A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of heading to Montreal for my first-ever visit to the Festival Mode & Design; a fantastic festival in the heart of Montreal that opens up the world of fashion and design to the public. Unlike most major fashion events that are shuttered to those unaffiliated with the industry, Festival Mode & Design embraces the opportunity to share with both citizens and visitors of Montreal — a refreshing take on fashion-related events in general.
Upon arriving at the Loews Hotel Vogue in central Montreal, I was promptly ushered to a meet-and-greet reception with the one and only Garance Dore — a dream come try to say the least! I wasn’t sure what to expect after the organizers told us she was ‘tired’ and had a ‘long day’ so we shouldn’t try to take up much of her time, but to our surprise she was warm, friendly and very chatty. She even sat down with us Toronto-ladies to chill out and catch up upon her arrival!
This intimate meeting with Garance was restricted to media only, but to be fair it was just after her public appearance and signing at Indigo to celebrate the launch of her new stationary line.
To kick off the festival, Garance personally selected six of her favourite Montreal designers to showcase their latest collections at the ‘Collection Launches’ for FMD Collections. Here are the top 6 designers as selected by Garance Dore!
1. YING GAO
2. MYLENE B.
3. TRAVIS TADDEO
4. NIAPSOU DESIGN
5. EVE GRAVEL
Although most of these Montreal designers were already familiar to me before the show, it was fantastic to see their latest collections up close. One designer that was new to me is Ying Gao who quite literally blew my mind with her amazing designs. In fact, I would consider them closer to works of art and sculpture rather than items of clothing, or a fashion line. To give you an idea of their unique quality, some of Gao’s dresses light up when a spectator is staring, with the use of eye-tracking technology. Other garments of hers move as if they are breathing. While some of the other collections were not as refined (or ground breaking) the Montreal designers continued to prove that they, at least, push the creative boundaries further than what is most often scene at the more conservative fashion week in Toronto. And for that, I applaud them.
For more on the Festival Mode & Design click HERE!