View Slideshow

Two seasons into his CG line, Chris Gelinas is getting noticed for some seriously impressive textile manipulation. For fall he worked his classic feminine silhouettes in interesting fabrics including, for example, a hand-tucked, silver-foiled silk crepe and a techno aluminum netting bonded onto silk tulle plissé. He added horsehair tubes to the latter for a rib effect.

This story first appeared in the March 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Such appetite for innovation might be the result of the Canadian’s extensive work experience. He interned at Marc Jacobs, first in production and then public relations before landing a job in the designer’s buying department. Gelinas later enrolled at Parsons The New School for Design to study fashion, took another internship, this time at Proenza Schouler, and then apprenticed at Balenciaga in Paris. While there, he met Olivier Theyskens, who lured him back to New York as his first assistant at Theyskens Theory. Gelinas gleaned his own philosophy from those various creative forces. “I just wanted to give women covetable pieces,” he said. “While these are beautiful clothes, I also want them to be transformative.” Materials, especially industrial ones, play a pivotal role in his process. As he put it, “I love to take unexpected textiles and reimagine and reinterpret how we can use them.”

A proponent of local manufacturing, Gelinas produces everything in New York and says he’s taking a “slow and steady” and “quality over quantity” approach to his brand. “I want to build a business on crafted pieces with a trajectory of growth that is manageable and clothes that have longevity.”