FAR I’m impressed by many of the designers here,’ said Elizabeth
Kanfer. We buttonholed the junior market editor for Saks Fifth Avenue
on Day Two, at the Luc Laroche show. She was taking copious notes
on his black-and-white, rugby-inspired sportswear for men and women.
It was her first time in the city, first time seeing many of the
designers. Previously the only local brands she was familiar with
were Marisa Minicucci and Mackage, both of which Saks carries. What
about that Montréal look, so oft described as European? ‘Designers
here are not European, definitely not American—but definitely very
individualistic,’ she said.
Jamal Parirokh, up from Grand Rapids, Mich. on
a buying mission for an exclusive boutique, echoed her sentiments.
His discerning eye found much to appreciate at the Tavan & Mitto
show. Held in an art gallery on trendy St Laurent Boulevard, the
mural-sized paintings of Emilia Metrovillia provided a backdrop
for floating, sinuous creations in silk jersey and chiffon. In shades
of black, cream and peach, they managed to be fresh and modern with
just a hint of retro glamour. ‘But I’m not sure my customers are
really ready for some of this,’ he said, preferring the fashions
of one of the city’s grand old masters, Muse by Christian Chenail,
whose Rose de Sables show at the Salle du Gèsu was a sell-out.