Friday, October 30, 2009


Vintage, vintage, vintage, there is no escaping the lure of vintage clothing in Montréal. Well I certainly can't walk down the street without dipping into one of the treasure troves along the boulevard Saint Laurent or the Plateau quartiers.The first of my vintage escapades began with a street invite to check out "The ladies of vintage" special one day sale which was taking place in a popular local gallery. All the ladies inside were dressed in their vintage attire and some went over board just for the fun of the day.There was lots of trying on and laughter and the usual discussions about how wonderful a certain piece with each vendor pondering the thought of parting with their one off pieces. There was no pressure to buy just to enjoy and have fun amongst the beautiful finds they collected.It was all very inexpensive compared to the European vintage market. There were delicate silk lingerie nightgowns for $20, a pair of YSL- esque gate boots for a mere 35 bucks and a mint condition glass beaded bolero for $40. All the jewellery was between $10 and $20 despite its possible value.I allowed myself to purchase two pieces (I'm supposed to be budgeting!).
One vendor was donating her end of sale goods to a centre for homeless women which was very generous.It was nice to see them have their Saturday fun, dress up, and just make a day out of it.Nice work ladies.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


(c)Jimmy Hamelin

As the title of this blog posting implies, I was pretty impressed with my first fashion show in Montréal.It was certainly nice to see a bombardment of colour explode onto the catwalk, a far cry from the bitter weather outside, and the parade of winter woollies clogging up the streets already.The show began with a welcome outburst of colours onto the catwalk, models rocked to the music sporting scarlet red lipstick,backcombed bouffants adorned with giant flowers against the backdrop of acid bright ensembles. It was all very playful in line with the designers 1950's theme.Inspiration derived from the continually inspiring Grey Gardens movie. The models certainly played up to the characters of Edith and little Edie Beale, as they tossed their big hair and flung off their cascading heals on the very slippy rose strewn catwalk.I have never encountered so many happy -go -lucky models with genuine smiles.It was refreshing and enhanced the theme of the swinging fifties.

But this is definitely a fun collection and not for the faint hearted, playsuits, high waisted shorts,vegan leather, and cropped t-shirts were the prevailing styles.But for those that like to wear clothes that put them in a better mood then this is the collection for you, it oozed joie de vivre.Several journalists reported that this was by far the most jovial fashion show of Montréal Fashion Week.What's more it is all produced ethically.Félicitations Barilà!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It has been quite some time since I made a blog entry but it is all in the name of an adequate enough reason. I was busy planning my big move to Montréal the fashion hub of North America. I arrived just little over a month ago and I was lucky enough to catch fashion week here and compile my little bits of research about what’s hot in this ubër stylish city.

Fashion week was very impressive here, it was held in the beautiful Marché Bonsecours, situated in the Vieux Port of the city. The fashion week staff were very helpful and welcoming to the new Irish girl in the city! They gave me a media pass therefore I was able to gain access to Le Showroom and view the collections as well as chat with the Montreal based designers. I was also lucky enough to catch a conference about Berlin fashion called “Berlin en route to becoming a fashion metropolis” (I thought Berliners already had that one established!).

The first designer I encountered was called Valerie Dumaine, I detoured over to her collection when a very graphic print dress caught my eye. In addition, she was very welcoming and was delighted to talk me through her collection. She directed me to visit two stores in Montréal which she highly recommended as having strong concepts and cutting edge design. Reborn in the old port was her first suggestion, I had heard about this store before arriving here because it stocks a large selection of avant garde European designers. Unicorn on Boulevard Saint Laurent was her second recommendation.

Next up I checked out Eve Gravel who had a very feminine collection of floral summer skirts and tops adorned with bows, ruffles and came in a colour palette of nude, whites and stone. I will have to venture over to Unicorn store to view her current winter collection and continue my search for a super warm but equally stylish winter coat.

Barilà was next port of call, a very soft leather dress stood out in the collection. Sabrina one part of the sister design duo, informed me that it was vegan leather but it was from their current collection. The SS/10 collection was being ushered off in time for their fashion show that evening, which she kindly invited me to. I happily attended the show to see more from this wonderful collection. The Barilà show will be reviewed in my next blog entry. TBC.