The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal
Local LOOK, Thursday, November 8, 2007


At just 24-years old, Sarah Nicol is on the fast track to becoming a
fashion icon.

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Nicol graduated from St. Patrick's High
School in 2002 with an interest in fashion after working with Joyce
Seppala Designs through the school's co-op program.

"I originally wanted to get into radio broadcasting," said Nicol in a
phone interview from Toronto last week.

"That didn't work out and I guess that was a good thing," she said with
a laugh.

Now living in Toronto, Nicol is a graduate of Seneca College's fashion
arts program and has created two high-end women's wear collections, Sar
Couture and Quelquesfilles.

"I like to use fabrics like silk, lace, leather and wool, so my designs
are on the expensive side," said Nicol.

Quelques filles, won Nicol the Toronto Fashion Incubator & Elle Canada's
2007 new labels competition in April.
Nicol entered the competition on a whim with a collection that had yet
to be established, going up against designers who had been in business
for at least a few years. As the winner Nicol received a prize package worth $25,000, that
included a one page editorial in Elle Canada magazine.

"Winning that competition really propelled my career," she said.
It's a career that keeps her on the go.

Nicol also works as an assistant to two top Canadian designers - female
designer, Izzy Camilleri and male designer, Farley Chatto.

Between her two jobs and two collections she said getting home to see
her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in Thunder Bay is

"I am really busy with work, so it is hard to get home," said Nicol,
who was still frazzled from showing her designs at L'Oreal Fashion Week,
which ran from Oct. 22 to 27 in Toronto.

Nicol also recently participated in Fashion Takes Action, a collection
of eco-friendly designs created by designers using materials like
bamboo, soy and hemp.

"Everybody seems to be going green these days so I am happy to get
involved and excited to be using some new materials that I would have
otherwise not used," said Nicol.

Nicol will also be one of the 10 designers participating in Cadbury's
Chocolate Couture Fashion Show this year where she will get to outfit a
model in a design made out of real Cadbury chocolate.

"That show is going to be really fun; it's kind of challenging, too,"
she said.

Nicol's designs and work have been featured in Elle Canada, Flare,
Strut, Style, Lush as well as at a variety of photo shoots and events
throughout Toronto and Montreal.
And she is not afraid to go farther, to say Paris or Milan.

"If an opportunity comes up I am gone," said Nicol
"There would be nothing stopping me."

Check out Sarah Nicol's designs at or at
© 2007 The Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal. All rights reserved.


Flare Was There

July 2007

THE EVENT: The Toronto Fashion Incubator – Canada’s nonprofit organization
dedicated to supporting emerging fashion designers- held its 20th anniversary
fundraiser in the Art Deco’d confines of The Carlu.

LOWDOWN: The night consisted of a silent auction, a VIP dinner and a fashion show.

HIGHLIGHTS: Leading designers such as Joeffer Caoc, David Dixon and Arthur
Mendonca crafted one-of-a-kind catwalk pieces modeled by Canadian celebrities
between the TFI New Labels collections.

BACKSTAGE PASS: As beauty squads primped musicians, actors and TV personalities
into models for a day, Tara Spencer-Nairn and Sarah Slean dished backstage on their
fears of wiping out on the catwalk.

SHOWTIME: Star Daily and Breakfast Television cohost Dina Pugliese proved her emcee
skills in a stunning Arthur Mendonca frock, adding colourful commentary as the gals
strutted (and not a single one tripped).

TOP NODS: Quelques Filles, by Sarah Nicol and K, was judged as the hottest new label to watch.


Platinum is a Girl’s Best Friend

July/August/September 2007
Style Magazine

Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) hosted the Ultimate Platinum Runway Show to
celebrate its 20th anniversary and introduce this year’s crop of New Labels designers.
During the show, 20 Canadian celebs modeled one-of-a-kind gowns by this
country’s finest design talents. Host Dina Pugliese of “Breakfast Television”
donned a sweeping silver Arthur Mendonca gown, while chanteuse Fefe Dobson
strutted in a chiffon gown by Katya Revenko. The New Label designers made
their mark as well. Highlights included the tailored and chic offerings of Ozen
by Phoebe Gao and Enfys Zhuo, who sent silk frilled blouses with wool coatdresses
and pencil skirts down the runway. The evening’s grand winners, Quelques Filles,
impressed with jewel-toned brocade and silk jackets, bubble skirts and high-waisted pants.



Inspiration can come at any time. Case in point: 2007 New Labels Award winner
Quelques Filles, whose senior designer, Sarah Nicol, created the label's entire freshman
line before bed one night. Nicol and business partner K . met as fashion design students
at Seneca College and graduated in 2005. Their recently released line began as
an homage to a favourite childhood book - The Nightwood - meant to evoke an eerie
yet youthful fantasy. But the collection soon evolved into a more dramatic, mature, Victorian look.
Even with the general feel in the back of her mind, "There was no precise moment of
inspiration, per se," says Nicol. "The images just came to me, and poured out one after the other."
Those hours of inspiration translated into a polished and cohesive line of lush fabrics
and beautiful finishes. High collars combine with cinched waists to create jackets that
are old-fashioned with a modern edge.

