The day kicked off with a cocktail for Mulcair. Designed by Montreal native and Parsons grad Juliana Bennett, the minimalist collection takes a slightly more feminine turn for Fall 2011. There were subtle leather and tulle trims adorning necklines, shoulders and shirt plackets, all the while accompanying androgynous styles like louche drop-crotch pants and loose-fitting tailored shirts. Bennett, who also happens to be a former Vena Cava intern, references ballet as an inspiration, hence the overall sportier feel this season. (That explains the white tee with a giant black-swan graphic, too.) SEE A GALLERY OF THE MULCAIR SHOW
Next up was !Nu.i (pronounced new-eye). A Montreal Fashion Week first for designer Vickie Joseph, the show could have featured a more logical line up, which jumped from daytime looks to party wear to weekend wear and then back to daywear. It was consistently high-energy, however, as look after look of shiny, studded and strikingly hued streetwear hit the runway. Standout pieces include a pair of pants with a ruffle-trim waist and a gold satin-cotton dress with hand-sewn pearls, along with the black-and-white giraffe-print coat that topped it.
Soïa & Kyo closed the night with a slight departure from its standard outwear offerings. Of course, there were youthful tweeds and leather jackets, but the sister line to the more upscale Mackage brand also introduced an array of functional expedition coats, slightly Canada Goose–esque in appearance but so very appropriate given the current cold snap.
Oddly enough, I had just heard about a visiting Parisienne who was pooh-poohing the number of puffer jackets she’d seen at Montreal Fashion Week. If frostbite is considered fashionable in France, then Montrealers did not get the memo. Here, when every trip outside is a battle against the elements, the only sartorial option is to suit up sensibly. Clearly in tune with its core clientele, Soïa & Kyo delivered down-fill parkas complete with a fur-trim hoods, utility pockets and various length options for those of us who prefer not to freeze our chic little butts off. Merci beacoup for that.