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Paris Haute Couture Week. Schiaparelli, Dior, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier… He was sitting front row and, unlike many, he wasn’t doing any Instagram posts, or gushing over the collections with his neighbors. Instead, he had his head down, sketching frantically the looks he liked. By the time the show was over, or  few hours later, his illustrations would be ready to be published at Madame Figaro.

 

His conference with Stéphane Leduc at the #FMD15 was last Wednesday night. Not that I didn’t expect much, his reputation precedes him, but… I was instantly hooked. Let’s put aside his gorgeous looks and style for a second*, he was expressing himself in a deep and soft voice, taking the time to think/talk through the questions that were asked, with sincerity and candid humour. Big Bonus Points for his constant references to Godard, Piccoli, Callas and many other intellectual magnates. I believe that’s when he won me over. The conference was beyond good, and just like every time when I meet or interact with someone who’s inspiringly successful, I couldn’t help but nod to the saying “Humility is the mother of giants”.
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You know when you’re  young, and dream/visualize something, then years later… You grow up and it kinda happens. Funny quick anecdote: A dear friend once told me he always dreamed of touching the clouds. He grew up, he became an airman and he was once flying in a cockpit when he realized he was able to open the window. He literally put his hands out and… touched a cloud. How did it feel? – Super wet, he said. Marc-Antoine started drawing when he was 2, and when he was still a kid, he’d draw Annie Cordy over and over again. She was his muse, He dreamed of her and he loves to call her one of the first women in his life. He grew up, he became an illustrator… then Annie Cordy’s official illustrator and photographer… How awesome is that?

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All of them. They’re his heroines. His muses. Whether they’re beauty classics à la Catherine Deneuve & Romy Schneider or modern powerhouses like Ines de La Fressange and Marpessa. He would draw each one of them, and they’re a lot, with the genuine way he perceives them. In his conversation with Stéphane Leduc, he’d always say “I have a lot of tenderness for that one.” or “This one was my first literary love”… And what’s crazy, you can perceive his emotions very clearly in the way he portrays them…

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I remember the first thing I told him when I met him: He speaks just the way he draws. There’s so much lyricism in his work/words, and then pouf… there’s that strong pencil or color stroke. It almost makes a statement, but I believe the main aim is to create some movement to take you into the scene, or the world that the illustration try to  It’s never too much, never too little, just enough to balance the illustration and take you away through the perceptible emotion it suggests…

… And that’s no brainer. The references he brings up when he discusses are endless. And he can quote a french writer, then an english cineast, then an Italian Politician, then an American music Icon. His savoir is undeniably tremendous. It’s always something that impresses me.

 

*Picture a tanned guy, Ken-Hair, wearing a white shirt, jeans and black perfecto… I know, right?

 

Contradiction. Dressing-up the casual v.  dressing down the chic. For the second day of #FMD15, I wore a classy Club Monaco fringe skirt, that I had dressed down by pairing it with a white shirt and converse. The next day, my outfit did exactly the opposite –Which I realized until way later: I wore a casual boyfriend Jeans that I dressed-up with high heels, a blazer and a snake-printed clutch. I kept the white-shirt (completely basic, his role was to even the different styles) and I added a brighter lipstick. What do you think?

Credit Photo: Josée Lecompte

I love contrasts. I love to play with different… Moods & Styles! To dress up the casual and to dress down the chic. (I should totally trademark that sentence). So for the first official day of #FMD, I thought it would be perfect to introduce the two concepts. Let’s start by dressing down the chic…

…Enter: The fringe Leather skirt. Who would look like a million dollar look with high heels and lace shirt, or with a blazers and platforms. I decided to pair it with my converse ( what’s more casual than that… really!) & an RW&CO’s casual shirt. Because I just love clutches, and I can’t.live.without.them, I added a printed Aldo Pochette to add more character to the look…

The H&M leather jacket is just a must to add more edginess to the look.

Credit Photo: Josée Lecompte

25 years of style & service. Hundred Thousands of Stays, and stories… In one very fashionable place. Loews Vogue Hotel. On of my favourite hotels in Montreal. I absolutely LOVE the interior design, the glamorous vibe you feel when you enter the lobby, the posh but comfy rooms, with the Vogue illustration (and in my room, what appears to be an Alexander McQueen printed art wall – according to our design Aficionado, Eric). The location is also highly interesting, as you can shop at Ogilvy, across the street, or wander around the gorgeous shops on De La Montagne, Sherbrooke (Hellooo Tiffany!) and crescent.

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the hotel threw a gorgeous, style-filled cocktail, at their Parisian-Inspired bistro, La Société! We loved many guest outfits but here’s a round-up of those who really stood out of the crowd! Sorry for the pictures’ quality, they’re all iPhone shots.

