Look no further than nature for constant inspiration.
The last and most impressive show of the season was presented by Denis Gagnon of Montreal on Friday night.
It’s not that the line was flawlessly appealing, but his craftsmanship was the best in show. Much of the collection focused on fringe that was layered, cut, stitched, swagged, and twisted to create amazing textures and movement.
Even his basics were original. This striped tank was double layered, with two distinct necklines and four vertical seams that created a zigzag pattern. It’s hard to match repeats when working with patterned fabric on the bias, but it was perfect.
I was also pleased that Gagnon’s detailing went all the way around, because there’s nothing more annoying than design work that’s only on the front.
His two-toned fringes were especially striking. This piece was like Indian ink on wet paper, the tone and shape of darkness changing with every step.
This is what I call a catsuit.
Some of his designs were convoluted, however. These colour variances detracted attention from the the ornate knotting, which should have been the focal point. This dress would have been punchier in a solid colour.
Here again, there was a lack of harmony. The black sheer underlay was too ornate and placing it sideways fought with the vertical colouring of the dress.
This piece, on the other hand, was perfect. The dress was methodically detailed, it was a lovely sage green, and the length was classy.
Though this bridal piece, however short, was stunning. The metallic fringe shimmered like a placid lake at dawn.
Like his clothes, Gagnon has unique personal style. Thick YSL-inspired glasses, a striped salwar kameez shirt, and high tops? Yes please! No wonder Holt Renfrew snatched him up.
In conjunction with the annual POP Montreal music festival, Puses POP celebrated its sixth anniversary last weekend at St. Michaels Church (corner of St. Urbain and St. Viateur).
The two day crafter’s market showcases the work of over one hundred local and international artists, designers, and indie record labels and has become the largest market of its kind in the city.
There were so many talented companies being featured, but I found that a lot was geared towards parents and their children.
I have little use for toys, baby clothing, and/or whimsical decor items, but that little church basement was just teeming with positive energy.
Finding vintage in Montreal isn’t like Toronto where the shops are clustered in neighbourhoods; there, you have to mission for the good stuff. Mémento is one of those destination spots, located amidst mainstream boutiques and restaurants on St. Denis.
The massive showroom is pragmatically designed – halogen lighting, packed racks, and butcher shop style ceiling hooks – but the product is quite good. I was, however, disappointed with the condition and price of some of the older 40s and 50s dresses.
That being said, I’ve never seen a store with a warehouse sized men’s section and the costumes were fun to sift through. Certainly worth a peruse.
Curated by Anne Defay and Romain Castelli, Style LABO in the Mile End district of Montreal offers an impressive collection of antique furnishings and local design work.
The boutique’s vintage lighting selection is especially well curated and includes an array of industrial fixtures and cast iron table lamps. You will also find unique objets d’art – apothecary sets, old film lights, late 19th Century sports equipment – and locally made ceramics, cards and soaps. LABO, as such, creates a visual conversation between the past and our present urban reality.