Back to Basics: An Elementary 5W Rendition of Montreal Fashion Week

Semaine de Mode Montréal 18
We must have pondered this question a million times (hence the delay): how can we possibly convey to readers the true essence of the 18th edition of Montreal Fashion Week? I mean, what hasn’t already been said?

We all know by now that Denis Gagnon exceeded everyone’s high expectations, and that the fall 2010 trends might feel a bit grim with an abundance of leggings and a dominance of black, gray, and camel tones.

Yet, chances are you skimmed through these blogs one after the other without really getting a feel of what you’ll be wearing in (only) a few months. So here’s a new take on it: the fall style in 5W+ genre. Or if you prefer, fashion you get to experience with your eyes closed.


What: Men’s prêt-à-porter - a beautifully tailored line of rich wool melton trench coats, creamy t-shirts, soft plaid shirts paired with sleek cashmere trousers and dark jeans with discrete gold brushed trimmings, piped pockets, and a tinge of raw edges.

Where: on a yacht in the Mediterranean sea

When: any peaceful laconic misty morning

Why: for a modern and very comforting look

Philip Sparks at MFW18

Reminiscent of: Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese

Iconic song: Le baiser - Indochine

More Sparks images here and here.



What: Ivory white satins, lots of frills, and textured fuchsia/black lamé. Jabots, pleats, and ruffles layered on sequence lace. A profusion of artifacts and sleeves: the puff, the gigot, the 3/4, the sleeveless…

Where: any 80’s themed party

When: when you feel incredibly bold and assertive

Why: because you need a reason to mix sexy hot pants and black lace

Coccolily at MFW18

Reminiscent of: Madame de Pompadour

Iconic song: Madonna’s Like a Virgin

More Coccolily here and here.


Who: BODYBAG by Jude

What: French Geisha meets La sophistiqué with high-waisted trousers, silk blouses, cutout backs, and a mixture of pearly blue, soft creamy lace, cold grey and old raspberry jerseys.

Where: Suite 701 after the show…or any downtown hotspot of the Montreal business crowd

When: when all you need is a little “suivez-moi” to have them wrapped around your finger

Why: to seduce with class

BODYBAG by Jude at MFW18

Reminiscent of: a foxy secretary straight out of the 1960’s

Iconic song: Carla Bruni’s L’excessive

More Bodybag by Jude here and here.



What: a hot collection of flowy chiffon print dresses, slim belts, skirts, tie dye jerseys in washed lavender, and lace and accordion pleats.

Where: anywhere in this modern world

When: when you feel the urge to dare to be your own woman

Why: because you feel like it

Eve Gravel at MFW18

Reminiscent of: Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde

Iconic song: Death by Diamonds and Pearls, Bands of Skull’s

More Eve Gravel here and here.



What: From opulent Swarovski crystal neck pieces and hyper long metallic Sautoirs in a myriad of different metals to skin-kissing chain mails and semi-precious stone creations

Where: on a red carpet… even if it’s in your own living room (you deserve it; go ahead, unroll one!)

When: when vanity calls or upon landing in Paris

Why: because you’re worth it

Micalla at MFW18

Reminiscent of: Rita Hayworth

Iconic song: Marilyn’s I Wanna Be Loved by You

More Micalla here



What: a collection whose masterpiece is a vibrant velvet winter coat in slush puppy blue, fruit punch and grape.

When: when you understand the concept of Spanish gypsy dancers, cabaret burlesque, butterfly colouring book, and Mademoiselle C morphed into one.

Where: Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty City

Why: a dose of joy to combat the winter blues

Katrin LeBlond at MFW18

Reminiscent of: A Tiki party on a candy high

Iconic song: Gérard Calvi's L’île du Plaisir & Samba

More Katrin Leblond here and here.


Who: Barilà

What: slender punk silhouettes in cozy quilted French terry trousers and raglan sleeve queue de pies paired up with tank tops in shades of light grey, warm taupe, and vanilla, rolled-up wool shorts, and Saharian shirts.

When: at former Love Hate on Notre Dame or former La Brique on Ste. Catherine

Why: because you deserve as much attention as Miss Canada on a runway

Where: a paparazzi hot spot

Barilà at MFW18

Reminiscent of: an era of true glam, glitz, and a dash of grunge… if that ever existed other than in my own head.

Iconic song: Pet Shop boys’ West-End Girls

More Barilà here and here



What: Plique-à-jour lacing shirts and dresses made of undulating swaths of silky fringes in warm browns, black leather, and teal savantly stitched together. Gagnon’s zipper infatuation sculpts every piece of this line in the most thrilling and unconventional way.

When: going to dinner with your beau

Why: to lay back and relax, in style

Where: in an obscure Riviera hot spot

Denis Gagnon at MFW18

Reminiscent of: an Emmanuelle movie

Iconic song: Grace Jones’ I’ve seen that face before

More Gagnon here.


Who: Manu Militari by Ralph Leroy

What: a prime quality menswear collection with flawless tailoring and a unique, elegant style. Soft green plaid trousers, tapered shirts, and gabardine trousers, paired with bright orange and red leather jackets, and deep grey riding coats, and fox-like fur and gun-metal finish buttons to frame the masterpieces.

When: toasting the night away

Why: to assert your manhood and protect the earth

Where: anywhere hot

Ralph Leroy at MFW18

Reminiscent of: Diego Rivera

Iconic song: torn between Finley Quaye’s Sunday Shining and a tribute to Diego Rivera

More Ralph Leroy here and here

~ Co-authored by Melanie C. and Katina K.

Photographs by Abir Shah and Jimmy Hamelin

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