Montreal Fashion Week, Day 2

Day 2 of Montreal Fashion Week, including photos of the new collections by Denis Gagnon, Betina Lou, Duy and Iris.

Denis Gagnon celebrates the launch of his new collection at Montreal Fashion Week. Photo by Kat Sark.

The second day of Fashion Week started with Betina Lou’s new collection of understated elegance and femininity, at times schoolgirlish, then classically stylish, simple but sexy. Very much inspired by Wes Anderson’s aesthetic, and especially his last film, Moonrise Kingdom, with its sweetness and retro grace, the new collection is almost cinematic.

In contrast, Iris Setlakwe presented visions of grown-up and confident femininity. Several of her pieces were designed from the same golden-tasseled fabric that featured prominently in Anastasia Lomonova’s collection. Asked to comment, Lomonova stated, “It just goes to show that it’s a small town. We all buy our fabrics from the same suppliers.”

Marie Saint Pierre, who did not present a runway show this season but was present in the audience at all the shows, opted for a different kind of presentation style. Her exhibit and slide show, commemorating 25 years of her oeuvre, remains on display in the main hall for the rest of the week.

“After almost 50 runway shows, I wanted to try something different,” the designer explains. “I didn’t want to do a runway show. That way I can sit back and watch the other designers present. I also wanted people to experience my work in a different way. They can take a closer look at the clothes and experience my world of the past 25 years.”

Asked if she could imagine a larger fashion exhibition in a museum, Saint Pierre replied, “Yeah, maybe.”

Duy Nguyen’s new collection was a mix of flowing gowns and more edgy pieces, but the highlight of the day was Denis Gagnon’s new collection, which featured geometric meanswear, elegantly feminine women’s apparel, and a play on gender dynamics and constrictions, with male models dressed in dresses and high heels or jump-suits and theatrical make-up.

At the end of the show, Gagnon ran across the runway, wearing black capri pants and a white T-shirt printed with his own face (for sale for $35 in the Arsenal Gallery), and danced for the photographers. Spectacular and entertaining, the show was met by a standing ovation from the audience. ■

Montreal Fashion Week continues to Sept. 8. Most events take place at the Arsenal Contemporary Art Complex (2020 William). See the festival’s program for details.

Kat Sark is a Montreal fashion and culture blogger at Suites Culturelles.

Check out Kat’s photos from the event last night, including looks from new collections by Denis Gagnon, Betina Lou, Duy and Iris Setlakwe.

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