Music resonated, clothes twirled, heels clattered and all eyes turned to the models as they walked down the runway for Fashion POP, a competition featuring six young designers presenting their first collections. On Wednesday Sept. 25, the Rialto theatre was full of people when a panel of judges chose Christina Julien as the winner of this year’s Fashion POP.
From white dresses and short satin red shorts, to monochrome dresses and big square net suits; the collections presented at Fashion POP were all very different and brought something unique. Native Montreal designer,Madeleine Voizard, took inspiration for her collection from the city and “how people are dressed in the metro or in evening meetings.”
“I like to use silk and jacquard mixed with more modern fabrics such as jean and cotton to create garments,” she said.
“I get my inspirations from the design and architectural world,” said Viviane Labelle, another young participant, citing the urban planning of two different cities she visited, Los Angeles and Portland, as the inspiration behind her menswear collection.
Heather Campbell, the coordinator of the event, said that Fashion POP was first initiated seven years ago to extend the POP Montreal festival to the fashion community.Both Voizard and Labelle agree that the competition is an opportunity for them to get visibility and experience and, just maybe, a way for them to achieve their dreams. Voizard would like to have her own clothing enterprise in Montreal. She sees herself designing as well as managing the business aspect of a clothing line. Labelle would like to have a shop where she designs mens clothes as well as furniture and other objects.
“The main objective is to give new designers a platform to show their work outside of school,” said Campbell. “Fashion POP gives the opportunity to young designers to present their work to an audience without having to care about the business aspect of fashion.”
The competition is open to any young designers, but Campbell has personally approached and encouraged many of this year’s participants, having become familiar with their work through their school portfolios.
Fashion POP can be a great opportunity for designers who have just finished school. For instance, Natasha Thomas and Angie Johnson, two previous winners, are now running their own fashion lines in Montreal.
photo cutline 1: Runway model showing off young and upcoming designers
photo cutline 2: Fashion Pop hosted at Montreal’s Rialto Theatre