10 Montréal fashion designers to discover
Presented in conjunction with its grandiose Thierry Mugler exhibition, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts is shining a spotlight on 10 Montréal fashion designers with the exhibition Montréal Couture, on from March 2 to September 8, 2019. They were chosen for their invaluable contribution to Montréal’s fashion landscape, whether they’re established or new kids on the block. The exhibition displays 30 of their stunning designs alongside portraits by internationally renowned photographer Max Abadian and fashion videos by Martin Laporte.
Here’s a look into these great local creators – and where to buy their goodies!
Philippe Dubuc launched his eponymous label in 1994, featuring menswear drawn along sleek modernist lines and urban contrasts. His precise and timeless style is distinguished by his polished finishing touches, mineral tones and contemporary materials. Find his wares at his own boutique at 417 Saint-Pierre Street in beautiful Old Montréal or online.
Denis Gagnon has created wearable theatricality since he launched in 2000, featuring a dark, mainly black palette, contrasting textures and daring construction. His line DENISE looks to democratize Montréal fashion with its unisex concept and affordability. You’ll find his work in his boutique at 170 Saint-Paul Street West, in Old Montréal, as well as at Simons and online.
Ying Gao questions our assumptions about clothing. She combines fashion design with industrial design, architecture and interactive media, and considers fashion a sensory technology that gives garments poetic and interactive value. As a university professor, her work is more art than clothes, and carries with it a radical critical dimension. You can enjoy her art and her collections in many exhibitions (like this one) as well as online.
Helmer Joseph spent 20 years in the Paris haute couture scene before returning to his home city to launch his eponymous atelier, which features lusciously detailed gowns and unique pieces. His style is defined by detailed, complicated techniques and swooping, dramatic lines. You can find his studio’s designs in the Helmer shop at 2020 Saint-Laurent Boulevard.
Nathon Kong is the founder of a unique high-end custom men’s suits label featuring an innovative use of 3D technology that brings a thoroughly modern dimension to traditional custom tailoring. Kong also offers collections of exclusive textiles to line his suits, designed in collaboration with local artists as a way to promote community participation and social engagement. Make your appointment for a bespoke design through his website.
Marie-Ève Lecavalier has trained with designers throughout the world and is now poised to take over the luxury fashion universe in her own right, right here from Montréal. Her designs are minimalist, playful, and look to reinvent classic silhouettes with tweaks in form and textile choices that give them a surreal twist. Find her designs online.
MARKANTOINE is the brainchild of Markantoine Lynch Boisvert, and the label is couched in a movement led by young Montréal designers who are breaking down geographic barriers with their creativity. Boisvert and his studio’s high-end streetwear is bold, colourful, absurd and creative in every detail, offering a gothic-exotic aesthetic. Find it online.
Fecal Matter is a label by Rose Dalton and Steven Raj Bhaskaran that pushes limits and seeks to express uncensored ideas, including hoof-foot shoes and nipple-filled corsets. Putting forth a critical look at the fashion world, mainly via social media, the duo named its brand as a comment on consumer culture and a materialistic world devoid of values. Shop its artful creations online.
Atelier New Regime
Atelier New Regime has been making an impact since 2009. Headed by brothers Koku and Gildas Awuye, the streetwear label is inspired by urban culture, art, design and photography and is known for its refined aesthetic, prominent slogans and striking use of the colour orange. Find their looks at the Atelier New Regime store at 4632 Notre-Dame Street West or at Off The Hook boutiques.
Marie Saint Pierre
Marie Saint Pierre is the grande dame of Montréal fashion with a 30-year tradition of award-winning excellence. Her designs are eminently wearable though uniquely conceived, based on nuance, elegance and clever contradictions of texture and form. Saint Pierre enjoys combining elements of culture, art and technology with style and sensuality. Find her clothes at her headquarters in the heart of downtown at 2081 de la Montagne Street, at Rockland Centre, online or at any of these international stockists.
Isa Tousignant, blogger
Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s eclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.