Based in Montreal, Canada, KQK is a Canadian fashion label known for mending classic tailoring and high-end streetwear. Very much inspired by the brutalist architectural movement, KQK’s founder and designer Karen Quirion constantly redefines her craft through the deconstruction of shapes and the experimentation of colors and material to translate emotions. KQK’s garments are not merely an end-product – they epitomize a meticulous thought process that reinterprets the conventional division of space.
Karen Quirion graduated in fashion design at the campus Notre-Dame de Foy in Quebec before obtaining a master’s degree in fashion communication and public relations from the Istituto Europeo di design in Milan. She debuted KQK in 2012.
KQK is going through a rebirth for its Fall/Winter 2019 collection. Analogous to the 3 stages of plant evolution from roots to blossom, Karen Quirion revisits craft traditions such as embroidery, mending, smocking and flower making to depict 3 stages growth – rebirth, youth and prime.
Unseen and underground, roots are essential to growth and blossom. Using embroidery to create patterns of root, KQK not only symbolizes the cause, the origin, but also the anchorage; mirroring an establishment that represents tradition in order to grow and blossom.
First and foremost, like change and transition, youth is about letting go of the first shell to rise up stronger. Using mending allowed KQK to emphasize this evolution and explore a plisse texture reminiscent of shoots and buds, building a thicker skin before efflorescence.
The last sequence sees adorned flowers – a symbol of prime and new beginnings. Smocking and flower making techniques bring a soothing, mysterious and more dramatic offering to close KQK’s reflection on rebirth.
The all-black/color neutral and gender neutral collection symbolizes new beginnings – from darkness to light – and features words, lyrics and sound waves referencing the band Interpol; a long time music inspiration of Karen Quirion and autor of the album “Turn On the Bright Lights”.