Fashion

DAY 5

Photo by Anne MacRae

Photo by Anne MacRae

Photo by Anne MacRae

Photo by Anne MacRae

Photo by Anne MacRae

Photo by Anne MacRae

Every season, local textile manufacturer Télio sponsors a design competition and selects five winners out of hundreds of fashion-design students from across the country who’ve submitted their sketches in the hope of being selected to compete. Last night, this season’s 25 talented finalists had the chance to present their creations to a packed house of showgoers eager to check out the fresh skills, and in a true testament to Télio, the consensus was that the designs displayed were truly some of the most exciting and experimental of the week. Jury members including Style by Jury’s David Clemmer and acclaimed Calgary designer Paul Hardy chose Andy Hoan Nguyen of LaSalle College as the first-prize winner, rewarding him for his fiercely futuristic urban-armor ensemble with a $3500 cheque and some prime publicity.

Up next was the always adorable Soïa & Kyo. Standout pieces include a vibrant-red wool coat with a button-up slit up the back and a cropped and belted black-and-white tweed jacket. The stylish outwear staples don’t change much from season to season, and for good reason—they’re pretty, practical and well-priced. If it ain’t broke…

To cap off the week, the incomparable Denis Gagnon, who scheduled two shows back-to-back—an MFW first. Before the models took to the runway, we were treated to a preview of the upcoming Denis documentary, Je m’appelle Denis Gagnon (“My name is Denis Gagnon”), premiering on March 21 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Then out came the golden zippers, which risked becoming redundant after his silver zip trip for Spring 2009. Thankfully, save for the head-turning all-zipper halter dress that closed the show, the real star was Gagnon’s fabulous fringe, combined with fishnet and leather and crochet details in deliciously sexy draped forms that garnered multiple rounds of applause from the audience. “I like to work on weekends because I feel it puts me ahead of everyone else who’s taking time off,” he says in his upcoming documentary. Hey, France, you hear that? You and your 35-hour work week ain’t got nothing on our devoted Denis.