Montreal Fashion Week took place from February 4 – 7. More than 20 shows have taken place at l’Arsenal, an old converted shipyard near the old port. Even as spring is slowly coming, it’s their autumn and winter collections that designers show off during the week. Trends come but don’t change so much as blacks, neutrals and burgundy make a return for the next chilly season.
Montreal isn’t your biggest fashion town, that title goes to our neighbours New York, Paris and London. But still, it has a really important fashion and artistic scene that must be talked about. Three years ago, Montreal wasn’t even in the top 300 of fashion capitals of the world. But now, it is in the top 50.
Montreal has its own style: it’s edgy, quirky, and original. A lot of people start and influence trends. Sometimes Montrealers with too much style might seem like they tried too much, but that is totally Montreal. Take a little edginess from New York, a little Parisian chic, some good West european attitude, and here you have Montreal’s style.
We also have our renowned Quebecer designers, such as Denis Gagnon, Mariouche Gagné from Harricana, Marie Saint-Pierre and Rad Hourani. But we also have very impressive up and coming designers, such as Duy, Anastasia Lomonova and Pedram Karimi, to name only a few. They have a very artistic approach to fashion. They think about the garment as if it is art, and that makes the difference between them and those who only think about selling clothes.
International medias come to Montreal and are shocked by the lack of creativity in the garments. They compare with other cities, and we fail to be original, inspired and different. Montreal designers create to sell. They need to have customers each season to survive. So I understand why, from collections to collections, there are few improvements, I do wish there were more.
Montreal is a very artistic city, and fashion is a part of our history. Our designers need to push a little more and try to export themselves. They would sit well with our European cousins.