Nancy Richard and Geneviève Allaire, two gals with a passion for fashion, felt the burden of Montreal Fashion Week’s evaporation. While Montreal can’t be compared to bigger fashion hubs such as New York or Paris, we none the less have a strong community of talented designers and fashion enthusiasts. If it weren’t for initiatives such as Richard and Allaire’s D-Moment, a semi-annual fashion show which spans over two evenings to promote emerging local designers, Montreal’s fashion landscape would get buried in the noise.
D-Moment just wrapped-up their S/S 15 catwalk edition last Wednesday, October 15th, in Montreal. An ideal occasion to discover local talent and give visibility to the most promising, emerging designers, D-Moment’s mission is to render fashion more accessible to the public. Breaking into the industry is a daunting feat, yet D-Moment propels aspiring designers by providing them with the opportunity to showcase their works while offering them professional industry services such as stylists, photographers, and event production.
We were able to get over to Fullum Studios last week to experience the first evening of the D-Moment fashion show. The location was quite obscure, located east of the Plateau. While it may have been a far trek (for us, anyways!) the intentional choice of location gave the event an added element of exclusivity and hype. Once we walked in a got our passes, we were each given a copy of the latest edition of Elle Québec, and were directed upstairs to the cocktail area. Cast in blue and purple lighting, the open space provided an area to socialize and network between shows. Serving gourmet “brown-bagged-lunches” and eye-catching cake-pops, Bande de Traiteurs catering service was on the scene to provide tasty snacks. Also on site were a popcorn stand and a table serving wine. Our media passes gave us access to D-Moment’s Media Lounge, adorned with lounge cushions on stacked wood pallets, Eska bottled water, and munchies. Also exclusive to the Media Lounge was Tommy Delarosbil’s sophisticated garden aquarium concept, Paysaqua, which utilized sustainable practices to deliver artistic underwater landscapes.
Prior to the opening designer catwalk for Melow by Melissa Bolduc, Equilibre’s spokesperson director, Fannie Dagenais, did a presentation on their IMAGE/in award, given to a Quebec company focused on representing healthy and diversified bodies in their social strategy. Selected by a young jury, IMAGE/in aims to recognize local enterprises which are sensitive to body image issues and who proactively engage in reshaping the way we think about body “standards”. Equilibre is accepting submissions for this year’s IMAGE/in prize until November 30th, 2014.
Melow by Melissa Bolduc immediately followed Equilibre’s presentation. Inspired by Indian summer, Melow’s S/S 15 collection showcased lightweight fabrics in natural tones evocative of autumn foliage and oceanic scenery. The bohemian, boho-chic collection favored natural fibers from bamboo, jersey cotton, and linen, designed into asymmetrical constructions. Comfort and elegance were both accomplished in this collection with loose, body-skimming constructions. Wrap dresses and cinched waists were popular. The looks were accessorized with wood jewelry and untamed hairstyles. Set to a tribal inspired score, Melow celebrated the fiercely confident woman.
Blank and Voyou’s collaborated collection followed. These local partners respect sustainable fashion design practices, and thus aim to reduce pollution linked with the transport of materials and finished products. Blank and Voyou use American cotton, which requires less pesticides and favours water-based dyes, and they consistently aim to reuse leftover fabrics to reduce waste. Prior to the catwalk, Clay and Friends, a Montreal based “Impulse” band set themselves up at the top-right of the runway, immediately beginning their non-stop set. A mix of hip-hop, funk, jazz, reggae, and soul, Clay and Friends delivered a unique performance by adapting themselves to the energy of the audience. The S/S 15 collection for Blank and Voyou mixed grudge styles with more nautical looks, and evoked an essence of innocence. Striped patterns, lace detailing, and layers were consistent amongst styles, while hair wraps accessorized the looks. The tied waists, bows, and bright-red lips brought the innocence factor, inspired by 1950s trends. The sweetness was toned down with combat boots and statement jewelry pieces.
The last show of the evening that we caught was Matu, by Marie-Anne Miljours and Tommy Delarosbil (who also showcased Paysaqua). While Matu is primarily a leather based accessory line using vegetable dyed leather free of chemical products, they also created an accompanying apparel line for their upcoming collection. Selected from the entire set of 2014 graduating classes from fashion schools based in Quebec, Matu’s premier event for their first collection was quite impressive, with the apparel and accessory line perfectly complimenting one another. We saw mid-calf length, loose fitting, mesh skirts, tunics layered over Bermuda shorts, capri-length pants, sleeveless tops, and below the knee, body skimming dresses, all in solid colour schemes. Menswear was dress shirts, trouser pants cuffed at the ankle, and knee-covering shorts. Using guipure, silk voile, and different types of cotton, the pieces were lightweight yet structured. Matu’s S/S 15 collection utilized a simple colour palette, keeping pieces to shades of navy blue, black, and white, which beautifully contrasted the cream coloured leather of the accessories.
If you missed D-Moment, don’t fret- you don’t have to wait very long for their next edition in February! And here’s even further reason to attend. The 10th edition of Télio’s National Design Competition will be taking place during D-Moment event! Dates will be confirmed soon- stay tuned!