Renata Morales is a Canadian fashion designer and visual artist that has achieved international interest.

Renata Morales was born on 5 July 1975 in Mexico City and travelled extensively both in Canada and abroad before settling in northern Quebec. After studying Fine Arts, she pursued her interests in painting and in the creation of hand painted fabrics. Under the guidance of Sylvie Ouimet, an haute couture pattern-maker and seamstress, Morales began to envision and master her own designs.

After a few years in fashion retail, she developed an award-winning clothing line and subsequently opened her own stores. The first shop, in Ottawa, opened in 1996 and within the year began to exclusively carry Morales’s own designs. In 2001, she opened a boutique in Montreal.

Morales’s has received considerable press coverage both in Canada and abroad and international music and film celebrities have been wearing her clothes. Liela Moss, from the rock band The Duke Spirit and former muse of Alexander McQueen, is a fan and has collaborated with Morales in creating designs that Moss went on to wear on stage and in several photo shoots.

The Look

Morales’s fashion designs use a playful and colourful palette that is very similar to the one used in her talented drawings. Both fashion designs and paintings are directly and indirectly inspired by the work of Chagal and Klee and also show an influence of Primitivism and Naive art as interpreted by a western European tradition. Her multi-layered drawings and dresses are beautiful palimpsests of meaning and portray a fable-like atmosphere where female figures play a central part. Morales is not afraid to mix different types of fabric in the same garment and her usage of feathers with lace and brocade, even if at a first glance looks whimsical, is actually the result of a careful process of cleverly draping materials. In a way, she masters fashion design in the same way that, as a painter, she commands the creative process on canvas, by layering depictions of the world as interpretations of meaning. Morales belongs to the realm of those confident fashion designers who are not afraid to use colour and explore shapes and textures to move fashion forward. She should be commended for creating astonishing examples of wearable creativity, for her attention to detail embodied in her exquisite materials, and for her respect for an artisanal sartorial tradition of producing beautiful ornaments.

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