Boston's Rising Stars
By Kristin Augenfeld
As a design assistant at the Newton Centre boutique Dahlia’s, Heather Daigle describes the garments she produces alongside owners Dahlia Popovits and Dahlia’s husband Marc Levine as wearable art. Sample pieces may be bought off the rack, but many are custom designs. Three to five days a week, Heather also takes part in the designing, tailoring, and fitting process.
Dahlia weaves her own fabrics, some of which Heather uses; she searches for others, keeping an eye out especially for high-quality faux furs. “I love fabrics! Great fabric is like candy to me. Every time I see an amazing piece I want to use it for myself, but I’ve learned to break away from that. Except I still need to get it out of my system, so I design wonderful things for other women,” Heather says.
Most pieces are one of a kind, but depending on fabric availability, Heather tries to make more items so that different sizes can be offered. A respite from couture, she says of her designs, she creates to appeal to a wide demographic.
Using a model to fit and adjust her prototypes, Heather is currently working on a collection of lightweight coats and dresses for spring. She describes her vision for the collection as safari style in a rococo throwback, reminiscent of the theme for her first- place winning senior collection.
Currently residing in Boston, Heather plans to stay, stating, “I’m in love with New England.” She sees working in a small company rather than a large corporation as a priceless experience and plans eventually to start her own business.
Since graduating from college last year, Lauren Gauthier has started her own company. Run primarily by Lauren, laurina.pastina (a nickname given to her by her aunt as a kid) is currently limited to t-shirts, hoodies, and jewelry she designs. Always having had an interest in graphic design, she has drawn and created all of the clothing graphics and even the logo, a cassette tape with stars in the spokes, inspired by her love of music and the ‘80s.
“It's been really tough trying to figure everything out on my own because there is so much more to running a business then I ever imagined! But it's been fun, and an awesome learning experience. My family is really supportive and they do a lot to help spread the word about the company,” Lauren says.
The company’s inauguration was kicked off in ‘07 with a Halloween-themed launch party. The successful event resulted in the decision to hold an annual affair, with plans to introduce a new t-shirt or two each year. So far there are four t-shirt designs and one hoodie, Lauren’s most popular item so far, all printed on American Apparel products. “I'm hoping I can get it to expand even more in the coming months, especially since I've teamed up with a young photographer who has not only a great talent but also lots of friends. His brother is in a band and they will be the focus of the next photo shoot,” she states.
These unisex garments are in limited print, each design marked with a different track number and name, like the songs you would find on a mix tape. Lauren says, “My ideal goal is to sponsor lots of local bands because they're the type of artists that really influence the public and really get them to listen.”
97 Union St.