Tofino fashion outside the Box: Diane Perry
by Jan Brubacher
Being a passionate and straight forward person, Diane does not have much
patience for small talk or chit chat. You will find her on occasion behind
Lounge Collection. She does like to sew and create beautiful and sometimes
Diane credits her mother for starting her in the work she does, she
made our clothes when we were young—sewing was her hobby. “I
need a dress to go out tonight” and she would sew it for me. “I
learned through osmosis” Her mother provided her with the tools
in a gestural sense through her actions of sewing for her children and
then quite literally by handing down her sewing machines to Diane—it
kinda started the whole thing.
The passion for sewing started simply with renovating old clothes from
Value Village, she would take clothes, cut them in half and then
reassemble them in some way that gave them a new life. In her first studio
in Tofino (upstairs in the old Klee Wyck building) she worked through
those artist reservations about putting things out there and what
it meant to be professional. She was sewing things mostly for friends
had a few things for sale in Allister’s surf shop. And then
she hit on something good. She found her path and her craft became
Which came first The Lounge Collection or the Hoodie? Well it probably
makes no difference to those followers of the funky, comfy and sometimes
extravagant hoodie that you find at The Lounge Collection.
“ Everybody loves them.” says Diane, who through her own
desire for unique and comfy clothing has struck the universal fashion
chord. People buy them and come back for more. Diane has never made two
the same and acknowledges that she doesn’t want to dress like everybody
else—well who does? And she also has that westcoast need for comfort, “I’m
a comfort queen—needing a bit of style but wanting that, ahhhhh.” Which
to me explains the success of Diane’s hoodies—style and comfort—and
the reason that they are taking over everything else she makes. She
is planning to do the Out of Hand craft show in Victoria this fall
knows were that will go.
But she is finding her rhythm and balance in her latest thing—dolls.
She found herself getting all these custom orders for hoodies, hoodies,
hoodies, so she gave herself the allowance that after so many hoodies
she would make one doll.
I’ve embraced my dark side.” Diane tells me and “I
love Halloween.” There was a mask that she had made and worn
for Halloween that seemed like a strong image for her, this dark, alter-
ego. The shadow of cute. Something she has explored through freehand
stitching of small figures on some of the hoodies—“cute
with underlying evil.” The mask image comes into the hoodies
too—big hoods to hide behind and long sleeves and huge cuffs
to slink into.
When asked if she had an alter ego Diane answered with no hesitation—Pandora.
She is a mix of all kinds of things: shadow and dark and death and
evil and probably a whole box of stuff that no one knows about. But
we will soon find out more. Diane is planning a new business to open
next season called Pandora’s Emporium—a mix of crazy and
fun, secondhand and new. A change of focus from the Lounge Collection
and a new line from Diane—Pandora’s Frocks. As one might
expect the frocks will be darker—corsets and things—fun
More creepy little girl drawings!
Tofino fashion designer Diane Perry likes to sew and create beautiful and sometimes dark things. See her famous hoodies at the Lounge Collection in Tofino.