It’s not often you get see something new at Montreal Fashion Week. Instead of shaking things up, designers here tend to stick with what they do best, and given the money and work required, it’s rare that we get to see new lines on the runway. Remarkably though, day three offered three new labels in row.
First up was Sérum by Marta M, where stilettos and scary-thin models were replaced with realistic woman who walked the Astroturf runway without any shoes at all. The green-grass carpet set the right tone for designer Marta Matejczuk’s minimalist casual wear, made for a stroll in the park yet unfortunately ill-fitting in some cases when they appeared to be either too tight or too large, even on the models who resembled real people (and not the towering and ultra-thin standard we’re used to seeing on the runway).
Next was another Montreal newcomer, LOVAS Wesley Badanjak. The Toronto-based designer’s impressive resume includes stints at Holt Renfrew Design Studios, tevrow+chase and David Dixon (who also brought his latest work, a new diffusion collection called Studio, from Toronto to La Belle Province this week).
Badanjak presented a party-ready collection he happened to create with the periodic table of elements in mind. The result was a chemistry-inspired combination of hard and soft elements: silky strips of chiffon cutting through clusters of oversized silver sequins and delicately draped dresses crafted from vividly bright fabrics. Finishing touches came courtesy of the multi-chain accessories by T.O. jeweller Rita Tesolin, which looked as razor sharp as Badanjak’s edgy styles.
Collection Iris Setlakwe also made its Montreal Fashion Week debut with an urban-safari-inspired selection of belted jackets and knit cardis (along with streamlined skirts and shorts to match). There were also silky tops and dresses in painterly tie-dye prints — perfect for your next dating adventure — and evening-ready rompers and jumpsuits that looked refreshingly modern.
Last up was Soïa & Kyo. Mackage’s sassy little-sister line proved once again why it’s been on a steady rise since debuting in 2004, from the belted sleeveless trench that opened the show to the closing double-breasted coat in navy featuring eye-catching gold buttons and a gilded off-centre zip (an update of the asymmetrical zips of seasons past). Throw in fitted-meets-functional rainwear (that’s—get this—actually waterproof!) and big-name fans like Feist, MIA and Miley Cyrus, and it’s easy to see why this outerwear line continues to be one of the city’s biggest success stories.