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If you have any questions, comments or feedback about Pay Homage or Collection 1: Jane Eyre Goes to Sable Island, I would be more than happy to hear and respond.







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Toronto, Canada

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The Inspiration.

As a young female urbanite inundated with the busy-ness of everyday life, the opportunity to travel to a place remote and mysterious is rare. Designer Annabel Fleming’s escape to Sable Island, a narrow crescent-shaped sandbar located 300 kilometers southeast of Halifax in the Atlantic Ocean was both transformational and inspirational. The raw ethereal beauty and the feral romanticism of this island both captured Annabel and inspired the collection. This is her memory…

Being unplugged and removed heightens my senses. With distractions stripped away, I begin to feel the influence of the surroundings glide slowly into my soul. Creativity and inspiration flows naturally in this raw and untouched landscape.

From a sand dune with a gentle breeze blowing past, I feel the natural world swirl around me. I notice every detail of this variegated landscape, in my completely present state. Twisted and gnarled pieces of driftwood contrast the gentle roles of the sand dunes and the rhythm of the grasses. Surrounded in its entirety by the rough Atlantic Ocean, blankets of fog, and extreme storms, this island is an oasis amidst it all. I watch the manes of free-roaming ponies blow wildly in the breeze, as they observe me, curiously. I am enchanted.

Wandering the island, I find myself dreaming of Jane Eyre. I can almost see this unconventional heroine walking the beach, replaying her story in this Canadian landscape. Though dressed initially in classic Victorian apparel, slowly she begins to transform. Tailored jackets are replaced with tiered skirts, blouses, billowing pants. Her colours begin to reflect the sand and the grass, replacing traditional black with something more natural. A whimsical and romantic look begins to sweep over Jane, though her past still remains visible through simple lines and detail. And I begin to see a collection emerge as I mimic the sensory experience of Sable Island…

Ultimately, it is the spirits of Jane and Sable Island that have come to inform and inspire the collection. Jane’s confidence, her unique spirit, and her intelligence are fused with the strength, curiosity and gentleness of the wild ponies to reflect both the clothing and the imagined clientele.