Working for Workman

Halifax fashion designer Kim Munson created a “punk rock robot” wardrobe for Hawksley Workman’s Canadian tour.

Kim Munson is a huge Hawksley Workman fan. So devoted, the fashion designer used to make shirts for the Toronto-based musician, which she'd leave behind at his live shows. Then one day Munson saw an ad promoting Workman's Canadian tour. He was wearing "shirt number two," a smart black-and-white cowboy number. She called his manager and was soon talking to Workman directly about designing stage outfits for the tour, which comes to the Rebecca Cohn on Friday night.

"We had a phone conversation about the new albums"---Workman released Meat and Milk this year---"what they were about, and his artistic intention." When he pulled out "punk rock robot" as an aesthetic, Munson knew exactly what he wanted. Orphanage, her reconstructed clothing line, definitely embraces rock 'n' roll with unexpected angles and fabric mixes, assembled with a futuristic punk punch.

Munson bleached and then handcrafted over 2,000 studs on a coverall Workman wears for part of the show. She also designed 10 suits, two each for the five members of his band.

The Halifax designer has discovered an underserved style niche. If you're a dude looking for clothes beyond jeans, it comes as no surprise that there isn't a lot a choice in men's fashion---so what do you wear when you're standing in front of hundreds of people? "It's an awesome problem," says Munson. "There aren't a lot of people designing stage gear." While big names like DSquared outfit Nelly Furtado, up-and-comers have to look harder to find someone who understands their needs. Munson, who now has people coming to her, says, "That somebody could be me."

Check out Orphanage at Atlantic Fashion Week on April 16 and at the Halifax Crafters Market on April 17 and 18.

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