tofino fashion designer diane perry

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 the counter at The Lounge Collection. She does like to sew and create beautiful and sometimes dark things.

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 space 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 and 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 her work.

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 and who 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.


diane perry 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 things. And!

More creepy little girl drawings!


Tofino Time Magazine September 2004

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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.

tofino time september 2004

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