On the Runway

Montreal Fashion Week: Day 2 with Bodybag by Jude and Mélissa Nepton

Photo by Marc Muri

Photo by Marc Muri

Photo by Marc Muri

Photo by Marc Muri

Photo by Marc Muri

Photo by Marc Muri

Photo by Marc Muri

Somehow it’s still snowing outside. Although the flurries do not bode well for the well-heeled ladies who have to make their way down to fashion week, they did provide a befitting backdrop for Rachel Fortin, who presented her most recent collection of recycled-fur accessories at Philemon this afternoon. (In case you haven’t already, do check out the recently opened Old Port bar—it’s nice but not overly upscale, upbeat but not overwhelming.)

Fortin, who is a former assistant designer at Mackage and now in her seventh year as designer and founder of rachel.f., puts her unique twist on planet-friendly fashion by pairing salvaged fur and leather scraps with plush repurposed fabrics to create eco-conscious winter accessories that range from full-fur cloche and trapper hats to fur-lined silkscreen-printed mitts and bags.

Back at Marché Bonsecours, Micalla designer Camilla Jørgensen forwent the classy cocktail affairs of seasons past to make her Montreal Fashion Week runway debut. Her brilliant crystal and pearl baubles adorned a Veronica Lake–like lineup of blond models glammed up in ruby-red, crystal-encrusted lips and softly sculpted curls. Although the majority of Jørgensen’s statement stunners are made for turning heads on the red carpet (where else to wear epic crystal earrings that drop down to your waist?), it was nice to see brightly coloured crystal bracelets and sparkly single-strand necklaces that could easily translate into striking evening extras for the everywoman, too.

Then out came the baskets of apples at Judith Desjardins’ Snow White-themed show for her collections Bodybag by Jude and J.U.D.E. The fairytale references appeared in the form of fruit props and numerous pops of rouge in the collection (plus red lips and tights) as Desjardins stayed otherwise true to what she does best: boardroom-appropriate apparel for young, fashionable professionals. There were structured shift dresses and drape-y tops and dresses with just enough pin-tuck and ruffle details to take the designs from vanilla to va-va-voom.

The night ended with Mélissa Nepton, a born-and-bred Quebecker who clearly knows a thing about Canadian winters. Her message: Just because you have to bundle up doesn’t mean you can’t do it in style. The up-and-coming designer delivered a cozy collection of layer-worthy wools and knits in soft grey, taupe, cream and black. Sleek riding pants and a few sheer fabrics elevated the overall feel of elegant, thrown-together sexiness, while a pair of furry oven mitts and oversized fluffy-pompom details confirmed that fur is fast becoming a top theme of the week. SEE A GALLERY OF THE MELISSA NEPTON SHOW

Check back tomorrow for highlights from Day 3, and don’t forget that Le Showroom opens its door to the public today from 12–9 p.m. Click here for more details on how you can shop the Spring 2011 collections of some of La Belle Pro’s best-known brands.