This year marks the 25th anniversary of Montréal Fashion Week. To celebrate this event in gratitude for the talent and contribution of designers to the fashion industry, Groupe Sensation Mode has invited designers to present their runway shows without participation or production fees. From September 3 to 6, over 20 designers will unveil their Spring/Summer 2014 collections. Here are some of the highlights:
Born in Iran and having spent his teenage years in Austria, Pedram’s designs intertwine poetry with practicality. He began his studies in fashion design at the London College of Fashion and ended in Montréal at the International LaSalle College. Pedram knew he was on the right path when, during his final year in school, he won second place in Telio’s Breakthrough Designer Competition during Montréal Fashion Week in 2011. Having experienced different cultures, Pedram Karimi’s strength is not bound by the traditional philosophies of living. Pedram’s designs are meant for anyone with a modern mind.
Christian Chenail first trained as an architect, which is reflected in his fashion designs: the importance of structure, a rejection of “the purely decorative,” a willingness to make a classic vocabulary modern. These constants guide his creative approach. Grace Kelly, as the ultimate “fifties” icon, is his muse. Bare shoulders, wide neckline, well-defined waist, A-line pleated skirt, short cigarette pants. Prints everywhere, polka-dots, flowers, mainly in navy, off-white, red and black.
Founded in 1998 by Judith Desjardins, the BODYBAG by Jude label has taken North America by storm. Drawing on the urban vibe and energy of underground culture, for the last 15 years, this designer has been making a name for herself through original creations that embody the perfect balance of chic and edgy.
Born in 1975, Dinh Bá arrived in Montréal from Saigon at the age of 8. He discovered the world of clothing and fashion at a very young age, while assisting his mother who was working in clothing design. He quickly developed a deep interest for drawing and arts. In 2003, Dinh Bá launched his label. Elegant with a twist, the collection tailors to smart and modern business women. Since its beginnings, the collections, entirely made in Quebec, are renowned for their fluid lines and exceptional intuitive cuts.
Created with the urban career women in mind, the Montréal-based Mélissa Nepton label was established in 2009. Celebrating an accessible sophistication, a study in movement and a sense of fluidity, Nepton’s designs fits silhouettes of all shapes. Her garments are entirely made in Canada and are available in more than 60 boutiques across Québec and Ontario.
Simon Bélanger and José Manuel St-Jacques are the designers of UNTTLD, founded in 2011. After graduating from Cégep Marie Victorin in Fashion Design, José went on to perfect his knowledge of textiles and techniques in the Fibre Program at Concordia University’s faculty of Fine Arts. A graduate of LaSalle College’s Fashion Design program, Simon Bélanger earned a Master’s degree at the Domus Academy of Milan. They both interned and worked with Denis Gagnon.
For a more detailed review of this year’s Fashion Week, see my article for Cult MTL.