Beautiful saturated burgundies, purples and olives combine effortlessly with rich neutrals
to create many mix-and-match outfit options.

Luxurious silks and bone lace are paired with heavier brocades and leathers, bringing a
contemporary feel to otherwise simple skirts and blouses, while beautiful cuts manage
to make ruffles and high necklines sexy and sophisticated. Quelques Filles tops retail for
about $100, jackets from $300-$500+.


Making The Cut

August 2007
ELLE Canada
By Lara Ceroni

Canadian designers compete for ELLE Canada’s 2007 New Labels Fashion Award.

While more than 1,000 A-listers, stylists and fashion editors mingled at a
tony cocktail party at The Carlu in Toronto, the six finalists for this year’s Toronto
Fashion Incubator (TFI) New Labels Fashion Design Competition were backstage,
frantically making last-minute tweaks to their runway presentations. After six months
of preparation, which included numerous judging sessions, the young designers
were set to reveal their fall 2007 collections.

The goal of the design competition, which is held by the TFI and sponsored by
ELLE Canada, is to discover and mentor emerging designers so that they are able to
successfully launch their lines in the marketplace. The winner also takes home a
$25,000 prize packages. “All of the finalists showed extremely well, and each
demonstrated a promising future in fashion design,” says Susan Langdon, executive
director of the TFI. “The judges had a tremendous time choosing the ultimate winner!”

And the winner is…
QUELQUES FILLES Background K ., 23, and Sarah Nicol, 23, met as students at
Toronto’s Seneca College. (They both graduated from the fashion arts program in 2005.)
The New Labels show was the platform for the design duo’s first-ever collection.
Runway-ready “I started sketching designs and silhouettes as soon as I was old
enough to draw,” says Nicol. “Granted, my early childhood renderings weren’t exactly
pretty, but I’ve always had a passion for it.” “I actually wanted to be a NASCAR driver,” .
says with a laugh, “but after high school I realized that wasn’t going to work, so I went with Plan B!”
Love Story “Our collection – Mi Amor, A Victorian Love Tragedy – is based on a book
I read as a child: The Nightwood by Robin Muller,” says Nicol. “The illustrations are so
mystical and romantic, we wanted to bring them to life in our clothes.” Their
designs – voluminous cashmere tulip skirts, theatrical burgundy velvet jackets and
form-fitting olive silk bustiers – are flirty and whimsical.
I am woman “The Quelques Filles woman is confident, stylish and fashion-forward,”
says .. “She isn’t afraid to experiment.”
Fan Club “I’ve always been a huge fan of Izzy Camilleri,” says Nicol, who has been w
orking as the Canadian designer’s assistant for the past two years. “She has
incredible talent. I admire her a great deal!” For .? “Kimberley Newport-Mimran from
Pink Tartan. She is successful, but she still manages to have a family – personally, I find
that very inspiring.”

Missed the show? Watch videos of the New Labels Fashion Design Competition,
plus backstage interviews, at


Trends for Fall

August 2007
ELLE Canada
Runway Photography: Paul Toogood

The who’s who of Toronto’s fashion elite gathered on April 17 for one of the biggest
shows of the season: the TFI New Labels Fashion Design Competition, an event
that helps young Canadian talent break into the industry. Six aspiring designers
showcased their fall 2007 collections to a panel of select judges. Before the show,
more than 1,000 guests mingled at an A-list cocktail party hosted at the Carlu in
downtown Toronto. The winners, K . and Sarah Nicol of Quelques Filles, set the trends
for fall with their bold use of saturated colour and ultra-feminine details.

Picture Perfect
Celebrity hair and makeup artist and Cover Girl makeup pro Paul Venoit was tapped
to be the creative director of the runway makeup for the TFI New Labels show. With
more than 18 years’ experience in the industry working on some of the world’s most
famous faces – Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss, to name a few – the Toronto-based
beauty guru was a natural fit for this year’s competition. “I was thrilled to be asked to
participate,” says Venoit. “The creativity and professionalism expressed by the
designers were nothing short of spectacular.” Having met with the finalists a month
before the show, Venoit was able to preview their collections to get a sense of their
creative direction. The end result? Models graced the runway au naturel with polished
neutral faces, pale-pink glossy lips and, to complete the overall look, eyes were played
up with a glossy finish. “I had to create a look that worked for all the shows as we
weren’t able to change the makeup in between,” he says. “It was a challenge, but I think
it worked out perfectly!”

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