By Julia Eskins
Photography by Aleyah Solomon
With the 25th edition of Montréal Fashion Week running Sept.3 to Sept.6, Canadians are reminded of the best and brightest homegrown design talent. As the week progresses, FAJO’s editorial team will be reporting on our favourite spring/summer 2014 collections to hit the Montréal runway.
Opening the week, Pedram Karimi’s fusion line, PEDRAM, reflects the Montréal-based designer’s modern and playful design aesthetic. Inspired by the impulsive and curious characteristics of youth, the collection features voluminous pieces in creamy shades of pink, mint and grey. Born in Iran and raised in Austria, Karimi first garnered runway acclaim as second-place winner of Telio’s Breakthrough Designer Competition during Montréal Fashion Week in 2011.
With a spring/summer collection that artfully combines structure and fluidity, Karimi continues to be one to watch.
Muse By Christian Chenail
With the iconic Grace Kelly as his inspiration, Christian Chenail delivers an ultra feminine collection perfectly suited to those with a penchant for 1950s charm. Filled with A-line skirts, cigarette pants and flirty floral and snakeskin prints, Chenail once again delivers classic cuts and a timeless colour palette of navy, red, black and off-white.
Bodybag by Jude
Known among Montréalers for consistently delivering wearable pieces, designer Judith Desjardins celebrates her 15-year anniversary with an urban surfer-inspired spring/summer 2014 collection.
Drawing on the energy of the beaches of Biarritz, south of France, Bodybag’s latest line is equal parts edgy and sporty. Featuring graphic stripes, bright colours and impeccable tailoring, Desjardins effortlessly brings beach chic to the city.
Dinh Bá Design
Celebrating his label’s 10th anniversary, Dinh Bá opened the show with a few of his best pieces from the past decade. The Montréal-based designer is renowned for his ability to intuitively design for the fashion forward businesswoman. Plus, his collections are entirely made in Quebec.
Blending fashion and functionality, his latest “day and night” collection is ideal for stylish transitions from the office to evening events. With a mainly neutral colour palette accented with colourful prints, Bá once again shows us the elegant side of wearable.
Mélissa Nepton has been a fashion week favourite since establishing her label in 2009. With a modern use of textile and proportion, her collections often float down the runway, landing on many wish lists in the process.
Her latest “Japan-bound” collection lives up to its cultural influence and title – Pikuseru (meaning “pixel” in Japanese). From flouncy shorts to sporty ensembles in modern prints, Nepton gives us a taste of Japan’s past, present and future – all at the same time.
UNTTLD’s sense of drama got a smoky twist this season, with design duo Simon Bélanger and José Manuel St-Jacques showcasing a collection comprising structural pieces in black and white. All eyes were on their use of print, which was created from blown-up images of cigarette butts. In keeping with the label’s artful take on risqué, many standout pieces featured mesh and dangerously high slits.
Born out of a partnership between Cirque du Soleil costume artist Christine Guérin and interior designer Laurie Lemieux, Cokluch has quickly become known for glam-rock apparel and leather-centric accessories.
For spring/summer 2014, the duo presented feminine cuts that are versatile and edgy. The focus of the predominantly black-and-white collection was on playful prints and leather statement accessories.
Once again, Joseph Helmer brought haute couture to the Montréal runway and gracefully mixed the fashion and art worlds in the process.
This season, the Paris-trained designer focused on corsets. Collaborating with partner and artist Jean-Marie Giguère, Helmer created his vision through embroidery, volume, whimsical feather detailing and impeccable tailoring.
Known for pieces that are both wearable and feminine, Nargisse E. Akyuz brought a 1960s-inspired twist to her spring/summer collection.
Full of twirl-worthy circle skirts and tailored ensembles, the collection featured a vibrant colour palette of emerald, turquoise, yellow and rich neutrals. With an interesting mix of matte, glossy and gauzy textiles, Nisse’s effortlessly combined fluidity and structure.
Jamaican-born, Montréal -based designer Claudette Floyd introduced us to Rush Couture’s spring/summer collection, “The Rush Factor.”
Heavy on floral prints and lace, Floyd’s latest line featured a frenetic range of crop tops, jumpsuits and maxis. The showcase included an extravagant mix of textures, ruffles and appliques, punctuated with feather headpieces.
Known for contemporary designs inspired by music, travel and street style, Eve Gravel presented her latest collection of vibrant summer staples.
With a mix of cheery pastels, bright neons and intricate Aztec and Navajo prints, the collection felt youthful and eclectic, yet cohesive. Styled with sunglasses, chunky platforms and fluorescent jewellery, many of the ensembles seemed perfect for a sunny day at a music festival.
Fluidity is one word that comes to mind whenever Martin Lim’s collections grace the runway. It should come as no surprise that Montréal design duo Danielle Martin and Pao Lim gained their experience while working with international greats such as Christian Lacroix and Roland Moure.
This season, Martin Lim presented a range of effortlessly chic dresses and tunics (many with pockets) inspired by the ethereal Medusa.
Deviating from the traditional runway experience, Montréal-based designer Travis Taddeo presented his spring/summer collection with an installation-style showcase.
This season, the LaSalle College graduate focused on minimalistic basics and layered separates that had a sportswear feel. Outfits were accessorized with trendy baseball caps, slip on sneakers and tech gadgets. Using his trademark jersey and linen knit, along with leather and silk chiffon, Taddeo captured a laidback cool aesthetic.