Halifax: East Coast designers take the runway in Montreal

A dress by PEI's Sunsets on the Eastside, who are showing at next week's TransCanada Runway. Photography by Alex Clark
A dress by PEI's Sunsets on the Eastside, who are showing at next week's TransCanada Runway. Photography by Alex Clark

Eating up the East Coast love is all well and good for our Atlantic Canadian designers, but who can say no to a little national exposure? Not Kim Munson, Anna Gilkerson and the Sunsets on the Eastside trio, who will have their designs walked down the runway at Montreal’s Festival Mode & Design (June 17 to 20, festivalmodedesign.com) as part of the event’s inaugural cross-Canada showcase on Thursday, June 18.

The TransCanada Runway will bring together designers from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Nunavut, Toronto, Montreal and our beloved Maritimes and marks the first time Atlantic Canada has been represented at the festival, a four-day event produced by Sensation Mode, who also put together Montreal Fashion Week.

The event’s organizers collaborated with Atlantic Fashion Week’s (atlanticfashionweek.com) Angela Sotiropoulos to narrow down a list of the best East Coast talent. Orphanage Clothing, Deux Fm, Sunsets on the Eastside will show four pieces each, and the designers are bubbling with excitement.

“This is easily the best thing to happen to us,” says Jackie Skinner of Sunsets on the Eastside. “It’s national now. We’ve broken the East Coast barrier.”

Orphanage Clothing’s Kim Munson has paired her enthusiasm with a healthy dose of pride. “I’m proud to represent the Maritimes,” says Munson, who plans to attend the event and has already set up appointments with buyers. “I’m excited to meet the other talent at the show that night.”

Deux Fm’s Anna Gilkerson is also taking the trip to Montreal for the festival, and she’s looking forward to seeing the work of some of her favourite Canadian designers at the show “It’s really exciting to be grouped in with them, and to be grouped in with all the other cross-Canada designers,” she says.

Chantal Durivage, co-president of Sensation Mode, says this experience has allowed her to learn about designers she didn’t yet know about—such as those in the Maritimes—and admits she’s made some exciting discoveries. Durivage, who shares the designers’ excitement for the TransCanada Runway and plans to continue the event in the future, also believes the collective of cross-country designers can serve to further heighten the Canadian fashion profile on the international scale.

“It’s important to have all the talent together, to talk very loud, to tell everyone that we have talent here in Canada.”

The TransCanada Runway will hit the Festival Mode & Design (McGill College Avenue) Main Stage at 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 18.