Michaella Antony, Contributor
Arriving at a fashion event can be daunting. Imagine— everyone looks incredibly chic and hundreds of eyes survey what you’re wearing the minute you walk in (Actually, if you add in the faint smell of Mexican food what I just described can actually be called Walking Into Bronfman). This year’s fashion preview was no different.
The event took place in two parts. Upon arrival, guests were first greeted with a photo-booth to document the effortlessly stylish looks they had carefully curated about four months ago. The synth bass resonated through the walls and, as I crossed into the main floor, I eventually found various stations of accessories designers presenting their work for the upcoming season
In its sixth edition, the event consistently brings talent to the forefront. Over a span of three days, clothing connoisseurs / garment enthusiasts / aestheticians were immersed in everything from conferences, fashion shows, makeup transformations, and workshops. Twelve womenswear designers and ten accessories designers took to the runway to present their Spring/Summer 17 collections in a mini fashion week to enhance visibility of local designers.
Each accessories designer’s pieces emanated high quality craftsmanship. Guillotine presented intricately fashioned silk wrapped polymer bowties that were absolutely breathtaking. Holdur showcased luxe fanny packs in sleek colors– not just for pragmatic Frosh leaders anymore- and Coton Mouton featured handmade fashion dolls that were equal parts adorable and chic. The Givenchy-sponsored makeup station was honestly a gift from God (because it miraculously made me look like one)…and the mini bar didn’t hurt either.
I was able to make the Leinad Beaudet and Naïké runway shows. Beaudet’s collection was presented like a standard fashion show (one girl on the runway at a time) and consisted exclusively of womenswear. The collection balanced dimensions of playfulness and austerity. Beaudet crafted elegant pieces in bright colors and incorporated eye catching details such as draping tops rivaling dancers in motion. They contrasted voluminous pieces against barely there silhouettes, manipulating proportions to accentuate varieties of shape.
Naïké presented both menswear and womenswear in a minimalist manner. Two models entered the stage simultaneously, diverged to opposite sides of the runway, strutted along each other, and finally converged at middle. While innovative, it was mildly difficult to completely analyze both works since you had to make sure to keep up with each of the models before they left the runway. Designing a collection for both sexes was a testament to true finger dexterity. The collection featured neutral tones in simple silhouettes, proving less was more. Pleats fanned pant waists like a deck of cards, impeccably tailored pants swirled down the runway, and sporty jackets defined an aura of cool.
Overall, it was refreshing to see designers with a diverse cast of models stomping the runways. Lack of diversity in western fashion has been seriously disappointing. While there is still a long way to go there have been some revolutionary breakthroughs recently, such as Anniesa Hasibuan bringing the hijab to NYFW 2016 and Jasmine Tookes, wearing Victoria’s Secret 2016 Fantasy Bra as the third woman of colour to receive the honour.
Generally, this year’s fashion preview attempted to heighten the visibility of Quebec fashion designers on the local, national, and international stages. The amalgamation of talent, variety, and cutting edge aesthetic was able to create a platform for up and coming Quebec designers to breaking to the international stage. All in all, the clothing was beautiful, the talent was apparent, and the event fostered a deeper appreciation for the Quebecois fashion scene. I hope that events like this will continue to take place to remind the rest of the world it’s not all about NY, Milan, Paris, and London.