Words by Renée Rodriguez
Artistically inclined since childhood, Angélique Chmielewski always seemed to gravitate toward creative endeavors. While growing up in Edmonton, Canada, Angélique began expressing herself through fashion design, a field that she believes reflects human behavior and emotion.
"Your choice of dress evokes a particular style that is closely tied to your personality," she recalls. "I always saw it as an art form and wanted to learn as much as possible about the craft."
Inspired to tell a greater story through her designs, Angélique left behind her studies at The University of Alberta along with her friends and family to pursue a lifelong dream of starting her own collection. In 2008, she moved to New York City and enrolled at F.I.T, a decision that, while difficult at first, proved to be worthwhile. In Fall 2011, Angélique launched her own line, a lauded combination of soft material such as silk or lightweight wool with rugged fabrics like waxed cotton or leather. When combined appropriately, she says, these garments can "exude a sophistication and thoughtfulness while being versatile enough for daily use." This method begins not with a random burst of inspiration, but instead by placing careful thought to the emotion(s) Angélique wishes to convey in each piece.
"When I sketch or imagine designs, I consider the person's attitude and body language first."
This way, the mood informs her color scheme, proportions and all the details--big or small--that make each design stand out, something her customers around the world can attest makes all the difference.
In addition to continuously developing and expanding her namesake, Angélique is also at the helm of Nalata Nalata, a shop specializing in unique home products that she co-founded with her boyfriend and industrial designer Stevenson Aung. As designers, the pair share a common interest in and appreciation for well-crafted products as evident in both her own collection and Nalata Nalata.
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