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I have to admit: I’m a huge Sex and the City fan. I became a fan of the show well after production had ended; a roommate of mine in university used to show me episodes and I used to watch during my study breaks. Like most people, I enjoyed it for the quick dialogue, sex chats, the close-up of New York and of course… The clothes. Watching that show without observing the fashion is like watching porn for the cinematography: It just doesn’t happen.

Thus, you can understand my excitement upon learning I was going to see Patricia Field in conference. The woman is a legend of sorts: She’s won an Emmy, has been nominated for an Oscar for her work on “The Devil Wears Prada,” and next year, her eponymous NYC store which she opened herself in 1966 will turn 50.  In person, she is petite, with fire red hair and an incomparable style.

 

Sitting down with Dressed to Kill’s Stéphane Leduc (previously profiled in the blog, check it out here!) she spoke of growing up in a large family with a father who was a tailor and taught her early on about the value of fabrics. She explained that she often goes by the feeling of fabrics as opposed to designer labels… An interesting comment from a stylist so synonymous with outfitting the ladies of Sex and the City with a revolving door of glamorous designer labels.

One of the more remarkable quotes of the evening was her view on the necessity of clothing versus the joy of fashion: “Fashion is art, apparel is only covering your body because that’s the society we live in.”

What makes Field remarkable is her approach with which she dresses the mega celebs she’s worked with: “You have to know somebody to dress somebody.” You don’t say! As a costume designer, Field recognizes the importance of assisting the actor she’s dressing to fully assume the role they’ve been hired to portray; this thoughtful approach has no doubt helped her make it big in her career.

** FOR USE WITH AP WEEKLY FEATURES ** In this photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox , Meryl Streep, left, and Patricia Field discuss the wardrobe on the set of `The Devil Wears Prada.' Streep is wearing a Dennis Basso fur coat, Donna Karan dress and Versace glasses. (AP Photo/Twentieth Century Fox) ORG XMIT: NY642

** FOR USE WITH AP WEEKLY FEATURES ** In this photo provided by Twentieth Century Fox , Meryl Streep, left, and Patricia Field discuss the wardrobe on the set of `The Devil Wears Prada.’ Streep is wearing a Dennis Basso fur coat, Donna Karan dress and Versace glasses. (AP Photo/Twentieth Century Fox)

Speaking of big, one of the “aha” moments was hearing her freak out over working with Meryl Streep. (I mean… Who wouldn’t?) She explained that she didn’t even have the chance to meet Meryl before the start of filming, but she knew that Meryl would be playing a fashion editor so “she had to look good.” She also told the enraptured audience that during filming, Meryl didn’t speak with any of the other actors on set, as to solidify her role as the “queen bee” and to transfer the energy of uneasiness on screen.

She also spoke of her defense of her friend John Galliano in 2011 when he was unceremoniously dropped from the Dior label after being recorded uttering anti-Semetic sentiments in a Paris café. Her actions were described as “courageous” by Leduc, given no one else was defending the designer at the time, who is now with Maison Martin Margiela as Artistic Director. Field sent out an e-mail blast to 500 friends, blogs and media, describing Galliano’s behavior as a “farce.”

Throughout the interview, her candor, charm and husky voice won over the packed room at the MAC, and audience members were often seen nodding their heads or verbalizing their agreement with her wise words. Perhaps Field’s views on female empowerment and fashion were best summarized when she was asked about whether or not she believed Carrie Bradshaw was a “fashion victim.” She replied no, and that as a matter of fact she believes that Carrie Bradshaw opened the door for many women to express  themselves through their clothing, breaking out of the “suit with a skirt” uniform that dominated much of the 80’s and 90’s. In reality, she explained, the real fashion victims are the men, who are confined to their suits in the workplace and masculine colors. Her witty and honest response was met with hollers of agreement from mostly female audience members, and of course a well-deserved standing ovation.

Fashionably yours,

Joel

Twitter: @joeltotherescue

 

 

What do Patricia Fields, Scooter Laforge, Vincent Leret, Adam Katz Sing , Stephen Jones have in common? Yes, they all have a stellar career. And yes, they’ll all be in the city for five days – as speakers for Festival Mode et Design. But I’m mostly referring to fact they all responded to one man’s invitation to be part of this public celebration of fashion. The man in question, Stéphane Leduc, is the absolute key-play to why we’re having these a-list players in our city.

