friends – those I’ve met, those whom I have yet to meet. Trust. Integrity: creative, intellectual and emotional integrity is huge for me. Kindness. And laughter. (I guess that question wasn’t so tough after all?)
What would you like to be remembered for? I would like for people to remember the food, the music, the hard work, the tears and laughter we shared, and the fact that I was (charmingly) uncompromising when I came to any of those.
Want to have fun rediscovering fashion and learning what looks best on you? Book our complimentary Perfect Fit Wardrobe Makeover today! Our Fresh Collective Style Coaches will style you up from head to toe in outfits that suit your figure, your colouring and your lifestyle! Let Fresh Collective make shopping a breeze for you!
What role does fashion play in your life? My wardrobe ranges from extremely comfortable clothes – biking shorts, running bras and blue jeans – to concert gowns, with a few casually elegant pieces to fill in the gaps. I like to feel comfortable whether I’m sitting at the computer or the piano keyboard but, at the same time, I like to look nice. I choose what I wear based on colour and design but, first and foremost, what I wear has to feel authentic to me. I’ll choose “stylish” over “fashionable”, any time.
What do you love about shopping at Fresh collective? What I like about Fresh Collective is that it’s privately owned: that is, it’s not a large chain, and the designers who are represented are ‘real people’ and not nameless members of a corporation. As a Canadian I especially appreciate the fact that the pieces are designed and made in my country. The stores themselves are integral parts of interesting neighbourhoods in Toronto – Queen West, Roncesvalles and Kensington – and the spaces are creative and interesting as ‘destinations’.
What are you up to these days? More coffee. More biking. More meals with friends and family. Practicing. John and I always greet our guests with a song so right now I’m looking at my binders and binders full of possible rep., trying to choose out what to play (and wear…)
(for more information about Patti or her upcoming performances please see www.pattiloach.com)
Is there anything else we should know about you?
(1) I have an amazing mother whose sense of style has been a huge influence, ever since I was a little girl.
(2) I make a mean biscotti.
(3) I’m really tired of hearing about Rob Ford.