about the brand
Curtis Oland completed his studies in fashion design at Ryerson University in 2016, and later that summer, won the Emerging Menswear Designer Award at Toronto Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017. Since launching the Curtis Oland brand, he has carefully curated a raw, organic aesthetic, drawing inspiration from his natural homeland and from his indigenous Lil’Wat heritage. His elegant use of soft tailoring, natural fabrics, colourful earth-tones, and an array of unconventional, textural details, gives his garments an essence of subdued wilderness. Inherently, the brand's use of all-natural materials fosters a tendency towards sustainability and our interconnectedness to the earth.
By drawing inspiration from not just the artistic culture of indigenous people, but also from the values and perspectives of their way of life, Oland demonstrates that contemporary indigenous fashion does not have to fall into a stereotypical representation. There is sometimes a misunderstanding amongst non-indigenous people, who either feel like they cannot participate in indigenous culture at all, or feel entitled to appropriate it without going through the proper avenues. The Oland brand strives to serve as a liaison between indigenous and non-indigenous culture by promoting cultural exchange between designers and artists, and encouraging ethical methods of sharing ideas.
"VISCERAL ARCHITECTURE" FALL/WINTER 2017
"Visceral Architecture" Fall/Winter 2017 is about discecting the mind from the body, and reconstructing their relationship with greater understanding and mutual respect. We are often disturbed by the more visceral parts of us that lie beneath the skin, and maybe we tend to forget that we are a miraculous structure of nature. The collection looks to the raw, primal aspects of animal biology, and celebrates its grotesque beauty. It is inspired by the ways in which we skin and treat hide, how we collect flesh and bone, how we utilize the body, and how we all eventually decay. It is about celebrating the vessel that is the body by understanding that it does not belong to us, but to the Earth.
Oland presented his third runway collection, "Visceral Architecture", at a sold out show at Toronto Men's Fashion Week F/W 2017, which won the attention of both Vogue Italia, and the Toronto Star. The collection was noticeably different for the TOM* audience, as it was a departure from the marketability of his previous collection for TOM*, and hindered back to his celebratory and unconventional use of material.
"Oyama Lake" spring/summer 2017
Curtis Oland had his debut at Toronto Men's Fashion Week S/S 2017 where he presented his collection "Oyama Lake" at the Emerging Menswear Designer Award show in August of 2016. He went on to win the prestigious award, beating out the three other formidable contestants: Les Incompetents, Nabeel The Traveling Tailor, and Tristan Licud.
"Oyama Lake" is inspired by the designer's memories of going on fishing trips with his family around various mountain lakes within the British Columbian interior. Oyama Lake is a reference to his grandfathers favourite fishing spot, and serves as the backdrop for the imagery Oland uses throughout the collection. His father is a fly fisherman, and taught him how to make artificial flies that are used to lure fish. Oland references the materials used for fly tying such as hair and feathers, and pulls inspiration from fisherman fashions. The collection is a depiction of his perspective as young boy, a reluctant naturist who eventually embraced the earth-child within him. The collection is about both fantasy, and utility, and balances between the two worlds of urban modernity and rural nostalgia.
"Harvest" Fall/winter 2016
"Harvest" fall/winter 2016 is Oland's graduating collection which debuted at Ryerson's Mass Exodus 2016 show. The collection is inspired by the designer's culture as a Canadian, coming from a First Nation heritage, and growing up in the British Columbian Interior. "Harvest" celebrates the ritual gathering of natural materials, and the sacred and intimate process of creating objects of art and utility. The collection is about honouring the gifts nature gives, appreciating what we have, and taking no more than what is required.
The collection utilizes high quality natural materials including wool cashmere, wool/silk blends, wool coating, lambskin leather, wooden and leather buttons, and horsehair as fringe.
"Pagan brotherhood" Spring/summer 2016
This capsule collection is a collaborative project between designers Alys Mak-Pilsworth (back), Nina Boschman (far left), Charlotte Tsui (middle left), Curtis Oland (middle right), and Michael Zoffranieri (far right). The collection is inspired by Neoclassicism, mythology, and ancient greek and roman art. "Pagan Brotherhood" is about a man who is strong and confident in his own depiction of "masculinity". The collection features a softer, delicate, and more intimate perspective of male identity and male fashion.
"the new world' Spring/summer 2015
"The New World" s/s 2015 is an explorative capsule collection, that is an expression of Oland's multicultural identity as a Scottish-Canadian, and First Nation person. It is meant to address topics of cultural appropriation, integration, exchange, and oppression. Symbolism and transparency are used as tools to illustrate the sensitive and fragile relationship between natives and settlers. The collection features modern designs that turn to traditional indigenous design and art as inspiration. Natural textiles like linen, cashmere, silk, and wool crepes are used in conjunction with bead-weaving, and plastic tubing details.