If you’re part of the fashion industry, you know who’s Stéphane. Editor-In-Chief of Dress To Kill Magazine, he’s that discreet and polite man you’d bump into in events. He’s also that dapper gentleman, whose love for fashion leads him to rock gorgeous textures and fabrics… And he’s also that successful Journalist, one of the few Canadians to be invited to Chanel and Dior shows– every.single.season. (Yes, I’m jealous, who wouldn’t be! #LifeGoal). But above and beyond all, I always liked the man for that kindness that emanates from him, the smart and deep way he looks at people. Down to earth, humble, he’s one of the good ones! It was a rainy morning, sometimes last week, when we’ve met over a morning coffee at the Loews Hotel Vogue. Although the aim of our discussion was to introduce the #FMD15 speakers, I couldn’t help but ask him: Who is he really? How did he make it in the fashion industry?

Credit Photo: Josée Lecompte

“ I started as a reporter for Music Plus. I remember I had this small segment about fashion. What I wanted, back then, was to specialize in movies; I was fascinated by the world of Film and I never thought I’d end up in Fashion. But my segment did so well, we went from 5 min to 30 min, and the show, called Perfecto, became a key-show in the fashion industry.”

How did that happen? What made that show different from other shows?

Probably that I used the same approach than when I used to conduct interviews in the film industry. Instead of just talking about the latest trends, I was more interested in the designer’s process of creation, the behind the scenes… but also women and men fashion. When the subject was good, it was good. We wouldn’t discriminate one gender over the other, and it was good because our real audience were both genders.

How the switch for fashion really happened?

The show was amazing, it was relayed in different channels and gave me access to all sort of people I loved to interview… Among them,  Karl Lagerfeld who’s extremely generous in interviews. Back then; he was doing Chloé, Chanel and his own line, which gave me 3 interviews with him to conduct per season. There was also the Top Models phenomenon that sparked; it was the era of Claudia, Naomi, Kate and others models who became celebrities. Here in Montreal, it was the début of today’s most renowned fashion designers like Philippe Dubuc, Marie Saint-Pierre, Nadya Toto etc… They weren’t known back then, and the show gave them the opportunity to shine and get access to the public. So covering international and national events in the show gave me the opportunity to deeply explore the fashion industry and I loved it.

Impressive path, you’ve witness not only the fashion industry’s evolution but also the society’s! What part of this evolution you find notable?

What impressed me is how the fashion industry was perceived changed over time. Before, people thought of it as a dumb and useless subject, and that people who are part of that universe are completely futile. Today, it’s an acknowledged part of everybody’s lifestyle, people are no more ashamed to dress well, to spend money on clothes, to discuss it… or be passionate about it. But there were many stages and factors that contributed to the society’s development, like Sex and The City …

… Who’s stylist, Patricia Fields, is one of the speakers you invited… 

… Exactly. What I find interesting with SATC is how it liberated women from their complexes. The 4 women were free, modern, career-driven, they loved fashion, they were able to make their very own choices and they weren’t ashamed of it. The wonderful part is that they’d do it without any pretentiousness. They were expressing their love for fashion and freedom, with a lot of humour, fun and in a natural way that set an example to everybody who watched that show.

How about you introduce us each guest, and how you’ve met?

To be honest, I never met Patricia, and I’ll meet her next week at the conference when I’ll interview her in front of the audience. But I liked her vibe when I spoke to her over the phone. One of the speakers, Scooter Laforge, introduced me to her and told her she should trust me. She did, and now I’m ultra nervous 🙂

Scooter Laforge: I met Scooter few years ago when I was in New York. I remember I loved his work so much, I featured it in the magazine although it had nothing to do with our editorial line, We connected, and we kept in touch. I found he was a perfect fit with the multi-aspects of the FMD.

Marc-Antoine Coulon: Marc-Antoine’s is a very talented illustrator. It’s curious how two years ago he was still debuting, while today, his career is evolving by leaps and bounds. I noticed in him a sincere love for fashion, which translated in a different vision of that universe. I can only nod to his success. Before coming to the city, he was exposing in NYC (he’s based in Paris). I can’t wait to see him again.

 

Peter Simons: I find it unbelievable he accepted to be part of the speakers. In my opinion, he’s the epitome of success here in Quebec. Today, Simons is 175 years of success and it still grows significantly in Canada. It’s rare that you see a local company succeed this well in our local industry. He makes us all proud and I’m very happy that he’s taking the time to speak about it openly, with the simplicity and the passion we know he has. It’s rare that he gives interviews, it’s a great honour to have him accept this invitation.

 

Adam Katz Sinding:  an amazing guy, who’s very successful and has a great vision as well. He’s a well-know blogger but refuses to call himself a blogger per say. He always says that his work is more like photo-reportage than street style blogging. What you need to know about Adam is that he’s super exigent with his work. If the photo doesn’t answer to his criteria, even if it’s a celebrity shot, he’d automatically cut it. Let’s say if it’s a photo of Kanye West coming out from a show, and there is a lot of people around him, the photo is deleted. It’s better to go see his work on his website than his Instagram – it’s much more revealing and deeper than what he posts on social media… Which makes sense.

