As a judge at last summer’s Off the Cuff fashion competition at Argyle Fine Art, Biscuit General Store owner Wendy Friedman made it clear to the contestants that they need to make clothes that people want to wear. Friedman, along with fellow judges Lisa Drader-Murphy and Gary Markle, knew what they were doing when they picked NSCAD graduate Louanna Murphy as the winner. A year later and Murphy’s first collection, available at Biscuit, is almost completely sold out, with little fanfare or promotion. Turns out Halifax’s fashionable set really wants to wear Murphy’s clothes.
Murphy’s retail collection reflects the woman who designed it: feminine but not frilly, sleek and yet still charming. Although Murphy never wears flats---her purple jumpsuit with the faux leather belt looks amazing with a pair of heeled brown Seychelle sandals ($139), available at Biscuit---try pairing her versatile summer dress (on the cover) with a pair of cute slouchy socks and Chuck Taylors.
Currently, Murphy is sharing a place in Charlottetown with her sister Hilary, a recent NSCAD grad herself. Hilary made all the jewellery worn in our cover shoot, incorporating some of Louanna’s fabrics into her chunky fan ring and delicate take on a waistcoast fob (see photo above). Though they don’t directly collaborate, the sisters do influence each other’s design. Talent apparently runs deep in the Murphy house of style.
What she's wearing
Faux leather jacket, $129. Lace top, $85. Black pants (retails in a floral pattern), $169. Fabric clutch, $45. All by Louanna Murphy. Scalloped black Seychelles boots, $155. All available at Biscuit General Store. Jewellery by Hilary Murphy, hilarymurphy.com.