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Canadian Fashion, Off-Site

Montreal Fashion Week opens today with an off-site show by Philip Dubuc, and though the show will still take place in Montreal, the term off-site could be used to describe the general trend among young Canadian designers.

Jeremy Laing, Rad Hourani, Mark Fast and Erdem Moralioglu are all emerging Canadian designers who showed their latest collections in New York and London. Laing and Hourani tended towards a silhouette with a more masculine cut, though Laing’s was both softer and with more obvious wearability. Hourani’s entire collection is unisex and works equally well on men and women (one thing you’re guaranteed to see at Montreal Fashion Week is a lot of men and women in stacked Hourani heels), with a great downtown near futuristic edge that’s appealing and hard to ignore.

In some way’s Fast’s collection felt overshadowed by the media attention surrounding his inclusion of full-figured models in his runway show. There’s no denying the curvier girls pulled off his figure hugging knitwear as well as the others but were the designs that interesting and the silhouettes new? Some of the colours fell a bit flat to my eye. The colours at Erdem looked new, however, and the prints were bold and wearable and I liked that everything was styled with a sturdy ankle boot, even the flowing evening gowns, it gave a bit of a tough edge to what could’ve been a overly girly collection.

Images from Left to Right: Jeremy Laing f/w 10, Rad Hourani f/w 10, Mark Fast f/w 10 & Erdem f/w 10.

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Audrey Cantwell

Back in December I profiled Montreal-based designer Audrey Cantwell for this article. When we spoke she was in the midst of working on her s/s 2010 collection and still a little unsure of the direction it was headed (though white magic was a reoccurring theme).

The collection is now up on her website and the pieces are available from her Etsy shop. Her previous collections were a bit goth and a bit grunge but I feel a shift away from that here. It’s still a bit dark and moody but there’s a femininity in this collection that wasn’t present before.

During our conversation we spoke about her influences and I’m reminded of one designer in particular when I look at the stripped geometric dress. I can see aspects of early Vivienne Westwood (okay, the face paint helps), the silhouette is unusual but not unlikely. It’s a bold piece and ultimately, wearable.

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Tomboys

I’ve been wearing my boyfriend’s shirt’s non-stop for the past few days. This isn’t groundbreaking but it’s new for me. I’m petite (read: short), it’s difficult enough to find women’s shirts that don’t hang like an ill-fitted sheet, so I was surprised that a man’s shirt could work so well.

It also got me thinking about the recent men’s collections. The lines between men’s and womenswear have become increasingly blurred—evidenced on the booted and stovepiped bottom-halves of girls and boys everywhere—and it’s interesting to see how and in which direction they continue to influence each other. Prada featured female models as well as shrunken unisex sweaters in a degrede knit that called to mind a prize find at the Salvation Army. Many more collections also had touches of traditional womenswear; the delicately cut, elongated bomber at YSL, the sarong-styled knits at Raf Simons, the moon-boots and slim-fitted snow pants at Moncler.

These four looks all have elements I’d like to see translated in the women’s collections; ankle-length pants, over-sized but proportionate knits, double-lapelled jackets, stiff but malleable almost futuristic fabrics and an earthy, sandy-grey colour palette.

Clockwise from top left: Kim Jones for Alfred Dunhill, Dior Homme, Rick Owens, Raf Simons

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Runners

My bro got me a pretty sweet pair of kicks for Christmas (I’m running a 1/2 marathon in May). Did I think I’d ever like a pair of Nike running shoes so much? No. No, I did not. Did I think he was capable of picking out such a perfect pair? No, I did not. But apparently it was easy, I have “weird taste.”

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Stylist’s Own

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Today is the opening day of Stylist’s Own – Edition 02, a curated trunk show by Azamit, one of Montreal’s biggest stylists and the woman behind Souk@SAT.
I had the opportunity to check things out at a media viewing yesterday and there are some great pieces from both local and international designers that you’d have a tough time finding elsewhere in the city.
A few things that caught my eye were a cropped leather bomber and a copped tuxedo blazer (do we see a trend here?) both from Twenty8Twelve, the label Sienna Miller creates with her sister Savannah. Alongside a few vintage pieces (black patent Gucci boots, grey D&G shift) there were some killer heels by Colcci and Mogil (seriously, where has this stuff been hiding?). Local designer Elaine Ho’s (RoadKill) rabbit fur belts were a great mix of lux and wear ability and complexgeometries silky cutting edge dresses are always lovely, but this cold snap had me coveting a cozy sweater dress from Designers Remix.

Stylists Own at Studio MW (400 rue McGill)
Friday, Oct. 2, 10 am–9 pm
Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 am–6 pm
Sunday, Oct. 4, 12 pm–6pm

Above right: Dress from Designers Remix. Above left: Tuxedo Jacket from Twenty8Twelve

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Catwalk Queen

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Last night, six of Montreal’s up-and-coming designers—Emilie Brunet of La Fête, Rachel Chan of Contradict, Charlotte Eedson of girlfriend material, Marie-Eve Emond of Betina Lou, Angie Johnson of Norwegian Wood and Flavie Lechat of Le Chat Clothing—presented mini-collections for Puces Pop’s Emerging Designer Award.
It was a packed event (things of this nature are so fleeting here that they inevitably draw a large and curious crowd) and one that delivered a modicum of the excitement and atmosphere of fashion weeks
For the most part, what came down the catwalk was wearable and of the moment—high waisted pants, grey shifts with ruched detailing, capes— with an overall pervading tweeness of the kind that you find on 15-year-olds and the second floor of H&M. Which is, I think, where some designers seemed to draw their inspiration and where their designs would be most comfortable.
The designers who moved away from this safe aesthetic and into more experimental territory (oversized-shoulders, Lycra bodysuits), however, had difficulty in executing the look—with one exception, Angie Johnson.
Johnson, who walked away with the prize, $1000 from Le Chateau and a feature in Worn Fashion Journal, presented a tight collection of body-con dresses, pencil skirts and unconventional jackets with many of the embellishments she’s already perfected; harnesses, fringe and lace.
Montreal Fashion Week is around the corner but Johnson’s show was a good indication of the emerging talent that pushing Montreal fashion in new directions.

One last note: the models, likely all volunteers—brave souls, were appropriately tall but were in dire need of a high-heel-how-to from Miss. J

Above Left to Right: Norwegian Wood’s Fringe Necklace and Keep Warm Leggings pics of the show to come.

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Wild Child

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Opening Ceremony, the ultra cool New York boutique, has teamed up with director Spike Jonze to create a line of Where The Wild Things Are inspired pieces. The 15 looks are modelled and named after the characters from the classic children’s book and as such, there’s an awful lot of faux fur.
Some of the pieces, like the Alexander Mini Skirt ($220) and Douglas Bomber ($600), are quite chic and classic, while others, like the Bull Shawl Jacket ($635) and Max Sweatshirt ($460), just look silly.
One of the aims of this collection is to bring a bit of that childhood magic and fantasy into our everyday lives and they’ve nailed it to a certain extent here. But what I think is collection speaks more loudly too, is my generation’s love affair with nostalgia and our unwillingness to grow-up.

Above left: Alexander Mini Skirt

Above right: Max Sweatshirt

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