Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2013: Our 10 best moments including Anastasia Lomonova’s head-to-toe fringe, Denis Gagnon’s runway circus and Martin Lim’s chic garden party

Martin Lim Final Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2013
Photography by Peter Jensen
Martin Lim Final Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2013
Photography by Peter Jensen

View our Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2013 photo gallery! »

It sure wasn’t easy getting into the groove of fashion week the day after Labour Day weekend, but this season’s Semaine de la mode was a success on many levels. A brand new venue, the return of practically all of Montreal’s cult fave designers and the city’s first ever participation in the global event of Fashion’s Night Out made for four fabulous days that will be hard to forget—and difficult to outdo next year. Here’s our round up of the top moments from Montreal Fashion Week Spring 2013:

1. The event’s transplant from Marché Bonsecours to Galerie Arsenal called for some major GPS reprogramming from picturesque Old Montréal to “up-and-coming” Griffintown, but nobody could deny the improved grandeur of the massive new space.

2. Celebrating 25 years of her eponymous label, Montreal’s Marie Saint Pierre presented a photographic retrospect that chronicled her stylish passage through the last quarter of a century.

3. A shift from last season’s ocean of pleats, Anastasia Lomonova’s Spring 2013 runway evoked a kind of tribal warrior femme. The earthy charm flowed with desert-hued fabrics, gold coin chains, red sun-kissed foreheads and an exclusive handcrafted textile handcrafted of honey-toned fringe, which surfaced on shoes, tops, and even one model from head-to-toe.

4. The Denis Gagnon of late has seen a shift toward cleaner, more minimalist lines devoid of embellishing flora or fringe. To showcase his men’s and women’s collection, the designer enlisted his eccentric entourage—a motley crew of stylists, writers, drag queens and models— and made up their faces with circus-like eyes. Post show, Gagnon donned a shirt with his own likeness, hopping down the runway like a joker savouring the last laugh.

5. DUY by Duy Nguyen gave the audience a mind-trip to Saint-Tropez, with his Madame models sailing down the runway in exquisitely tailored garments in colours of sand, coral, sea foam and sky blue—the latter by way of ultra sensual tank dresses in knitted denim. Nguyen even installed his own wind machines to give his ladies the ultimate windswept drama. Inspired by a move to make his line more accessible with more affordable fabrics, the audience was no doubt blown away.

6. Danielle Martin and Pao Lim of Martin Lim sparkled like a ray of sunshine with their sorbet collection of skinny pants, tunics, fitted dresses and perfecto jackets—in spots highlighted by a slightly lacquered flower power print that effected a chic garden party feel.

7. Rich emerald and amethyst hues gave Tavan & Mitto’s looks a bejewelled punch of colour. Standout pieces were the teasingly elegant lace numbers that gave an otherwise demure silhouette a flirty sense of sophistication.

8. Off-site at the airy PHI Centre is where Travis Taddeo presented his men’s collection (women’s is to be shown in Toronto next month) of sporty shorts, tanks and jackets in mainly black and white with a hit of cobalt blue. Also premiering that day was his newly announced collaboration with Aldo featuring street cred high top leather sneakers.

9. In what was likely the highlight of Montreal Fashion Week—well, I’ll speak for myself—Simon Bélanger and José Manuel St-Jacques for UNTTLD transported the audience to Japan. I dare say there was a collective breath held for the entirety of the show, where black and white dominated a more accessible line of edgy sportswear, here and there dipped in army green and shimmering shameless copper.

10. Not technically part of the Arsenal round up, Fashion’s Night Out united a handful of boutiques in Old Montreal. If you didn’t catch Philippe Dubuc’s performance art presentation at the crossroads of St-Paul and St-Pierre, it was a military-esque march of two horses, load-speaker sirens and war-faced models decked out in classic Dubuc garb, all of which culminated in a happy cocktail setting outside boutique Quai 417. Cheers.

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