The other double-header featured G.I.L.O.T.,
an acronym for God Is Leading Outrageous Talents, a reference to
the sense of calling a young designer must-have. There were stretchy
tops; slits to expose skin over jeans with details such as four
belt-like bands on the pant leg. Her début pieces for men
were in some ways more successful than her womenswear, showing a
deft way of mixing techno and denim fabrics. Mailagogo is
a French-born, mother–daughter team of Françoise Bruand and
Carine Cahtelais’s fun approach to the art of knitwear. Tops have
comfy shawl-collars or boat-necks, flared sleeves, and are coordinated
with knit pants or skirts in a finer weave, all lined with stretch
satin. Colour stories are black and white, red, camel and chocolate.
A closing party hosted by model agency Prince
& Rebel featured a small show staged by Serge Jean Laviolette.
And that was a wrap.
‘At least it was a start,’ says Eyal Cohen, head
of 555 Chabanel St. and president of the Comité de promotion
de mode de Montréal (Montréal Fashion Promotion Committee),
which regroups industry representatives and government. There were
2,500 buyers registered for the Expomode, 225 for which were from
the US. Nice idea—but in the end only
10 designers had individual shows over three days.
‘I don’t know how any designer could be ready
to show a collection that early,’ said Adam Quang, womenswear designer
of the AQÚ label who was featured
in the very first Fashion Week’s designer début. Marie St
Pierre reportedly had not received the fabric with which to produce
Conspicuously absent (again) were most of Montréal’s
big names. Even Yves-Jean Lacasse of Envers, who has showed at every
fashion week, opted to host a press luncheon at his new Westmount
boutique and showed a few samples at the closing party. Luc Laroche,
MFW past president, was also a no-show,
too, busy in New York working on his big US
début set for July.
Cohen remains optimistic. ‘You have to start somewhere.
There were at least 100 designers on display at Expomode that wouldn’t
have the chance to showcase themselves otherwise. The synergy that
exists in the Montréal industry is wonderful. We just have
to build on it.’
Susan Kelly is Montréal editor of
From the Prince & Rebel show. BELOW:
Falbala. BOTTOM ROW AND LEFT