We spoke to Michelle Roberts the designer behind Emogene Couture, on her dress making process and inspiration.

"Urban Fairytale" RfR model Christine in Emogene Couture

“Urban Fairytale” RfR model Christine in Emogene Couture. Photographed by Melanie Hoefs

Q: What inspired you to start the Emogene Couture line?

The process of starting my line Emogene couture was a long time coming, and like pieces of a puzzle falling into place.  I have always loved the concept of “dressing up”, even since I was a young child.  There were many factors that impacted on my style which is very vintage 40s,50s,60s inspired and very feminine.  Through the many years after college that I devoted to developing, and honing my skills and basically trying a variety of thing to earn a living doing what I love, all of this was bubbling away in the background.  I finally realized that I love to design special dresses, but dresses, that can be worn every day.  Dresses that make the women who wears one feel special, and like she can’t wait to wear it again.  After my first collection, I knew that this is what I am meant to do.

RfR models in Emogene Couture

RfR models in Emogene Couture. Photographed by Melanie Hoefs

Q: How did your love of fairy tales as a child influence your current collections?

I think there is a certain amount of fantasy in fairy tales that I loved as a child, that has influenced my creativity.  I like taking the expected and injecting it with some of the unexpected(fantasy), to create wearable art, that combines the serious with the frivolous .  I think that as a adults we sometimes feel like everything needs to be serious and to make sense all the time, but fairy tales break those rules.

Q: How did designing wedding gowns turn into high end cocktail and ladies wear garments?

When you think of special dresses, wedding gowns top the list.  I fell in love with the concept of ‘the special dress’ , but wanted to create that feeling in dresses you can wear every day.

Q: How did teaching sewing and fashion design at the Calgary Board of Education for over 15 years inspire your own designs?

I love to sew, I love to conceptualize designs and think about the construction process; visualize how the pieces go together.  I love teaching and sharing my love of the craft.  Continuing Ed, draws all kinds of students; young and old; those looking to sew home projects and those looking to start on the road to a career in fashion.  I have found and continue to find this mix of people with shared interests to mine, extremely inspiring and educational.

RfR models in black knight Emogene Couture dresses.

RfR models in black knight Emogene Couture dresses. Photographed by Melanie Hoefs

Q: What goes into each Emogene Couture “Cocktail Daywear” dress?

Thought, attention to detail, vision…



Q: Just for fun–What was your favourite fairy tale as a child? 

Cinderella.  For so many reasons…humble beginnings, magical transformation and the whole shoe scenario


Emogene Couture  inventory is currently available in the RfR showroom. Follow  us on Instagram and Pinterest for sneak peek previews and details of the online release date.