Highlights from last night include the Télio design competition, in which up-and-coming designers from 20 fashion schools across Canada competed to win one of five scholarships totaling $10,000. The Mother Earth–inspired designs ranged from fluid “wave” dresses to the earth-toned “maple leaf” jacket-and-skirt combo from LaSalle College’s Ruyi Zhou that nabbed first place.
RudsakJimmy Hamelin / Sensation Mode
Now in its 15th year and more chic than ever, Rudsak continued to answer the prayers of fashionable Montrealers with yet another killer collection of cool coats and sexy boots. The shiny fur-collared jackets and so-slick over-the-knee boots almost make minus 20 sound tempting! (Now all we have to do is master that slippery-sidewalk strut…)
Après Rudsak the fashion flock migrated to the Fullum & Holt factory in Montreal’s east end. It was fête central, complete with a 90-foot leather-top bar and artisans-at-work on display to celebrate Denis Gagnon’s newest collection (including his latest line of leather carryalls for F&H) and the recent launch of www.fullumboutique.com.
Leave it to Denis Gagnon to create an all-noir-and-grey motif that isn’t the least bit depressing. His “anti-recession collection” featured excess embellishment at its best. We’re talking tassels! And sequins! Zippers! Beading! Fringe! Fox fur! (Clearly the time he spent at at Saga Furs in Copenhagen last year paid off.)
Denis Gagnon Photos: Stephanie Boridy
Though black pretty much ruled the runways, here are the other trends that emerged over the week:
-geek-chic glasses -fur and more fur (sorry, PETA) -plaid -bows -covered-up/sober dressing Loved that every show was packed this year! See you next season? Bien sûr!
Montreal Fashion Week — Day 3
In a city this unforgiving, it’s always nice to see some practical fashion you’d actually wear, like M0851’s “talmigo” jackets. Talmigo is the label’s newest signature fabric, a waterproof cotton blend that’s perfect for those damp fall days. (Not as practical but still high up on my list are the line’s stylish new sacs (shown). Won’t be hard to justify buying one (alright, maybe two) since they’re such a far cry from the company’s traditional leather bags. One month to go before the first batch hits stores!
Jimmy Hamelin / Sensation Mode
“Warm and wearable” was definitely the theme last night, with Harricana by Mariouche’s recycled-fur accessories piled atop Ça Va de Soi’s super-soft knits. Apart from fries, gravy and cheese, what better combination could there be in Montreal?
On to more outerwear: Mackage’s hip li’l sis, Soïa & Kyo. The very Blair Waldorf procession of plaid and bows was well received by the under-18 set at the show, and all-around applause for the line’s new leather pants. Mixed feelings: though I overhead two teens saying they thought it was “cool,” I’m not so sure either would actually rock a two-foot bow on her back.
Spotted (and almost tripped over): plenty of fashion-plates-in-training. Cutest ever: a pink-clad baby girl at Harricana and Ça Va de Soi. Might we be in the presence of the next Andy Thê-Anh or Marie Saint Pierre?
Last day today! More winter-friendly wear (always a bonus) and an off-site bash chez Fullum & Holt. Stay tuned…
Muse Jimmy Hamelin / Sensation Mode
Montreal Fashion Week — Day 2
As much as I dislike having to stand in line and kick not-so-sneaky showgoers out of my seat, it’s definitely heartening to see the shows more packed than ever this year. Montreal sensation Marie Saint Pierre always draws a big crowd, but even Denis Gagnon, a bona fide big fish in our little pond, was relegated to the back row last night (though rumour has it he prefers the view from there, anyway).
Ready for the rundown?
At Muse, models sported extreme side parts to complement the shiny fabrics, boxy jackets and high-waist pants of a heavily ’80s-influenced show. As for the awesome accessories: chain belts, fingerless gloves and, oh yes, white socks and heels.
Bodybag by JUDE
The tandem Bodybag by JUDE and J.U.D.E show commenced with a Buckingham Palace–style Changing of the Guard, which gave way to a procession of plaid-clad models rocking a rather sexy-secretary vibe (thick-rimmed glasses and all).
Marie Saint Pierre Jimmy Hamelin / Sensation Mode
To close the night, Marie Saint Pierre pumped up the volume (puffed-up sleeves, shoulders and scarves) and poured on the lacquer (à la liquid leggings and above-the-elbow gloves). Scary-high shoes notwithstanding, Saint Pierre clearly knows her audience, bringing on more what we love (soft ruffles, draped constructions and crinkled fabrics) while updating it ever so slightly with new frills and folds. Considering her fashion-forward pieces are so wearable, it’s no wonder she leads the pack.
Helmer Fall ‘09 Jimmy Hamelin / Sensation Mode
Montreal Fashion Week — Day 1
Four days (March 2-5), three words (Montreal Fashion Week), two sets of shoes (over-the-knee Rudsak boots cause it’s FREEZING and Sergio Rossi heels cause it’s fashion week, dahling) and one season: Fall 2009.
In between double-kiss greetings and sips of boxed water, I’ll be at the shows—notebook in hand— to bring you the latest and greatest from fashion-crowd faves like Helmer, Marie Saint Pierre and Denis Gagnon and what are sure to be solid showings from the likes of Bodybag by JUDE, Harricana by Mariouche, Rudsak and Soïa & Kyo.
The week kicked off on an unusual note last night with Helmer, who decided for Fall ’09 to peel back the layers of an onion for inspiration. The result? A collection of gowns, blouses and coats crafted in neutral-toned wools and silks with sprouts of frayed and looped fabric (and, at times, actual onion skins). My favourite piece, though? An off-theme pinstripe “magazine” gown, on which FLARE made what I think was a rather fierce runway debut.
Helmer Fall ‘09 Jimmy Hamelin / Sensation Mode
Off the catwalk, Le Showroom is back, and buyers from Montreal and beyond are once again flocking to the giant display area to check out the latest collections from established and up-and-coming designers, which this year includes Eve Gravel, Valérie Dumaine, Harakiri Design, Tavãn & Mitto and Touch of Me.
A quick note to any fashion lovers looking to score a seat for one of the week’s shows: for the first time ever, Sensation Mode, the organization behind the event, is selling last-minute tickets, available for $25 each between 4–8 p.m. at the Saint-Paul entrance of Marché Bonsecours.
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