3 Montreal designers to watch for Spring 2016

Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2016 Brit Wacher
Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2016 Brit Wacher

In the wake of Montreal Fashion Week, Fashion Preview has sprung. As the city’s newest platform for showcasing fresh talent, the three-day event, now in its third incarnation, is gathering worthy attention. While Montreal veteran and Canadian icon Denis Gagnon was no doubt the most anticipated (and talked about) attraction of the line-up (his black-and-white collection featured matching headscarves), the next generation of talent – known as “la relève” – is making notable strides.

Here are three designers to keep on your radar:

Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2016 Joncas


Double trouble. The next Dean and Dan? Fine art students from Quebec City, twins Frédéric and Mathieu Joncas, 23, are still in school but have already garnered a devoted following. If there’s an award, chances are they’ve won it. Most significantly, the pair took home the first and second prizes of last year’s prestigious Télio competition. LaSalle College grads currently on scholarship at the École supérieure de mode de Montréal, they note their influences as Calvin Klein and Lacoste, which makes sense when you see their clean lines and sporty swagger. Right now they’re just selling their samples, intent on refining their skills and reputation whilst still in school. Frédéric leaves for New York in January to intern at Derek Lam. Remember, they’re the Frères Joncas, not the Jonas Brothers.

Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2016 Les incompetents

Les Incompétents

In the age of digital marketing, design duo and real-life adorable couple Emeline Morellet and Stephen Smith has caught the attention of international tastemakers with their directional vibes. Invited this past June by Highsnobiety to Milan’s contemporary fashion trade show White, the Parisian-born expats were one of 20 brands combed from the web. Neither studied fashion, but admit they learned to sew from their mothers in France. Morellet and Smith are both graduates from UQAM and are presently working full-time in the fields of urbanism and marketing, respectively – which might be the ingredients that help them stand out. If their current fashion output is the result of part-time work (and full-time passion, of course), we can only wonder what is waiting on the horizon if this designing gig works out in their favour. Next on the agenda, Les Incompétents will present their Fall 2016 collection next January 9-10, 2016, at the new London trade show launched by WeAr Global Magazine.

Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2016 Brit Wacher

Brit Wacher 

Wacher, 28, is what you might call a fashion nomad. After studying in Vancouver at LaSalle College, Wacher moved to Thailand to work as a stylist. This led her, somehow, to the Netherlands where she worked closely with Dutch designer Pauline Van Dongen (who is known for her wearable technology and futuristic looks). Eventually, she landed in Montreal to launch her eponymous label. At Fashion Preview, she presented more of the sultry edgy designs that keep her collections stocked at the edgier retailers in Montreal and Toronto. In a standout musical twist, Wacher presented her line backed by plugged-in performance art: she on electric guitar and eclectic singer and musician Johnny de Courcy (her bae) on grand piano. The love birds plan to fly to Vancouver for the winter where they say they’ll plan a European escapade to be coloured with more rock-‘n’-roll-inspired design-meets-performance fashion moments. Stay tuned.

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