ON UP—way, way up, ahead of Toronto
or even New York.
February 1 to 4, 2004 was ‘Montréal Synergy
Week’, replacing the former Montréal Fashion Week. By whatever
name, Take 6’s showing of fall–winter 2004 fashion was moved up
from the usual mid-March timeframe. That was so Expomode, an industry
trade show held at the monolithic Olympic Stadium, could be accommodated.
The new expanded event was fashioned to bring
together the old guard importers and manufacturers of Chabanel Street
with the city’s young, ultra-independent designers in a celebration
of this ville’s varied industry. But it was the former who
stole most of the shows.
The Week opened on a gala note at Marché
Bonsecours ballroom, a cobblestone’s throw from the Old Port main
venue. Freed & Freed took advantage of the opportunity
to show off the four major labels to which it holds the Canadian
licenses. Formerly of Winnipeg and recently moved to Montréal,
the company also used the occasion to raise funds for Shelternet.ca.
A hefty donation of $200,000 worth of new coats went to women’s
shelters across the country. And in a pre-show ceremony, company
president Noah Stern turned over a cheque for $10,000 to the charity.
However, the show clocked in at almost two hours
of outerwear, outerwear, outerwear—making it way, way overtime for
even the most diehard fashion fan. But they did get the chance to
show off the couture-ish Guy Laroche, street-smart Sky with its
jackets of varied lengths in variations on the quilted theme, and
Pacific Trail’s more serviceable outerwear. And, of course, London
It’s a world trend that’s getting old: established
design houses recruit hip young designers to rejuvenate their lines.
Two of Montréal’s finest young Turks have signed such deals.
The Freed & Freed show saw the début collection by Douglas
Mandel of the edgy, Old Montréal-based Kamkyl menswear label.
He has definitely brought some Montréal panache and youthful
energy to the mainstay London Fog line, now with its parent company
in Seattle. As well, the event saw the launch of the London Fog
ladies’ sportswear collection by Québec stylist-turned-designer
a trend that’s getting old: established design houses recruit hip
designers to rejuvenate their lines. Two
of Montréal’s ﬁnest young Turks
have signed such deals
ABOVE: Freed & Freed lines.