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Carissa McCaig

Carissa McCaig is the fashion designer behind the Canadian brand Copious. Having studied fashion at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto, Canada, she officially launched her brand in 2013 and has been creating one-of-a-kind pieces from her studio ever since. 

Kaja Tirrul is a freelance photographer based out of Ottawa, Canada. After graduating from Ryerson University’s Image Arts Photography program in Toronto, she has been working for herself specializing in fashion, wedding and portrait photography.

When Carissa and Kaja became room mates in 2005, they had no idea their chance living situation would turn into a lifelong creative partnership. They continue to collaborate together on collection launches, runway presentations and most notably – photo shoots.

Every editorial they create begins with a concept which they attempt to present visually through the use of fashion and photography. Carissa and Kaja created the following editorial, titled “There Were Walls” which is the first ever unisex editorial shot for Copious.


Moevir Magazine May Issue 2020 featured edition

[There Were Walls]

Creative Director/Photographer: Kaja Tirrul @kajaphoto

Wardrobe Stylist/Fashion Designer: Carissa McCaig @copiousfashions

Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Anthonia Bejide  @anthoniamakeup

Model: Andrew @Angies Models and Talent Management @angiesmodels

Model: Jaden @Angies Models and Talent Management @angiesmodels

Model: Malika @Angies Models and Talent Management @angiesmodels


How do you prepare your new shoot?

Our first step is always to define the message we want to say with our editorial. For ‘There Were Walls,’ this message was that clothing has no gender - to put it simply. As we pulled together every aspect of this shoot - from makeup, hair, styling, accessories, location and models - we wanted to break down the perceived barriers that have been placed on each gender within the world of fashion, presenting them in a new and clean light.

Where your inspiration comes from?

Carissa: While selling at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, I witnessed a cultural shift in the way clients were shopping. Women and men alike were buying from designers they connected with, no matter whether the brand was created specifically for females or males. From my perspective, as a designer of female-only clothing, it was incredible to see men buying and wearing Copious and really made me think about the way Copious was portrayed. 

As a woman, I have walked into many “men's sections” over my years of shopping and never received a second look for buying something masculine or unisex. But it made me consider if it would be as easy for a man to do the same thing, buying from a women’s line. As soon as the show was over, Kaja and I began to organize Copious’ first unisex photoshoot. For “There Were Walls”, we used a mix of Copious collections and styled them on both men and women. 

Working within the understanding that societal norms or expectations dictated that certain descriptive words, mannerisms, and especially clothing styles [including our own] can be seen as typically 'feminine' or 'masculine', we aimed to have this editorial demonstrate that people, no matter how they identify, can be - and wear - what they feel represents them in the truest of fashions.

What are the most difficulties during your shoots?

This shoot definitely challenged us, possibly more so than any other we have done in the past. We analyzed every detail of every shot in an attempt to convey the message we were trying to get across. We didn’t want to be too obvious or over-the-top, but rather the focus was to show fashion’s fluidity in a natural manner. We both felt challenged in the best way to create images that were new and fresh, but also approachable.

How often you create new works?

We are always creating new work! When one project is finished and out into the world, we begin to get inspired for the next one. Our creative partnership is extremely unique, in that we have known one another and have collaborated together for 13 years. Although we each consume a lot of different culture, we often tend to think along the same lines and come up with an eerily similar creative vision every time we enter a new project. 

Creating new work for an artist is like breathing - neither of us could live without it. The feeling we get when months of planning come together in an image is the most beautiful thing to experience.

What is the most important thing for creating new work?

For us, the most important thing to keep in mind while creating new work is the overall vision we start from. One of the reasons we love to work on editorials is because they allow us to be creative and express whatever concept we are currently working through. 

Sometimes this idea can evolve and change, however the core of the work is always front and centre. From the beginning of our communications about ‘There Were Walls’, we had a clear message in mind and every aspect of every shot came back to it, looking to do it justice. 

We also love creating new work because it allows us to expand on who we collaborate with and how their creativity adds to the end result. For this shoot we had the pleasure of working with the extremely talented makeup artist Anthonia Bejide, as well as our models Malika, Andrew and Jaden from Angie’s Models. 

As we created each shot it was incredible to see them bring their own talents to the table. Art has the power to move us all forward as people and we feel our own little piece of the responsibility to add to that movement.

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