The who’s who of Montreal’s fashion scene headed down to MarchÃ© Bonsecours last Tuesday for the debut of Montreal Fashion Week. The 17th annual three-day “week” featured a slew of mostly Quebec designers showing off their collections for spring/summer 2010. Also at this time, the city launched an online Montreal fashion map. The map allows fashionistas to see where local designer’s shops and ateliers are located and includes links to their websites. This comes on the heels of a recent LÃ©ger Marketing survey which showed that despite Montrealers’ desires to buy local, only a small fraction of us know anything about our fair city’s designers. But, before you check out the new map, read on for the Concordian’s breakdown of the five hottest trends from last week.
Mile High Club
Legs must be on the menu this coming spring and summer because practically every designer was serving up a hefty portion of gam-baring looks at MarchÃ© Bonsecours last week. The coat mavericks at SoÃ¯a & Kyo, a division of the famous local outerwear label, Mackage, paired an off-white cotton trench coat with black booty shorts complete with gold zippers down the sides. Helmer and Denis Gagnon seemed to have taken a cue from Lady Gaga, seeing as how both fashion houses had models strutting down the catwalk in black bodysuits &- and nothing else. Meanwhile, designer Ãˆve Gravel, returned to the runway after a two-year hiatus and showed denim short shorts are still hot after they exploded onto the scene this past summer. Coincidently, as hemlines rose up, necklines took a plunge at Denis Gagnon, and Muse by Christian Chenail. Looks like things are going to be heating up come March 20 …
Good Girl Gone Bad
Behind every good girl there’s a bad girl fighting to get out, and it seems designers have decided spring/summer “10 is her time to shine. For her eponymous label, Claude Bouchard, had a model sporting black leather leggings tucked into black ankle booties, worn with a yellow leather skirt, skull belt and black satin blazer. Bad never looked quite so good. Denis Gagnon proved you could look naughty and nice at the same time with a low-cut, body-hugging black jersey dress festooned with silver zippers, a choker with cascading chains and to finish off: black metal cuffs on either arm. Ãˆve Gravel stepped ever so slightly over to the dark side by showing lots of leather, sequined vests, boyfriend jackets, and my favorite &- a navy Michael Jackson inspired cropped blazer with gold stitching and beads on the epaulets. Paired with barely-there white shorts &- the look was perfection.
Pleats, Ruffles and Bows, Oh My!
Montreal designer Din BÃ¡, kicked off his 12th runway collection with a fire engine red mini-dress adorned with perfectly placed large bows and bell sleeves. Originally from Vietnam, Din BÃ¡ says he turned to the orient for inspiration for his spring/summer “10 line that blended pure and asymmetric lines. When ultra girly lines, BarilÃ and Annie 50 took the stage, bows were a common feature on colourful print dresses and flirty jumpers. Quebec’s reigning king of evening wear, Andy ThÃª-Anh, showed sensuous floor grazing and knee-length frocks, with intricate pleats and origami folds in silver and dusty rose. Less subtle was the dramatic long black gown from Russian designer, Tatyana Parifionova, that had sheer pleats and ruffles from head to toe &- very Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.
It was all grey skies and abnormally low temperatures in Montreal last week, but there was nothing dreary about Andy ThÃª-Anh’s collection featuring tropical turquoise and cobalt blue hues. The innovative rotating stage presentation had models clad in the designer’s infamous exquisitely tailored cocktail dresses and skirts in brilliant blues. Edgy structured jackets with zippers, pleats and statement collars also got the blue light. Paired with either beige, black or white skinny ankle-length pants or pencil skirts &- ThÃª-Anh’s line was the ideal mesh of sophistication and sexuality. On the runway at Muse, there was an all-aqua blue ensemble consisting of a revealing jersey top tucked into a high-waisted polka dot skirt with ruffles. Navy blue was a prominent fixture in Ãˆve Gravel’s show, making its mark on boat-neck blazers, laid-back silk frocks and trousers.
April showers bring May flowers &- and not just to our lawns, but to our closets as well. For spring/summer “10, not only were floral prints splashed all over skirts and dresses at BarilÃ , Muse and Annie 50, but several designers had models wearing flowers on get this &- their heads. Floral headpieces were white and demure at Ãˆve Gravel but downright over-the-top at Tatyana Parfionova and BarilÃ . Things got even wilder at the Envers show, where models strutted their stuff in what looked like birds nests on their heads. Another garden party staple &- polka dots, snuck their way into many designers’ collections this season. Drawing on 1950’s silhouettes, Muse’s Christian Chenail’s designs included high-waisted flared short skirts and flowy silk cocktail dresses with black and white polka dots. Red lips, shoes and oversized handbags added a pop of colour as well as a retro Mad Men vibe. Did I mention the models’ hair was combed into bouffants the size of beehives?
To check out the Montreal fashion map, visit www.MontrealFashionMap.com