Model Citizen: Eliza Faulkner

She can’t keep her hands to herself. “I started designing because I love using my hands to create,” says Eliza Faulkner, a West Coast native who honed her sporty but elegant look at Central St. Martin’s in London before stints at the studios of Erdem and Roland Mouret. Others are taking note: her relaxed, classic style earned her the One to Watch award at last year’s Western Living Designers of the Year, and Emerging Talent props at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards last month. So where do those hands go now? Hopefully they can take a break in the side pockets of her spring 2014 collection: shrunken moto jackets, crop tops, and below-the-knee pieces that all channel The Sound of Music with colourful, sustainably sourced linen from Austria.


The one piece every woman must own this season is

The bomber jacket. It’s versatile, easy to wear, and timeless.


What unexpected item do you derive inspiration from?

Decomposing fruits and vegetables are full of incredible textures and colour stories.


Your most interesting souvenir?

Upholstery fabric from a flea market in southern France. I made a dress with it.


Style tip?

Every day look in your closet and ask yourself, ‘What would I wear if I weren’t afraid?’ Then wear that.


What’s the most beautiful piece of clothing in your closet?

A vintage Courreges Couture skirt, made in Paris in the sixties.


What’s your favourite piece of clothing?

A red satin oversized long-sleeve tee from my fall/winter 2013 collection. It’s feels like I’m wearing a nightie and looks really luxurious too.


Name one item in your closet you couldn’t throw away

I wouldn’t throw away any cashmere. Even if it’s got a hole you can wear it to bed!


Favourite brand and style of jeans

I will wear any brand of jeans but I like them skinny and cut just above the ankle.


Favourite colour

I love to wear grey but I could design in soft shades of pink forever.


Favourite nail polish

YSL – the packaging is beautiful.


What designer do you love the most? What piece would you buy from that designer this season?

I love them all and I couldn’t choose just one. Right now I’m fantasizing about summer though so I’d probably by the Faye Top from Beth Richards.


What is the most recent splurge item you bought for your home?

I had to make a very practical splurge recently on a mattress.


Name three things that are always in your fridge

Spinach, almond milk, and a lot of nail polish.


What is your favorite bottle of wine to splurge on?

The Damasco from the Zanatta Winery on Vancouver Island.


What piece of art do you feel closest to in your house and out of your house? Why?

I’m still working on acquiring art for my home, but outside of that I love Alexander Calder’s work. His mobiles and sculptures are so strong but also simple, elegant, and joyful. He was apparently a very happy man and that resonates in his work.


What is one gift that you’ve received and enjoyed in the last three years?

A weekend yoga retreat with Seane Corn a few years was something I really enjoyed and would love to do again.


What is something that you always bring as a hostess gift or to a party?

Dark chocolate or red wine.


List three things that you always pack when you travel

A sketchbook, earplugs, and a bathing suit in case there’s somewhere to swim. I love hotel pools.


What is one of your most interesting souvenirs from a trip?

Upholstery fabric from a flea market in the South of France. I made a dress with it.


Where is your favourite destination to vacation?

I’ve been going to Hornby Island since I was young and it’s still my favourite.


What is your favourite gift you’ve received?

Jewellery my mother has passed down to me – an emerald ring and a Wedgewood necklace are my favourites.


What is your favourite place to lunch and what do you like to eat there?

Gorilla Food – There’s nothing quite as energizing as raw veggies. I like their raw lasagna or raw green curry.


What restaurant do you recommend out-of-town guests visit?

Lily-Mae’s in Gastown. It’s French comfort food and you really feel like you’re tucked away somewhere special when you eat there. It’s perfect on a rainy Vancouver evening.


When you are feeling indulgent … where do you go or what do you buy?

I buy Ms.Vickie’s Salt and vinegar chips or Australian red licorice chocolate logs and eat it all at once.


What’s on your nightstand?

A journal, notepad, pens, water, and a stack of books.


What’s your favourite book?

Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth’.

I never, ever leave the house without

My day-planner, iPhone, and keys to my studio