The most recent winner of the 2016 Emerging Menswear Designer Award, Curtis Oland, presents his newest collection, “Visceral Architecture”, exclusively at TOM* FW17.
Curtis Oland is a Toronto based Canadian designer and artist, originating from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Since launching the Oland brand, he has carefully curated a raw, organic aesthetic, drawing inspiration from his natural homeland and from his Lil’Wat First Nation heritage. His elegant use of soft tailoring, natural fabrics, colourful earth-tones, and an array of unconventional, textural details, give his garments an essence of subdued wilderness. Fall/Winter 2017, titled “Visceral Architecture”, is about the grotesque beauty, and raw, primal aspects of animal and human biology. It looks to the various layers and infrastructures of the body, and delicately pulls them apart. It is about dissecting the mind from the body, and reconstructing their relationship with greater understanding and mutual respect. It is about celebrating the miraculous vessel that carries the spirit, understanding that it is not ours, and that it ultimately belongs to the earth.
The Oland brand strives to serve as a cultural liaison between indigenous and non-indigenous people. By drawing inspiration from not just the artistic culture of indigenous people, but also from the values and perspectives of their way of life, he demonstrates that contemporary indigenous fashion does not have to fall into a stereotypical representation of the culture. He also promotes cultural exchange between designers, and artists, encouraging ethical methods of sharing ideas between cultures.
Curtis first earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2011, where he studied sculpture. He then went on to study Fashion Design at Ryerson University, and in the spring of 2016, debuted his graduating collection at Mass Exodus. Soon after, Curtis presented his Spring/Summer 2017 collection at TOM* Fashion Week in August, which won him the Emerging Menswear Designer Award, and brought his brand into public recognition. Since then, he has also been nominated for this year’s Simons Fashion Design Student Award for the 2017 Canadian Art and Fashion Awards.