Montreal: The mad hatter of Paris comes to town

Photography by Suzane Brun

My quest against the cold isn’t over dear readers and I’ve had enough of dressing down for winter, looking like a warm-but-ordinary gal. I’m infusing grace and style into my look and at the same time, a little wind from Paris is blowing between my ears.

Emilie Zanon (, a 27-year-old French designer, just won the first edition of the Prix Visa pour Montreal—an €8,000 bursary and artist residence in Montreal—for her truly original collection of head accessories.

Called chapkas, her designs (along with the help of excessive use of recycled fabrics) have a je ne sais quoi, reminding one of extra-terrestrial shapes while transforming the head and body into looking vaguely like elegant insects. Zanon describes her inspiration for this collection to be simply the observation of people in the street, trying to protect themselves not only from the cold but also from the different sources of pollution surrounding them. She created a warm and comfortable world for them to hide peacefully. It’s fascinating to see such inspiration not only translated in her collection, but also in the photographs of her pieces.

Zanon will be at the LABoratoire Créatif ( from March to August of this year. Let’s welcome Emilie with open arms, everyone (before fighting over her hot chapkas!).

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