Victoria Brumwell
thinks like an artist. The painter comes from a fine art background—which helps—but what really shows her creative depth is the way she sees possibility in everyday objects. Her eponymous, up-cycled line sees her transforming thrifted jackets (and more recently, bags and boots) into wearable art in the most literal sense: Bestowed with one-of-a-kind, hand-painted designs like abstract florals and tattoo-style snakes.

“To me, they’re like found canvases,” Brumwell says via phone.
It all started roughly over a year ago, when Brumwell spotted a jacket on social media with a painted back panel. “‘I could do that,’ I thought, so I experimented on this acid-wash vest, posted it online and people started asking for commissions,” she explains.
Steam gathered from there, with Brumwell building a collection of coats and vests—mostly slouchy, ’80s denim pieces—and eventually snagging a spot in Atlantic Fashion Week’s The Medium is the Message showcase earlier this month.

“I’m an avid thrifter. I’m always wearing at least two thrifted things at any one time,” Brumwell adds, explaining how she is able to score her found canvases—like a leather trench evoking ’90s Versace in screaming scarlet. That trench became her favourite piece to date, the back panel painted with a Doberman mid-howl.
Brumwell estimates each jacket takes 12 hours to complete. While she advises against machine washing or wearing in heavy rain, the pieces are built to last—and luckily for the wearer, if the paint chips it just adds to the aesthetic.

While commissioned back panels (often negotiated via Instagram) make up the bulk of her business, Brumwell’s AFW collection featured painted pants and denim dresses—hinting at her dreams of branching into design, which she confesses on the phone. For now, though, fans hungry for more of her Memphis-design-aesthetic can curb cravings with items like squiggle-covered wallets, chain-print bags, or maybe that Doberman trench.

“The value in what I do is making something one of a kind,” Brumwell says. “They’re like a tattoo you can take off.”
Find her work at Lost & Found (2383 Agricola Street) or here.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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