Highlights of the Fashion & Design Festival

Runway action, DJs, bands and dancers occupy Place des Festivals today, Aug. 20, through Aug. 23.


Montreal’s festival zone makes room for one more event before the sun sets on summer. The 14th edition of the Festival Mode & Design takes up residence at Place des Festivals today, Wednesday, Aug. 20, through Saturday, Aug. 23, offering fashion shows, concerts, art installations and more. Having outgrown its previous location along McGill College Blvd., the festival will be taking full advantage of the added legroom this year.

While serious fashionistas already got their feet wet earlier this week with ticketed events such as the FMD Collections runway shows featuring five local designers hand-picked by celebrity commissioner Garance Doré, the programming in the festival zone is free and open to the public. Here are our program highlights:


Wednesday, Aug. 20


Three fashion shows will run the catwalk today, each of them worthy of attention if you’re interested in independent or avant-garde design — after today, most of the fashion shows will feature high-street brands like Forever 21 and Le Château.

At 6:30 p.m., check out Melow Par Mélissa Bolduc, a Montreal-based designer whose easy-to-wear pieces are all made in Canada.

Next up, following a musical interlude with DJ Matt Silver and Foreign Diplomats, will be Montreal-trained but Vancouver-based edgy luxury designer Roxanne Nikki, whose roster of clients includes the likes of Milla Jovovich and Nicki Minaj. Showing at 8 p.m.

Tony Outremont boutique Henriette L. takes over at 8:30 p.m. with Fall 2014-15 pieces selected from their line-up of luxury labels like Sonia Rykiel, Yohji Yamamoto, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Maison Martin Margiela.

Stick around for a large-scale feast for the eyes and ears, with a multidisciplinary show called Mouvement featuring the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s organist Jean-Willy Kunz, with video projections by This Is Herd.


Thursday, Aug. 21


Thursday’s schedule features musical guest Julie St. Pierre at 5 p.m., and DJ/producer Ryan Playground at 7 p.m. Fashion shows will be presented by Alexis Nihon Plaza (8 p.m.) and Target (9 p.m.).

Another large-scale spectacle will close off the night, this one titled RE || MODE. Created by MASSIVart, the show will be a convergence of film, fashion and digital arts.


Friday, Aug. 22


The festival zone will be turned into a mega dance party with Lunch Beat between noon and 1:30 p.m., with DJ Forrest officiating and a number of food trucks on hand to take care of midday hunger.

Friday’s musical guest is Midnight Romeo, taking the stage at 7 p.m. Their set is followed by fashion shows by Place Ville-Marie, Forever 21 and Dynamite. The night’s closing event, Fashion on the Rocks, involves a runway show of fall trends styled by Andrew McNally, set to live music with Vosper.


Saturday, Aug. 23


Saturday afternoon’s Fashion Karnaval struts to an electro/hip hop beat, presenting fashion shows, DJs SHASH’U and Young Paris, dance performances from Studio DissTorsion and live art installations by TAVA throughout the Place des Festivals.

See some fresh new ideas with runway shows from the crème de la crème of Montreal’s fashion design schools, Cégep Marie-Victorin (3:30 p.m.) and College Lasalle (4 p.m.)

A bit of time is carved out on Saturday to those of us who are not conveniently sample-sized, with the Body Diversity Fashion Show at 4:30 p.m. featuring models with proportions not typically seen on the runway.

Don’t miss Saturday’s musical guests Heart Streets at 7 p.m. This female hip hop duo has been busy lately, playing at Cult MTL’s 2nd anniversary party in July, and opening for Afrika Bambaataa earlier this month at the Under Pressure festival. Come see what all the buzz is about!

Saturday’s boutique fashion shows begin at 8 p.m. with Carrefour Laval’s Alton Gray followed by le Château at 8:30 p.m. and Guess & Marciano at 9 p.m.

The festival wraps up with the Fashion Soul party at 10 p.m., with live music by the Fashion Basquiat Brass Band and video production by This Is Herd. ■

For the complete Mode & Design program, go to the festival’s website