Local Designers Collaborate for Western Canada Fashion Week

EME Designs & Madame Nadine bring Steam Punk to Fashion Week

Photo Credit: Cindy Couture Photography

Two Cold Lake designers are coming together for Western Canada Fashion Week, like never before. The creative minds behind EME Designs and Madame Nadine Jewelry & Accessories, Cassandra Newton and Nadine Deslauriers-Friesen, came together to create two separate runway shows, that incorporate one another’s designs.

“We have sat down and we have sketched everything out, together. It’s been a complete team effort, right from the blank sketch book page to the finished design,” as Cassandra explains it, the designers’ looks are not just complemented by each other; they wouldn’t be possible without one another. “That collaboration and that team work is a very unique aspect to this collection,” Cassandra explains both EME Designs and Madame Nadine will have their own runway shows. Each with different pieces and outfits to showcase their designs. EME Designs with the clothing and Madame Nadine with the jewelry and accessories.

Nadine explains it was rare to find another designer, in such a small area, into the same niche as her, “I didn’t realize how similar our designs were. They are very similar in certain aspects; I love steam punk and she loves steam punk.” Their signature look is what the designers call “Steam Punk”, essentially taking the Victorian-style dresses and looks, known during the early railroad days, and putting a modern-punk touch to it. “We get together and we just pop with ideas; it doesn’t stop,” laughs Nadine, “it goes on and on; and at the end, the results for us are a complete combination of what we both like.”

“Steam punk is how we first connected,” explains Cassandra, “we’re taking almost red carpet couture with this collection, but giving it a steam punk twist. It’s stuff that is not necessarily costume. It can be worn for grads, on the red carpet, to local galas… it’s steam punk couture-everyday wear.”

Another bonding point for the designers is that they are both self-taught. Nadine says it was a family trip that sparked her interest in designing accessories, “we went to Drumheller and my husband bought me amber art on a leather rope. I thought, ‘I can do better than that’. So, on the way back (from the trip), we went to a store that sold crafts and I came out of the store with $500 of material. I just knew it. It was instinctive. This is me. I never had any classes, it’s just natural.”

Cassandra says she’s always been designing and like Nadine, it came very natural to her. “I started designing when I was a kid. It was something I’ve always loved doing. I’ve always loved watching runway shows and seeing that designer come out in the end saying ‘I made all this, this is me!’. I loved seeing that person and I strive to do that.” Although never attending design school, Cassandra has made quite a mark in the industry; both with EME Designs and on the local scene with her alterations boutique, The Funky Butt’n, in Cold Lake.

The duo say by finding each other, they were both able to not only expand their designs, but help expand the local arts & culture scene in Cold Lake. “We love to collaborate with local people in Cold Lake. We all want to see each other succeed, we don’t ever compete with anyone,” Cassandra explains she loved being able to use local talent for all aspects of her show, including hair/make-up for the models and the models themselves. The duo often work closely with Cindy Couture Photography to capture their pieces and themselves. “We want to see each other get out there and get known,” says Cassandra. “It’s insane the amount of arts and culture we have in the Lakeland, that is now being recognized.”

For Nadine, it’s about opening up the world to what Cold Lake has to offer, “we want people to grow and succeed. There’s so much happening right here, in Cold Lake.”

The pair are off to a great start at showcasing the community to the world. “We’ll be showcasing at Fashion Week at the end of March,” the shows are held in Edmonton and it is the second largest Fashion week in Canada; Vancouver being the largest. Before the show in Edmonton, the duo are putting on a sneak peek of their lines on March 18th at Beantrees Cafe in Cold Lake. There will be other local artists, singers and theatrical performances involved in the show. It is a limited engagement with only 50 tickets available.

“For our Cold Lake show we want local models to get out there and bring more publicity to the amount of local talent that’s out there,” Cassandra announces the designers will be hosting a go-see to seek out local models. They are looking for females of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The designers want to showcase real women and know that a size 0 is not always authentic; so they are inviting anyone who’s ever wanted to try modeling to come to the model audition. The audition is open March 4th at 4:00 pm at The Funky Butt’n, see the full interview with Cassandra and Nadine for more information.

Check out the Full Interview with Cassandra Newton of EME Designs & Nadine Deslaurier-Friesen 


LCN will have more details on how to purchase tickets as final details become available. We will also be on hand to capture some of the evening, including live back stage coverage.