Montreal Fashion Week: Dark and gilded

MARIE SAINT PIERRE Fall 2009. Photography by Jimmy Hamelin/Sensation Mode
MARIE SAINT PIERRE Fall 2009. Photography by Jimmy Hamelin/Sensation Mode

Blame it on the recession or the freezing temperatures, but the mood at Montreal Fashion Week was at once festive and dark. Crowds braved the icy sidewalks in their shiny stilettos and lightweight coats to flock to the illuminated Marché Bonsecours, where there were few shows but a good dose of fun parties.

PHILIPPE DUBUC Fall 2009. Photography by Jimmy Hamelin/Sensation Mode

Philippe Dubuc’s comeback show was particularly crowded. After his financial problems forced him to readjust his business plans, his friends, colleagues and the fashion crowd had missed him and were ecstatic. “It’s Philippe’s comeback!” exclaimed an enthused editor over blaring techno sounds. The tone of the show was a bit gloomier, with a predominantly black and grey palette and sober, architectural lines. The textiles, however, were quite sophisticated: fur bombers with wool sleeves, see-through knits, washed cottons and shiny wools. His “Hybride” man, casual but oh-so chic, country but futuristic, is definitely postmodern.

HELMER Fall 2009. Photography by Jimmy Hamelin/Sensation Mode

At Helmer, the dresses were a bit strange (A white cotton dress for winter? Furry miniskirt with a Victorian blouse? Super-tight-and-short purple lace dress?) but I loved the winter coats—very classic and elegant with their knit pocket details.

And Marie Saint Pierre, always true to herself, showed a solid collection of fluid dresses, shirts and cardigans, mostly black with a very hard edge (leather details, punky platforms). I loved the architectural details: oversized billowing sleeves, neckpieces that looked like wool versions of a Christo package.

At the Place d’Armes, where we had vodka-cranberry martinis, everyone agreed that this Fashion Week was strikingly black. Denis Gagnon agreed, adding that his own show tomorrow is an homage to the noble shade – but thank goodness, he’s giving us some paillettes and funky accessories to spice it all up.

SCOOP: For those of you who didn’t know, Philippe Dubuc has been designing for the European line Sarah Pacini for a year now. A full floor of a new Brussels store will also be dedicated to his men’s collection. He’s also looking for a downtown location in Montreal.

Stay tuned for more updates from Montreal Fashion Week.

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