5 reasons to check out Montreal’s Fashion & Design Festival this week

Photography by: Sebastien Roy

Photography by: Sebastien Roy

Summertime in Montreal is festival season. The city is one party after another with jazz, comedy, French music and, just in time for back-to-school, the Montreal Fashion & Design Festival. Now in its 11th instalment, the MFDF once again takes over McGill College Avenue. From August 1 to 4, the downtown artery will be blocked off to traffic from de Maisonneuve Boulevard to Ste-Catherine Street. Here are five reasons the fashion fest rocks:

1. Come one come all!
It’s Fashion Week democratized—all the shows and events are open to the public. The elevated runway is set outside under the summer sky; even the hair and makeup zone for models is open for viewing.

2. Discover local talent.
Montreal’s top stylists, models and designers unite. The boys behind avant-garde line UNTTLD will be masterminding Glamania, a collection of looks by Montreal all-stars: Denis Gagnon, Dubuc, Duy, Helmer and Martin Lim. Also on my radar are Anastasia Lomonova and Valérie Dumaine. Check the schedule for times.

3. Preview what’s in stores.
None of this “coming next season” business. Big retailers like Guess, Parasuco, Le Château, and M0851 will strut clothes that you can buy NOW.

4. Enjoy a late show.
Hang around for the spectacular night presentation. I’ve marked the “Dressing Room” number on my calendar (Aug. 1), which will feature dance—and will be styled by none other than Yso.

5. It’s not all about the clothes.
“On Public Benches” is one of the many design components of the festival. The first six of 35 locally designed benches planned for the city will make their debut. I’ll be taking a look and testing them out.