In my everyday life, there are two Joëlles. There’s the one who likes to go crazy when styling for a photoshoot and who puts aesthetic before practicality (wedges and gravel is dangerous people!!). Then, there’s the one who works in cafes and who runs errands around town, along with her favourite fellows: jeans, sneakers and her worn-out sweater.
That second Joëlle is addicted to anything soft, comfy and not complicated. She’s also the one who feels like the basics by Ménage À Deux (which could be translated to “twosome”) definitely deserve a spot in her closet. Launched two years ago by Anik Lacasse-Richard — you probably know her from her blog Montreal In Style, her line specializes in simple pieces which can be worn with pretty much anything. She uses a super soft jersey (like super duper soft) and all of her designs, t-shirts to dresses, are produced in Montreal. Here’s a bit more about the then-designer, who became a blogger, who became a designer again.
Tell me about your background. I did a DEC in Photography after high school, quite a few years ago! In 2004, I moved to Montreal to do another DEC in Fashion Design at Lasalle College. I worked in the industry for two years before starting my blog Montreal in Style, just as a hobby. Fast-forward a couple of years as an editor, I finally decided to get back into fashion design in 2015.
Why did you decide to launch Ménage À Deux? If I was going back to fashion design and create my own brand, it had to represent me a 100%.
I’m a jeans/t-shirt kind of girl. I was always looking for the perfect basic that goes with everything, without looking too sloppy. In order to answer my own needs, and hopefully the ones of many other Montrealers, I decided to venture into the world of stylish basics.
And why “Ménage À Deux”? The expression roughly stands for “a passionate relationship between two people”.
What is the brand’s philosophy? Offer timeless and well-made basics that can be dressed down just as much as they can be dressed up.
You recently put your blog aside to focus on your clothing line. Why? The blog, in my opinion, is an ephemeral platform that works well when you’re young. I want to build a business that has growth potential and that can be profitable in the future and still be around when I’m for 40 or 50 years old.
What do you think makes a basic a “good basic”? When you can wear a t-shirt with jeans, a sequined skirt, leather leggings, sweatpants… When it becomes a wardrobe go-to and you feel comfortable wearing it every day.
Is your love for simplicity reflected in other aspects of your life? I think so. I prefer simplicity to extravagance for pretty much anything, whether I’m decorating my place or cooking. The only coloured thing in my apartment is probably my lipstick!
If your clothes had a song, what would it be? Good question! Definitely something like No Doubt, maybe Underneath It All.
Your clothes are very simple — that’s what you’re aiming for, obviously. How do you manage to still evolve creatively with such straightforward designs? Depending on feedbacks, I do variations of my basics. A little longer, a deeper cleavage, a dress version, long sleeves, etc. The goal is to have a large variety of styles that can fit into many women’s closets. The best selling pieces are produced every season, so if you buy a black t-shirt and comes next year and you want a white one, that’s possible.
What can we expect from Ménage À Deux in the near future? More amazing collaborations I hope :)
Photos by Melika Dez