What’s old is new again with the Parts + Labor collection. The women’s clothing and accessories brand by designer Jennifer Mehalko launched in 2017 with quirky designs and feminist-forward sentiments. It quickly garnered a following by some of the most sartorial of the city and now it is expanding to offer a vintage line of one-of-a-kind pieces that have been lovingly curated and restyled to fit under the Parts + Labor label.
The Parts + Labor capsules always weave together Mehalko’s overall brand message but the vintage pieces really stand out in terms of the level of customization that is possible. Each customization starts with a one-on-one meeting with the client when Mehalko talks about their personal style, things they love or want to incorporate into their custom piece in terms of messaging.
“Not everyone wants a huge GAL GANG logo emblazoned on their back, so I work with my graphic artist to create something specifically for them,” shares Mehalko. “I’m currently working on a custom jacket that incorporates details in Latin from her husband’s old letterman jacket. We are also patching a beautiful quote she found in her daughter’s room into the inside of the jacket, close to her heart.”
“I love individuality and expression in fashion paired with the importance of a strong, beautiful message – having something that holds meaning, that you can have forever,” says Mehalko.
Mehalko collects the details that she adds to her jackets as she travels. She taps into the stock of embellishments in her studio when she can match it to the right jacket and project. “I don’t buy any of the pieces online,” she says.”I am a tactile person and enjoy the hunt.”
Mehalko works with the client to choose thread colours, print and embroidery combinations, trim, fringe and weaving to create an original jacket.
“My favourite thing to hear is when a woman slips a piece on and she instantly feels unstoppable. The fact that I can be a catalyst for that kind of confidence is magic to me,” says Mehalko. “I really want to create pieces that could be time worn, loved-on and lived in.”
Parts + Labor Vintage is available at partsandlabor-inc.com and select pieces are at Coco + Violet, 17 2500 4 St. S.W., 403-244-6234.