The local titan: Boutique Denis Gagnon opens in Old Montreal
From the opening of his new boutique to his upcoming collaborations, it seems that Montreal titan Denis Gagnon (along with his signature thick black Lanvin frames) is just about everywhere these days. “You certainly are a man with vision, just how strong are those glasses anyway?” I asked him last week at the opening party for his new boutique in Old Montreal. Be it modesty or my seriously awful French, Gagnon just shrugged.
Designed by industrial designer Étienne Hotte, the subterranean shop recalls the designer’s own arty aesthetic by juxtaposing contemporary clean lines with Old World stonewalls. It’s a space as exquisite as Gagnon’s designs, which partygoers flipped to try on and touch. Alongside his winning striped black and white collection for Spring, hung one-of-a-kind haute couture pieces that first appeared in his retrospective exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Also on show were the vertigo-inducing platforms, as seen in his Spring runway show, produced in collaboration with Aldo. (All proceeds will go to the Farha Foundation, to help in the fight against AIDS.) Between nibbles and flights of Champagne, Gagnon announced another collaboration, this time with Lancôme, who will put out a limited edition makeup collection to accompany his Fall collection, which launches in mid-August. Gagnon, who is perhaps at home in the basement, (didn’t you see the film Je m’appelle Denis Gagnon by filmmaker Khoa Lê?) also installed his atelier in the back.
Among diehards and partygoers, several designers attended the fête, including Montreal veterans Philippe Dubuc and Marie Saint Pierre, newcomer Travis Taddeo, as well as Cinthya Chalifoux who worked with Gagnon to produce the uniforms for Hôtel Place d’Armes, to be launched “très bientôt,” according to Mathieu De Latour, Gagnon’s assistant. But for this Gagnon-loving city, soon will never be soon enough.
Boutique Denis Gagnon (170B St-Paul St. W., 514-935-6360).