FASHION: Hamilton – A cut above

Hamilton is an up-and-coming clothing label that is seriously turning heads. From contemporary casuals, to evening-wear, Hamilton is your new favourite one-stop-shop clothing line. I had the privilege to chat with Jo Moore, a dear friend and founder of Hamilton about her upcoming launch into the world of retail.

For many of us who have a creative side, I always find it quite inspiring to hear about how successful artists (whether that be fashion designers, painters, stylists, musicians, and so on…) made their dreams a reality. So, where did it all begin for you, Jo?

Honestly. I have been designing my whole life. I would take the tea towels off of the oven door and wrap them around me when I was still in diapers. My Mom, Christine, also sews.  I stole fabric and made crazy costumes that were usually borderline inappropriate. Haha. I was out of control. When I was in high school, I felt an intense pressure to look a certain way. I felt like the arts were not cool or something. Ironically, I did not take sewing or art in high school, as I was scared of being judged. It took me a few years after high school, some bad jobs, and a very encouraging boyfriend at the time to finally decide to go for what I wanted. It is amazing for me now to see something in my head and turn it from an idea to something tangible. I also love how people take a piece of my clothing and make it a part of their life.

Jo and I had a chance to finally meet at a coffee shop in Vancouver to discuss her clothing line. Prior to this, we had been exchanging emails, praising each other for the work that we had accomplished (mainly me complimenting her). One of the many things I admire about Jo and the Hamilton line is that she does not push her quirky personality aside when brainstorming designs for a new piece or pattern. If there is something that I respect about her the most, it is that she is not afraid to take risks. Jo explains…

I think if you get to know me, you will understand that I have an odd sense of humor. My mild obsession with dinosaurs is because I think I am funny. Two years ago I was making dresses for my best friend Alex’s wedding. Between helping her plan, working a full-time job, making her dresses, and life, things would get a tad stressful. We would ask each other, ‘Hey, wanna play dinosaurs?’, and things would become fun again. So for me the dinosaur thing is for her. She motivates me everyday, and I also think dinosaurs are cool. I would say that not only has my personal style evolved, but also my creative mentality for Hamilton. If someone comes to me with a design that I think is hideous and says ‘Make this!’, I will find a way for it to come together so that we are both happy in the end. Hamilton is for the West Coast gal. We go to the beach, we go to work, we play in the snow, and we sit on a patio… all in the same day. I want the clothing to be versatile, and to represent who people are, and who they want to become.

I am proud to announce some very exciting news for Hamilton… they are opening a retail space in Gibsons this September! Jo plans on starting small and seeing where the world of retail takes her. Jo is also looking forward to spotting her clothing on locals and hearing some constructive feedback.

There are times when I hear off comments about my clothing, but then someone else adores it. I think it will be very interesting to see what people like. Hamilton does have an Etsy site where items can be purchased online. Custom work is not available online, yet.  I have been working with Cody Robinson of www.remarketable.ca  in order to build a new website for Hamilton, as well as plan more projects for the line. The new website should be ready in a couple of months, now that I have mentioned it!

We had to ask. What are your 5 favourite things that you have in your closet right now? 

My 5 favourite items in my closet right now are, my black City-Classified  tee-strap sandals – I wear them with everything! I also adore my pink Hamilton dress that I made for The Bengal Affair (pictured below). This dress makes me feel like JLo when I wear it. My MLB yankees hat is a definite go-t0, and my Hamilton ‘Santana Top’. Finally, I have to mention my striped comfy pants that I stole from my sister. I look like a hip hop pirate when I wear them.

Thank you Jo, for taking the time to chat with us here at The Cardinal Blog!

Jo Moore Hamilton, on the right , showcasing two of her beautiful custom dresses.

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