About the Designer + Maker Christy McMaster
Story + Heritage - Growing up like an Irish Gypsy
Christy was born in Vancouver, BC CANADA and while having spend a large part of her life in the city, her family traveled around, living in many of the towns and cities surrounding every couple of years. With the consistent changing of schools, trying to make new friends and adjusting to her new home, diversity became a way of life she was just used to.
Canadian born & raised her background having German, Dutch, Scottish and Irish roots leading back to the Bohemian Irish Gypsies in Ireland. Always having felt a strong lean towards her Irish heritage of the Irish and gypsies and their lifestyle having spent her upbringing truly feeling like that was her most dominant trait having grown up with this way of life, she truly feels like a free spirited gypsy at heart.
We'll use this term lightly because of misunderstandings, misconceptions or even stigmas around the use of the word 'Gyspy' which literally means a member of a tribe of people found throughout the world who has no permanent home or someone who shares a wandering kind of lifestyle.
Christy's upbringing not only influences her passion and the freedom in her creative style she interprets in her designs today, but enables the diversity in her work she has been so accustomed to living as a child.
Discovering her Love of Fashion
From as far back as she can remember, Christy loved fashion. As a little girl she remembers thinking every time she got a new barbie doll, "now, this just won't do, her clothes are all wrong", and wanting to change them to suit the doll. So, hence, out came the scissors, and the pins and whatever scraps of fabric her mom gave her. That led to her confiscating her mom's sewing machine from the time she could reach the sewing pedal, and never looked back.
Her mom use to sew her clothing as a child and passed along the love of sewing, designing and creating beautiful things with your hands to her along with her father who owned and ran a small tool repair business when she was little, both taught her many valuable lessons. One, you can create anything if you put your mind to it and two, you can do anything you want if you just believe in yourself. Once she recognized her abilities to create anything you can think of, the possibilities were truly endless, and from there, her desire to make things with her hands and the freedom to create anything you want to if you just put your Heart + Soul into it.
Teen through College Years
Christy started really designing + sewing not just for herself up to this point, but for others in 1997. While in high school Christy took up doing alterations for her friends, family and even the local seamstress shops in the town she lived in to earn a little money and by the end of high school in 1998 was commissioned to design + make a custom wedding dress for a family friend. It was pure delight she remembers, here was this gorgeous woman, blond hair, golden skin and said, "design anything you like".
Christy proceeded to spend every last cent she was commissioned on the fabrics alone purchasing a gold satin along with the most to die for Italian Lace for the train. She could not resist, she knew how amazing the design and the bride-to-be wearing it would look, and that was that, nothing gained financially but holy smokes was she going to design the most gorgeous dress!
Her only wish is because it was way back in the days long before cell phones and even before she owned a camera, that she had took just one photo of that Wedding Dress...one day she hopes, maybe time and place will make it happen, be reconnected & be reminded of the very first Wedding Dress she ever made!
In 1998 Christy got accepted into the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC to study Fashion Design. She graduated early in the spring of 2000 having all her skills finely tuned + ready to embrace the world of Women + Fashion.
Downtown Living in Vancouver, BC
After graduating University, Christy moved back downtown into the City she was born in in Vancouver, BC.
While working in a leather factory by day she would sew by night, continuing with every kind of garment tailoring + alterations, to Custom Designing Grad Dresses, and on the weekends fabric hunting to create her own designs.
The women who inspired her during this time and the experiences, and travel abroad to countries including Paris, New York, London, Hawaii + Ireland in her early 20's opened her eyes and enabled her the freedom to explore, define her own style + connect with her roots.
One day while sitting and sipping a latte in her regular coffee shop she would frequent on sunday mornings, she was approached by a woman who just LOVED the shirt she was wearing, and when stating that she had made it, was asked if she would design one for her. Little did she know, the woman's name was Taylor James, a talented & locally performing Vancouver Singer/Songwriter. They befriended each other and went on to live in the same building as well as work on a record album where she provided all the clothing designs for the photo shoot for the album.
Launch of her Home Studio PARISIAN LADY custom design & fit boutique
Ready to make a move, Christy relocated into the Fraser Valley in 2006 and proceeded to launch a Home Studio + Boutique in her home in the Spring of 2007.
She named her Boutique PARISIAN LADY after her love of Paris and the beautiful city, the food, the romance....the central hub of Fashion + Style!
The boutique offers Dressmaking, Tailoring & Alteration services for your Wedding & Wardrobe, Custom Design services, Complimentary Consultations, and of course Shopping by her own exclusive label Christy McMaster.