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Exploring Montreal’s doomed fashion scene

by Aysha White September 27, 2016
Exploring Montreal’s doomed fashion scene

Why our beloved city is falling behind in terms of glamour and fashion

The last Montreal Fashion Week was in 2014, which is strange given that Montreal is generally considered one of the most fashionable cities in North America. Why?

“It’s time to rethink the format of the presentation of fashion,” said Chantal Durivage of Sensation Mode in an interview with The Montreal Gazette. She said the necessity of “showing clothing six months in advance of the selling season, as traditional fashion weeks do, is being questioned everywhere given the instant information on the web.” However, Montreal’s independent designers have not all necessarily caught up with today’s technological demands.

According to The Globe and Mail, independent retailers have failed to corner the online market, in a day and age where it can make or break your success as a business.

According to the same article, Pierre-Benoit Duham, the owner of Montreal luxury men’s boutique Clusier, said, “We’ve always had a web presence. It drives more traffic to the store.”

Other independent designers might benefit from following Dunham’s lead. Having an online presence would allow them to reach more young people, who are the future of fashion in Montreal. It would also allow them to reach an audience outside of the city, and hopefully re-establish Montreal as a fashionable city.

There are many stylish individuals in this metropolis, but those with a true sense of personal style are difficult to come by. It’s very hard to ignore the commercialization of the clothing industry, with chains like H&M, Aritzia and Forever 21 popping up around the world.

In my opinion, fashion should be personal. Your outfit should scream you, no matter who you are. It seems as though many people in Montreal, although well-dressed, follow a basic formula for the perfect minimalist outfit. This leaves everyone looking like a sporty chic army. I think that social media, and the rise of lifestyle bloggers are a few of the reasons.

Bloggers tend to fall under an umbrella of minimalist (think American Apparel) or “boho” (think Urban Outfitters, or Anthropologie) style. Since these bloggers are seen as inspirational, their fans tend to want to look like them— sometimes exactly like them— rather than just drawing inspiration and reinterpreting it to reflect their own style.

When popular bloggers post photos of their outfits, they usually list where each item was purchased. So now everyone who reads these blogs can run out to H&M, and buy the same dress or shirt.

It is up to us, as young people, to support independent designers financially, not only for the sake of each of our personal and unique style, but for the sake of Montreal’s fashion future.

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