Following hot on the stylish heels of fashion week events in New York and London, it’s Canada’s turn once again to bask in the sartorial spotlight with the kick-off of Montreal Fashion Week.
Fans who want to see some of the latest designs from spring and summer 2011 collections hitting the runway needn’t fret about not having front-row or backstage access — or even being in the city, for that matter.
For the event’s 19th edition launching Monday, fashion lovers will be a mouse click away from opening a virtual window into the world of Canadian style which will bring the runway directly to their screens.
Montreal Fashion Week will feature live streaming of select shows on Ustream. Christian Chenail will mark the launch of this dedicated digital showcase for Fashion Week featuring the latest from his Muse label on opening night at 5:30 p.m.
Free live streams will also be available for shows from Second Clothing on Tuesday, Soia & Kyo Wednesday and Barila Thursday.
“Montreal Fashion Week is really still very, very, very trade-oriented, but of course there’s more and more buzz,” said Chantal Durivage, co-president of Sensation Mode, which organizes Fashion Week.
“For us, it was important to find ways that the public can have access to (a) few collections … because they’re more and more interested in what’s happening during Fashion Week. So we found ways.”
The sixth edition of Le Showroom will have some 60 Canadian and international designers having the chance to showcase their wares off the runway for buyers and industry on Tuesday and Wednesday at Fashion Week’s main base at historic Bonsecours Market in Old Montreal.
But this year, the public will also have a chance to get a close-up, hands-on look at the designs as well, albeit for the current season. Le Showroom will open to the public Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. with a $10 admission.
Back on the runway, Fashion Week will feature its mix of well-known talents with industry up-and-comers. Longtime Montreal designer and Fashion Week mainstay Marie Saint Pierre, whose career spans more than two decades, kicks off this season’s edition with an off-site runway presentation. David Dixon, Envers par Yves Jean Lacasse, Helmer and Ezra Constantine are among the designers and labels also scheduled to feature their latest offerings.
Renowned Montreal designer Denis Gagnon, who recently partnered with retailer Bedo for an affordable collection, will be celebrating his 10th anniversary.
Durivage said this edition’s mix of talents offers an “interesting landscape” of what’s happening in Canadian fashion.
“What you see is really institutions and then there’s young designers that are coming up with ideas and energy and with passion and with talent,” she said. “For us, it’s important for us to show (that whole) picture in Fashion Week.”
In continuing to focus on promoting homegrown talents abroad, Montreal Fashion Week will welcome Canadian and international buyers from Japan as well as department store Galeries Lafayette Berlin.
Fashion Week will also put environmentally friendly and socially conscious style front and centre in a dedicated showcase.
ModEthik will host an exhibition and discussion on ethical fashion in Canada Tuesday, followed by a collaborative fashion show featuring sustainable designers Croquis, El Naturalista, Harricana, Myco Anna, Nicole Bridger, Rachel F., Ressac and Olga Tigirlas.
ModEthik is organized by Montreal-based non-profit FEM International, which supports and promotes responsible consumption and contributes to the development of social and environmental entrepreneurship with girls and women around the world.
Stylist Yso will close out Fashion Week by presenting his interpretation of the week’s offerings in what’s being billed as a real-life lookbook of the upcoming style season. Tickets are $25 with proceeds from the event benefiting Fondation de la Mode de Montreal to support and promote Quebec designers.
Montreal Fashion Week runs Sept 27-30.
Montreal Fashion Week: http://montrealfashionweek.ca
Montreal Fashion Week on Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/smm19