Wandering down Avenue des Oblats in Québec’s Saint-Sauveur neighbourhood atelier Coeur de Loup pops out like a little slice of pink heaven. Opening the door, one gets the feeling they are walking into a private workspace: tables with vintage sewing machines, clothing hanging from racks along the left-side wall, a bright pink brick wall with a turquoise mirror and bulletin board filled with drawings, and a large cutting table with bolts of fabric stacked underneath. This is our kind of place, and we owe our friend Caroline Decoste a bottle of wine for suggesting it.
This is the heart of Coeur de Loup, a Québec fashion label created by Nathalie Jourdain, a fun-loving 30-something who grew up drawing pin-up style women, went to school for fashion because she thought it was fun, worked for Québec designer Marie Dooley, and started a clothing label, Coeur de Loup, in the basement of her house.
Two years later, Coeur de Loup moved from Nathalie’s basement, and into a cute space in Saint-Sauveur that doubles as a studio and atelier (boutique); the Coeur de Loup collections can be found in select boutiques in Québec and Montréal, as well as online.
“In the beginning [at Coeur de Loup] I was rapidly doing retro style, but I am a little vintage too. I don’t want to be in a box.”
One of the things we love about Nathalie is her passion for creating clothing to fit all body types. Sure, you can purchase Coeur de Loup online and at the boutique shops in sizes xs to xl, but you can also ask for made to measure pieces through the Coeur de Loup online store — you can also visit her atelier on Avenue des Oblats and place your order directly with Nathalie.
“I make clothing to measure. Every girl have different difficulty. Some people put a small but they don’t have small everywhere. We have curves. I have a customer that she don’t [like] the shirt and she was unable to say why it doesn’t work, but I found out she had one shoulder higher than the other, and that is why the collar doesn’t fit well, so I was able to fix that.”
All the clothing at Coeur de Loup is designed, sewn, packaged, and shipped by Nathalie. There are no little fashion fairies fluttering around with microscopic needles and magical thread. Coeur de Loup is a one-woman fashion venture.
Available through the Coeur de Loup online shop, as well as the atelier, Les Classiques features fourteen styles in ten different colours — all of which are available made to measure. And from time to time, les classiques designs are also available in exclusive fabrics.
“My classic collection is lower price because it’s the best dresses that I’ve made in the last five years and I know how to sew the dress very quickly.”
The dresses are classy and timeless with simple lines; perfect for casual day trips to the market, and easily dressed up for a night of cocktails. The perfect choice for women who want more versatility in their wardrobe, as well as clothing that is easy to wear and wash.
In fact, after spending a little time with Nathalie at atelier Coeur de Loup, we are seriously thinking about popping by to order a couple made to measure dresses to add to our summer wardrobe.
Québec City vs Montréal
We don’t like to compare Québec and Montréal as they are both fantastic cities, with completely different vibes: one is like a big village, the other cosmopolitan. The fashion scene is equally diverse.
“It’s more small. It very easy to be known in Québec. They have a lot of designers in Montréal and I try to sell in boutiques there but there is a lot of competition. Here there is not as much competition. In Québec a designer has their own customer. I have my own style, we all have different styles. In Montréal there is more. In Québec they are proud to buy local.”
In Québec City designers, for the most part, are more accessible to their customers which help to create a more intimate shopping experience. Designers like Nathalie Jourdain of Coeur de Loup are taking Québec’s fashion scene to a level that is not seen in other cities; affordable clothing designed with love, and the opportunity to have an intimate human experience — goodbye snobby sales clerks who lie to make a commission!
Visit Coeur de Loup
Nathalie loves it when clients stop by to look at her designs, so if you’re in Québec City, don’t be shy, stop by the atelier!
Atelier: 609 1/2 Avenue des Oblats • Québec City, QC • G1N 1W1
Coeur de Loup is available in the following boutique:
790, rue Saint-Jean
Québec City, QC
468, rue Principale W