Welcome to the 2017 Fashion and Design Fest!

Isa Tousignant

Catwalks in the street, thumping beats, champagne flutes and stilettos left and right – it’s the annual Fashion and Design Festival. From August 21 to 26, 2017 in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, make the very most of this dazzling experience thanks to this helpful guide.

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The where, what, who and how fabulous

The Fashion and Design Fest is a major outdoor event celebrating fashion and design (duh) at Quartier des Spectacles, right downtown. It involves free outdoor fashion shows, live music shows, workshops, film screenings, presentations and more shopping opportunities that you can shake a Malone Soulier mule at, including the famous pop-up shops on the Place des Festivals (not to be missed!). Participating stores this year include Le Rhinocéros par Phi, My Addikt, Le Cartel Clothing, La Bête, Zaan and SO many more, while you’ll be able to hear free live music by Of Course (August 23 at 10 p.m.), L.A. Foster (August 24 at 10 p.m.) and Sophia Bel (August 25 at 10 p.m.). There’s also a new feature this year, the residencies, whereby fashion artist Coolkoala and boutique agency Teamm will be inhabiting and electrifying the downtown site every day. Check out the schedule of talks here (hello, Zaldy Goco!) plus don’t skip the costume workshop presented by designers for the Cirque du Soleil, nor the fun going on at the satellite site, the Montréal Casino.

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Your Fashion and Design Festival essentials

With crowds this fabulous, brimming with local designers, fashion mavens and models, you’ll want to wear your coolest gear! Get creative and have fun, and keep in mind 6-inch heels may be oh-so-glamour, but you could be standing and strutting around for hours. (Save them for the High Heels Race, on August 23 at 12:15 – but sign up first!) Since most of the festival’s daytime activities happen outdoors, sunscreen is highly recommended, not to mention a reusable water bottle to keep hydrated (but not one made of glass or aluminum, which aren’t allowed on the site). What not to bring: Any alcoholic beverages (there are plenty of pop-up bars onsite, plus you’ll be right downtown surrounded by bars and restaurants, should the mood strike), pets (except service dogs) – even cute accessory dogs – as well as folding and portable chairs, bicycles, skateboards and roller skates.  

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Fashionable details

Fashionistas don’t eat? What a load of bull. Don’t miss some of the best of Montréal food trucks onsite every day! You’ll also find beer tents and beverage counters all over the site. Beyond that, Montréal offers an incredible wealth of food and drink options in the blocks that surround the site, with diverse eateries downtown, in Old Montréal and on the Plateau that are an easy walk or taxi ride away. Lastly, if you lose something, don’t panic: Head for the information booth, or contact one of the clearly marked employees that will guide you to the right place. You can contact 514-876-1499 or email info@sensationmode.com for help.