Somedays, clothes become frustrating. A brief look in the mirror and negotiations with the garments begin. Suddenly, dressing oneself quickly turns into a 3-D jigsaw puzzle of colours, textures, and shapes. In the end, we often just want something simple and pleasant.
On the corner of Ave. Laurier and l’Esplanade, boutique François Beauregard embodies this simplicity; the space is modest and charming. Upon entering the shop, you are greeted by delicate porcelain fixtures of birds taking flight. The walls are divided horizontally into white and tiffany blue, giving the impression that one is travelling across the horizon as one wanders through the shop. Chandeliers take on the form of elegant birds nests. Shaped to resemble delicate twigs, they complete the theme and atmosphere, illuminating the space with light. The boutique reflects a refined form of nature—an inviting retreat to the disenchanted traveller.
With delicacy and expertise, owner and designer François Beauregard carries this charm into his creations. The sides of the boutique are graced by a collection of elegant dresses, masterfully constructed blouses, pants, and skirts. Tables stationed at the center of the room present classic staples: a selection of v-neck T’s, crew necks, and Donna tank tops. Each item is crafted with care, and the style is one of gentle sophistication. A humble array of colours and shades—navy, white, and greys—line the walls with subtle blossoms of pastels, corals, and red.
Each item is crisp in its lines and fits well to the body. Creases are integrated perfectly, forming smooth but defined shapes. The clothes emphasize the natural curves of the feminine figure, but are reserved and graceful. Several pieces feature a swift, arched curve for the back, catering to a woman with timeless taste.
Beauregard describes his design aesthetic as effortless, charming, but poised—drawing on the intersectionality of American and European culture.
“It’s minimalist, very simple, very modern,” Beauregard said. “[It is] a little bit of a mix between American classics [and] European-French. So that’s the look—very simple. I would [take] the American basic like T-shirts, shirts […] and mix it up in an European way.”
All of Beauregard’s designs are conceptualized in the back-room studio. The processes is very traditional; the sketching, fabric selection, cutting, draping, and sewing are all done by hand and finished with a meticulous eye for detail.
In the Montreal fashion scene, Beauregard’s minimalistic design is second to none. To the modest and chic McGill student who takes value in comfortable, stylish, and delicately alluring pieces, this is the place. Of course, simple is in no way synonymous with limited options. On the contrary, the boutique houses an impressive collection of styles. For added variety, Beauregard also carries several brands from Europe and the U.S. to complement his staples.
For the student, boutique Francois Beauregard is a luxury because in the midst of midterms and crises, one can take comfort in the hug of cotton, silk, and cashmere. There is certainly a value to being able to wear quality-tailored clothing and it affirms that, in a life where everything changes in a blink of an eye, the ensemble—and you—are beautiful in simplicity.