Montreal has long been a fashion hub and center of creativity in North America. What better way to celebrate Montreal’s elan than to present our talent in one venue that brings diverse artistic genres together? The Montreal Fashion Design Festival (FMD) does just that by providing an urban lifestyle platform with an eclectic array of fashion shows, music shows, multidisciplinary performances, and street dance competitions. Now in its 19th year, the FMD is a stunning showcase of the creations of some of the biggest names in Quebec fashion, as well as up-and-coming designers and performing artists. Created and produced by Groupe Sensation Mode the free outdoor shows will take place in the Quartiers des spectacles from Aug 21-24.
Montreal fashion signature events
One of its signature events is LaSalle College’s show Exuberance directed by David Strasburg and choreographed by Dave St. Pierre with Natasha Filiatrault’s dancers. The show commemorates the 60th anniversary of the renowned fashion and design institute based in Montreal, Quebec. The college which offers both vocational and pre-university courses has a strong international focus. Gianni Falzone and Mike Derderian, two 2005 alumni who created the label Pavoni have seen their creations worn by high-profile celebrities such as Katy Perry, Gergie, Shakira, Miranda Lambert, Celine Dion, Mariah Carrey, Nelly Furtado, Kelly Minogue, and Carrie Underwood. In 2014, LaSalle College won 4 prizes out of 5 at the Telio Design Competition.
Great designers at Montreal Fashion Design Festival (FMD)
Whether it’s luxury brands or creations of newcomers, FMD’s fashion shows will have something for everyone. The style of Yung_Alexander, Robert Atelier, Ève Gravel, and Guillaum Chaigne will be on display. La Vie en Rose, Alton Gray, Bikini Village, Complexe Desjardins, Vincent D’Amérique, Elena Wang, and Dynamite will present their collections in large-scale shows. In addition to the usual parade of stunningly beautiful models strutting their stuff on the catwalk, there’s a knock-out show in store for the gents. Vincent d’Amérique will unveil its latest collaboration with Quebec icon, Georges St-Pierre. Based on a mixed martial arts theme this is a collection tailored with care for movement and comfort.
RELUXE, an initiative by the Fondation Le Chaînon, will bring to the stage well-known personalities to show off gently-used luxury clothing and accessories. These items will be on sale to benefit the foundation which helps women in difficulty. “Incluses”, a joint project of fashionista twins Josiane & Carolane Stratis with Xavier Laruelle highlights their vision of inclusive fashion. Local designers will showcase their 5-piece collections worn by women of all sizes who will be walking down the runway.
Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards
Cary Tauben, CAFA’s (Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards) ‘Stylist of the Year’, will present a collection of on-trend looks featuring one-of-a-kind threads and accessories from Village des Valeurs a big box chain which sells used clothing and recycled goods throughout Greater Montreal. The Montreal native and avid thrift shopper is partnering with the second-hand retailer to celebrate self- expression and unique style, while also highlighting how reuse extends the life of clothing and supports our planet.
Montreal-based urban artist Pony MTL a.k.a. Gabrielle Laïla Tittley will put her unique spin on fashion in the show AU BOUT DU FEEL. Pony is best known for her relationship to Montreal’s MURAL Festival and last year put her stamp on Aldo’s Mx3 sneaker. At once, witty, and serious, she has a deep connection to her Millennial audience. Her artistic statements go beyond pop-culture and a ‘cool’ look reaching into the terrain of social commentary.
The FMD is partnering this year with Danse Danse in an exclusive event that explores the relationship between fashion and dance. In this first-of-a-kind performance, Danse Danse features the collaboration of Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and the internationally-known brand, Sarah Pacini, styled by Quebec creator, Philippe Dubuc. These contemporary designs cut from luxurious fabrics will come alive with the energetic movements of 14 dancers. This unprecedented production is a preview of BJM’s newest creation, on show at Place des Arts from October 2 to 5.
There’s lots more to experience at the FMD beyond spectacular entertainment and the festive atmosphere of the Quartier des spectacles as summer slowly winds down. The FMD promises to be a vital meeting place where Montreal ‘creatives’ and international creators can come together to share their passions, talents, and insights, exchanging ideas and exploring new opportunities.