Priory of Ten SS13

Office rats and cubicle cavemen are so prone to dreadful suits and flimsy blouses. Just the sound of “blouse” makes my ex-convent girl hair stand on end.

A new brand – bred between NYC and Toronto is now creating clothes for the “modern-day corporate woman”, and nothing about it is outlandishly severe or boardroom boring. Sure it has a rather compact colour palette (black, grey, nude, khaki, the likes…) but it is cool, calm and collected and into it’s second collection.

Ironically, to materialize this fresh spin on work wear, the designer (ex-design assistant at Phillip Lim) Mei Liu has taken elements from “military, clergy and office” workers’ uniforms, and changed things up with minute details that make all the difference.

The new wardrobe staples are none like the other – a sweater with sheer bits, conservative midi-length pencil skirt in leather, stern black pants with a sarong-pleat front sitting on the hips… On the whole, lots of sheer space breaking symmetry and solid lines supporting slouchy silhouettes, which seems universally flattering (except for the offending tummy slit which should only expose abs). The sleek, minimal traits reminiscent of Phillip Lim, all used to great effect. Their Fall 2012 pieces (pictures below) weren’t at all heavy – thankfully layers that can be broken down and would definitely work for our merciless equatorial climate. While Spring 2013 (pictures above) is promising to be white, light and lovely.

The other two-thirds of Priory of Ten are Eunice Quan and David Lin of The Board of Trade Co. multi-brand store in Toronto, who oversee business, sales and press. That’s a trio of stellar resumes and astute sartorial sense that I hope will continue making clothes worth meeting our of KPIs and deliverables for payday!

Shop the collection here. Pictures from here and here. More work (and play) worthy sartorial options coming your way next week! This post is also on

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