The 19th edition of Montreal Fashion Week took place last week at the Bonsecours Market in the Old Port. Up and coming local designers showed their Spring/Summer 2011 collections alongside MFW staples like Marie St Pierre, Valerie Dumaine and Christian Chenail. All of Montreal’s most stylish writers, buyers, bloggers and shoppers were there check out the newest fashions.
Montreal Fashion Week is much smaller and more intimate than the major shows in New York, Paris, London and Milan. The designers and models often mingle with the media and public after the shows. Some designers like Helmer showed over the top Lady GaGa-esque costumes but for the most part every look that went down the runway was extremely wearable for the average Montrealer.
Here is a look at the top trends that showed up on the runway this week:
Ever since Phoebe Philo did her first collection for Celine three seasons ago, fashionistas have been favoring pared down minimalism. The trend, ironically, is to skip the trends and focus on well-made pieces that will last for years to come. Montreal designer Marie St-Pierre has never been one to focus on what is “in style’ but rather to make chic staples.
Her decision to skip the flashy fashion show and stage a more intimate viewing at her atelier near Atwater market echoes the tone of her spring collection. A couple of pieces were on mannequins and others were hanging from the ceiling or on racks. The colour palette was almost entirely black, white, red and beige, which made for many separates that could be easily mixed and matched. Some highlights were a long cream tuxedo style blazer, a camel coloured skirt with scalloping detail and a scarlet floor-lenth gown with floral appliques.
Showing florals for spring/summer is not exactly a novel idea, but they were present at almost every show in Montreal. At BarilÃ they were colourful and abstract, at Coccolily they were bright and bold, at David Dixon they were classic and vintage and at Annie 50 they were classic and romantic. There wasn’t much of the small floral print that’s been popular in recent seasons. So don’t be afraid to go bold.
Stripes were all over the spring runways, whether it was in a nautical style like at Eve Gravel or in a bold graphic look at Valerie Dumaine. One of the most covetable looks in the Eve Gravel show, which was held off site at Restaurant Vallier, was a flared white and navy dress with striped cap sleeves. When the model wearing a bold black and white striped bodysuit walked down the Valerie Dumaine show there was audible excitement in the crowd and garnered a round of applause midway through the show. The collection also featured a long sleeved striped mini dress that would be perfect for a night out dancing.
All the major designers have been showing white this season in New York, Milan, Paris and London. Trendsetters like Phoebe Philo at Celine and Alexander Wang made white a focus in their collections. Fashion mainstays like Dolce&Gabbana and Ralph Lauren prominently featured the shade as well. The Montreal designers weren’t far behind, incorporating this fresh look into their shows. Marie St-Pierre had simple structured pieces while BarilÃ opted for a more flirty, feminine take on the trend. The colour works as a clean accent and pairs nicely with the other spring and summer trends.
The classic lady-like look dominated the fall 2010 runways and it looks as though the trend is here to stay. The Eve Gravel models all came out with bright red lips, wearing pearls and lace gloves to accompany their outfits. The collection featured high waists and bustiers paired with worn-in looking brown oxfords which gave the looks an easy edge. Paria Lambina’s girls all wore pastels in light floaty fabrics adorned with bows and ruffles.
Ghana born designer Naana Tennachie Yankey apprenticed with Marc Jacobs in New York before moving to Montreal to start her brand. Her line for spring/summer 2011 was made up of cocktail dresses in vibrant primary colours that combined 1960s shapes with an African flare. What made the garments really stand out though was the fact that there were strategically placed cut-outs in the modestly cut shifts. This created an air of sensuality without revealing too much skin.
Wesley Badanjak opened his LOVAS show with a series of show stopping hot pink cocktail dresses. The Coccolily show was made up entirely of vivid colours, and colorful hues were mixed and matched at New York Fashion Week by Rachel Roy and Prabal Gurung. If you’re feeling daring, pair two bright shades together for a fashion forward look.
In Dolce&Gabbana’s spring show in Milan, almost every look that went down the runway included lace. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are the masters of creating timeless yet sexy looks and this season was no exception. Isabel Marant and Alberta Ferretti also incorporated lace into their shows. Naana Tennachie Yankey embraced the lace trend offering skirts, T-shirts and bodysuits in the fabric.
To see images from all the designers at Montreal Fashion Week visit www.montrealfashionweek.ca