Show Review: Mercedes-Benz Startup

Montreal's Martin Lim wins the grand prize


Photo by George Pimentel


Photo by George Pimentel


Photo by George Pimentel

Last night’s FDCC initiative saw five emerging Canadian labels, each with their own unique approach to contemporary women’s wear. Montreal-based UNTTLD opened the show and proved a tough act to follow. They hit the mark on some of spring’s leading trends of sheer skirts, summer leather and fine knits in high-contrast black and white. We’ve seen many Canadian designers take inspiration from the neo-gothic Belgium fashion flock but UNTTLD elevated the look beyond cool-kid streetwear to ultra-chic sportswear, bringing to mind Ann Demeulemeester, a fixture in the Antwerp Six. Other designers such as Cassie Dee and Travis Taddeo had summertime adventure on the mind, envisioning the great Canadian road trip, and desert treks, respectively.

When Triarchy’s classic biker-babe denim hit the catwalk, I couldn’t help but think how it would have been better showcased as a showroom presentation. The lean cuts and streamlined silhouettes didn’t have a big runway presence and are likely better appreciated up close, when one can get a hands-on impression of the denim washes, weights, and craftsmanship. Serving as one of the panel judges, FLARE’s September cover star, Canadian stunner Jessica Stam, announced the winning designers: Danielle Martin and Pao Lim of Montreal-based Martin Lim. The duo showed a concise grouping, consisting mainly of graphic paneled dresses and skirts. There were touches of Spring’s elevated athletic-wear trend, but with a good dose of femininity in translucent layers and above-the-knee hemlines.

Click here to see the entire line-up from the Mercedes-Benz Startup presentation.