The 2oth anniversary of the Montréal Fashion Week (Feb. 7-10, 2011) brought great shows and organizational improvements. The shows were spaced out in one hour blocks, which allowed more time for setting up the show and less delays, the press access and registration was done more efficiently, and the spaces of the Marché Bonsecours building were utilized even better, by staging some of the shows and events in the cocktail room. Many of the great designers from last year’s show returned, and many more got to present this time, including Montréal’s star, Denis Gagnon.
A graduate of Montreal’s fashion school at Collège LaSalle, and experienced theater costume designer, Denis Gagnon has been in the fashion business since 1995, and established his own label in 2000.
Last year, 2010 was the year Denis Gagnon’s designs exploded over the Canadian and international fashion scene. His limited edition collections for BEDO and ALDO made his exquisite and masterly structured designs available to the masses. The Montréal Musée des Beaux-Arts featured an exhibition of his exceptional zipper and thread fascinations from his couture line, making him the first Quebec fashion designer whose collection was exhibited in a fine arts museum. The presented two shows at the Totonto Fashion Week in October 2010. And the film Je m’appelle Denis Gagnon premiered at the Montreal Festival International du Film sur L’Art.
A year ago, in March 2010, the National Post published an articles, asking “Why isn’t Denis Gagnon famous yet?” Well, dear Post, he is now! Even people outside the fashion scene all the way in Vancouver know his name!
The Denis Gagnon show at the 2011 Montréal Fashion Week was fresh, forward-looking, and inspiring. Using his signature zippers, leather, playful textures, and accents of colour, the designer is setting the trends for next winter 2012. The second part of the show was an explosion of colour:
His attention to detail is incredible:
He also likes mixing textures and fabrics, mixing form and concepts, adding to the harshness of industrial zippers and black leather a poetic softness and beauty.
The show finale: the creator and his muses.
The night before this great fashion show, I had the great pleasure of running into Denis Gagnon at Laika on St. Laurent, and had a chance to talk to the designer about his work. He was incredibly kind and generous, and interested in my work as well. I look forward to seeing what other wonderful and fascinating projects he comes up with in the near future, but the year is off to a great start!
Here is a video of the catwalk show: