a, Arts & Entertainment

Montreal Fashion Week

Sam Reynolds
Sam Reynolds

From Sept. 6 to 9, our cultural metropolis captivated the industry and the public alike at the 21st edition of Montreal Fashion Week. Bonsecours Market, in the hub of the Old Port, was the place to be seen and heard by buyers, bloggers, journalists, fashionistas, and fans, as all gathered to witness the Spring/Summer 2012 collections of both new and veteran local designers. With fashion shows, cocktail receptions, and off-site events, it was a jam-packed week of things to do and people to see. Although much of Fashion Week is about buying and selling, the events have recently come to attract more attention worldwide, as Montreal creeps up the fashion ladder and becomes more visible to competitor fashion cities. Surrounded by fashion-loving attendees and Spring/Summer 2012 looks, Montreal presented a variety of fun and fresh styles to look forward to after the dreaded winter months.



Barila’s collection had a peaceful, real-life feel. Antique floral prints with exposed shoulders, frocks, and shirts and dresses alike came alive in pastel blue with tan accessories to boot. Barila is often able to weave femininity into her collections while using edgy and relaxed designs.

Spring into fashion with … a classic, ‘all-American’ shirt dress with Barila distinction.


Melissa Nepton

Melissa Nepton’s collection improved with each piece that walked down the runway and those drawn to black and white will be impressed. But the focus was on a new style of drapery, a recurrent black and white tribal print shown in different formats, on oversized cowl necks and hoods in a beautiful balance of fitted and swathed; and amidst the black and white, spots of tan, olive, and pale orange.  

Spring into fashion with … a beige open-neck, long-sleeved, boyfriend-fit onesie with orange waist bow tie.


Martin Lim

Martin Lim used soft materials to express his Spring/Summer 2012 collection. Neutrals, as well as delicate pinks, greys, and browns, complemented his ensemble. Many of his pieces had a ‘60s mod spin to them, but Lim still managed to keep it modern with flowing accents. Horizontal and vertical stripes also made their way into his collection, but without the typical nautical look due to his color palette and piece design. He kept his collection both calm and upbeat by including simple yet striking ensembles.  

Spring into fashion with … a loose bubblegum pink and black spaghetti strap dress with ivory folds in the detail.



Second has thoroughly expanded from their original denim line toward a wonderful collection of youthful and chic women’s wear, complementing a variety of styles in their design. They had a light yet structured feel to their collection, with very real-looking flowers in dresses, shirts, and even sash belts. Light denim colour made another appearance in dresses, skirts, pants, and coats as they mixed fresh whites, pale pinks, and corals for a very wearable and playful collection. With flowing tops, whimsical summer dresses, colourful shirt and skirt pairings, Second pleased yet again.

Spring into fashion with … a Gardenia printed strapless gown.


Travis Taddeo

Many of Taddeo’s pieces followed the expected Spring/Summer template, but then came the feathers, combined with a lovely use of blush tones and peachy-tan-pink colours that set his work apart from the floral inspiration for this season. The inclusion of lightweight and pale denim in anything other than pant format was well done, but the acid wash and paint splatter weren’t as successful. His western-style cloth poncho and subsequent two-piece were intriguing, and provided a different look for spring and summer. It was also nice to see how he balanced his leather pieces with flowing, light-coloured materials. Except for a couple of pieces, Travis Taddeo’s overall collection was strong.  

Spring into fashion with … a cocktail-length feather appliqué dress.


Denis Gagnon

It was great to see Gagnon use more colour than usual at this year’s Fashion Week. Mini floral patterns were intertwined with fiercer black leather, as well as champagne satin and shimmering highlights. Gagnon does not cease to amaze with his intricate detailing in every collection. There was a nice combination of tuxedo suiting as well as flirty and fun materials in rompers, dresses, and gowns as Gagnon mixed feminine and masculine borders.

Spring into fashion with … a black chiffon, white-bibbed shirt with pleated collar and cuffs over a pair of white shorts.


Anomal Couture

Daring bodysuits were the ultimate show-stopper for designer Sonia Leclair. Shimmering caramel, black, gold, and midnight blue were in the works for her Spring/Summer 2012 collection in both fierce and elegant ensembles. Leather, satin, and eclectic patterns were eye-catchers along with kimono-inspired detailing.

Spring into fashion with … a sequined gold and black draped kimono.


Dimitri Chris

Chris’ collections are always cute and preppy, and his male models oh-so-well-coiffed and put together. His work just makes you want to have a good old-fashioned, clean-cut boy to take home. Chris made great use of the nautical/sailor look that’s been seen time and time again, but what makes him Fashion Week-worthy is his tidy and fresh take on it. The little boat print was not as wearable in the suiting department, but was definitely a cute touch as a muscle tee. Chris showed that short-shorts can never really be too short, and looked classic with a blazer and relaxed sleeveless shirt to pair.  

Spring into fashion with … a boat-print sleeveless top with white fitted blazer and navy shorts. Classic and unbeatable. 



UNTTLD wasn’t shy about making a strong statement on the runway at their debut at Fashion Week. Their fierce attitude paid off, with a unique combination of pieces demonstrating an outside-the-box mentality.

The collection is p
rimarily black and white but fear not fashionistas, UNTTLD balanced the simple colouring with a wide variety of textures, including leather, chiffon, mesh, and crochet. They also used a diverse cast of models to display their collection, connecting with Montrealers’ wide variety of lifestyles.

Spring into fashion with … a high neck, backless, black crochet, sleeveless top with black full-length skirt … silver chunk accessories more than welcome.


Dinh Ba Design

Dinh Ba showed an extensive collection for Spring/Summer 2012, but perhaps most exciting was the prospect of seeing tribal prints integrated into next year’s collection. The use of both bright colours and blacks in the collection was a nice change as we often see designers using solely monochromatic palettes or bright colours alone. There were a number of floral details used, including both petal and flower appliqué and pattern to the designs. While there wasn’t as much continuity between each piece as with other designers, Dinh Ba did a fine job bringing together many different styles and looks.

Spring into fashion with … a sleeveless, brighter-than-bright-blue, fitted dress with rose appliqué detail in the bottom half, worn with tone-on-tone blue tights. 


Soia & Kyo

You can always count on Soia & Kyo’s Ilan Elfassy to keep a youthful yet classic vibe to his jacket and coat designs for both men and women. This upcoming Spring/Summer collection creates room for some new, fun styles but doesn’t foresake attention to detail. Black, tan, ivory, and some splashes of colour make way for a glamorous array of fits as well as a great selection of unique looks for every individual style. Leather fitted jackets and bombers, trench coats, and sporty apparel too—Soia & Kyo’s focus is unforgettable, as is their ability to style head-to-toe.

Spring into fashion with … a shiny burgundy red bomber jacket.

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