 

Vincent Leret: I met him once, when I was interviewing Chandler Burr, a journalist who wrote a book on Dior Perfumes. Vincent was there, and he was contributing to the interview in all-things related to the history of the brand. I found he had interesting anecdotes. Later that day, Dior hosted a supper to celebrate the new J’ADORE fashion film with Charlize Theron. I saw him again and we took the time to discuss furthermore. It was a very laid-back discussion and I discovered him in another light. He’s a very interesting guy, he has such a deep savoir about the history of Christian Dior, it’s impressive. He’s the one who curates all the Powerhouse’s museums and archives. See, there isn’t much information about the designer himself, I find there is many movies about YSL and almost none about christian Dior. It’s a true privilege to have Mr. Leret talk to us directly about the genius who started La Maison Dior, and the heritage he left behind them.

 

 

Sneakerella. Camille’s modern version of sneaker girls. Someone I became until very lately. See, I’m definitely a high heels girls. If Cam would wear sneakers with dresses and skirts, I’d wear heels with jogger pants or boyfriend jeans. I love heels, I love the assurance it gives you when you walk with them. I also love how it ”sexifies” your outfit instantly. (What’up Julia Robert runaway bride pose remake! I always wanted to do that. minus the bride dress).

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But, once I owned my first pair of Converse, I was hooked. Comfort never seemed that classy. So just like Cam, I started wearing them with almost everything. Skirts, dresses, jumpsuits… except maybe boyfriend jeans. Converse and boyfriend jeans made me feel like a retarded teenager in an adult state of mind. Not cool. BUT. A perfect skirt, white t-shirt and leather perfecto is totally my new ”Casual is the new Chic”. In her article, Cam was discussing Nike vs Converse girls. According to her definition, Converse girls are the careless, free spirited, comfort junkies ladies who still look sexy in their outfit. Hope I rep well her interpretation of those girls, since I’m certainly not a Nike Girl.

This look has been shot at the Ritz Carlton Residences with the help of our new Beauty Expert Mayillah and the incredible Josée Lecompte who was behind the lenses. Dress and accessories are from Loue 1 Robe (of course!), Blazer from Judith & Charles and heels are Louboutin. 

Loue 1 Robe. I swear by this name. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know how much I cherish this company. I practically wear their dresses to every event I attend. But since I already told you about this concept, I now wanna talk about the owner and the business guru behind it. Sara Ghribi.

I remember exactly the first conversation I had with Sara. It was a sunday, I need a dress for a bal I was attending the following week, and she immediately suggested a call, after I sent her an e-mail to reach out. She was so kind, so positive, and so attentive to my needs, that we settled the dress (and an appointment) in a matter of 15 min, then spent one hour… just talking. About her, her background, my background, who we are, what we want, what we dream of. At the end of the call, I’ve made a new friend.

Credit Photo: Josée Lecompte

Two years later, I’ve watched her work very hard to make her company known. I’ve seen her battle hard the downsides of the business of fashion, I’ve watched her struggle to bring up the company to where it is today: A successful venture that has a large clientele base, and that is so trustworthy, I only hear great things about it out there. I know how difficult for a woman to be out there, and in business. But I’ve seen her capture one event at time Montreal, and seduce all people who interact with her through her sincere kindness and generosity. I’ve also seen her refine her (amazing!) collection of dresses, offering the best one, on a budget, can ask. Dresses from Christian Dior, to Cavalli, to BCBGMAXAZRIA, to Zara… offering a large variety to many shapes, budget and style.

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Cheers to you Sara. Cheers to two successful years and many more to come! Cheers to the wonderful woman you are. Cheers for bringing us up through your determination and hard work. Cheers to all business women out there who are working hard to make their dreams come true. You’ve set an example, to all women out there, and I can only hope to be like you.

 

Would you buy a boat instead of a cottage? That question left a huge interrogation mark in my mind. Context: It was an expected afternoon. But oh, so lovely! Two days before, My friend Jasmine asked if I might be interested to join her in a ”boatdventure”, and being a water-lover, I couldn’t say no to that – no matter how busy I was with work.

A marine man (that made some girls gush #SoHot!) was waiting for us at the Montreal Yacht Club along with some representatives from discoverboating.ca. Once, we departed, I started chatting with one of the rep who told me that there is more and more people who rather buy a boat than a cottage. “Why?”… “Why Not?” – She answered. “There’s much more advantages into buying a boat than a cottage. It’s less expensive, more accessible, you can use whenever, even to go lunch on the water if you work at Old Montreal…” Good points. However, maybe I’m more traditional ( and LOVE #CottageLife), I feel I’d more into buying a house somewhere in the woods, than a boat in the city… which, by the time I finish the sentence, I realize is stupid. What about you: Cottage or boat?