Home / Posts Tagged "Montréal"

”The past 24h have been crazy…”

The news came out like rainbows after rain. Right when the Fashion Industry reaches a pivotal time— with the cancellation of Toronto Fashion Week and the absence of major initiatives to make up Montreal designers with their consumers. Right when CFDA President Steven Kolb calls fashion weeks, “a broken system”, protesting the old way of doing things and deplores the lake of ”adjustments” to an economic system that is rapidly shifting towards the ”I want it fast and I want it now” consumption model. And last but not least… Right when brands are frantically reviewing their strategies to re-seduce the Pokemon Go generation who are more aware of Picachu’s geo-location than Harricana’s newest store.

Enter in Montreal: Digital Fashion Week. Taking place in March 2017, in tandem with Montreal’s 375th anniversary, DFW Montreal takes a step further any other major international fashion week, might it be Milan’s, New York’s or Paris’s: Live transmitted fashion shows, an immediately shoppable runway, educational initiatives, international collaborations with high-scale brands and an exposure that goes beyond the city—strike that—the country.

Exciting, huh? Wait until you meet the brilliant woman behind it. Melanie Trevett was involved in the Canadian Fashion Industry through the International Fashion Showcase—which is part of London Fashion Week, and quickly became a major player as she put together many initiatives featuring Canadian designers in London while advising and working closely with Délégation Québec. But most importantly, Melanie is the visionary with the fiery eyes and the fierce walk.

” The past 24h have been crazy…” she told me this morning.”And now I just got the confirmation we’ll have an international fashion show with a world-known designer.” Although it’s too early to disclose the name (I don’t know who either, I swear), it was nice to at least know that the designer en question is Canadian.”It’s great because he’s a great example of Canadian success in Europe. Now he’ll come back to his roots and show to emerging designers that their story starts here, and they can make it in the international as well”.

About that. Montreal can’t afford to make the same mistakes that lost the consumer’s attention in the past. Canadian designers face an international competition that has the upper hand when it comes to product designs, quality of confections and … fair pricing. For their own sake, designers have the obligation to not only produce brilliant collections that will appeal to consumers, but also handle their own PR, engage in more marketing efforts to appeal to their targeted crowd (and no, social media posts aren’t enough), and invite buyers who fit with their brand identity for a better targeted distribution that will boost their sales. If they succeed, and the platform succeeds, Canadian fashion will inevitably succeed. Everybody will be happy—even the consumers.

One last juicy detail?”Back row will be just as cool as the front row! The experience will be crazy for all guests,” She concludes.

How? Let’s wait and see as the project unfolds!

In the photo: Melanie Trevett captured by our friend Candice Pantin from IlikeIWear.com

Melanie-Trevett_©Candice-Pantin_V2

 

 

Bonjour Mesdames, Mesdemoiselles et surtout…Messieurs,

One of the most stimulating things about summer (beside that it is warm, comfortable, joyful, playful, bright, sunny, happy, humid, sticky, AC friendly, sandy, rooftop parties…) is the fact that gentlemen can finally wear lighter colours. I mentioned some possibilities in my last article, here is one of them: Earthy colours.

Earth tones colours, as the name states, come from our natural environment: brown, tan, green, as well as different shades of greys. These colour schemes are best used when mixed and matched, such as this jacket and trousers. The result is warm, chic and perfect for a classy yet understated summer look. Matched with a white shirt and blue knitted tie and pocket square, the effect is complete. Of course, brown Oxford shoes and belt are in order here.

Jacket: Ted Baker (The Bay)

Trousers: Simons

Shirt: Clusier (Clusier habilleur)

Tie : Sur mesur

Belt : Canali

Shoes : Rudy’s Paris

“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.”  – John Locke, English philosopher

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Bonjour Mesdames, Mesdemoiselles et surtout…Messieurs.

Ahhh, summer in beautiful Montréal. Although I enjoy all four seasons, one must admit that there is something particular about this one, especially in a Nordic country such as ours. All our senses are constantly stimulated. The Sun actually warms our skin and penetrates down to our soul, the lilies and other flowers’ wonderful aromas circulate in the air, we can now hear creatures that either hibernated or came back from their exotic winter destinations and last but not least; the ladies’ garments lighten considerably for the pleasure of our eyes…

This brings us to our main subject: a gentleman’s summer look. Light blues, white pants, bright colours. One can truly express one’s eccentricities during the warm seasons. One can also go classic with a full beige match. Light coloured shirts are to be favoured; one can never go wrong with white…

Keep your four season shoes or go with loafers, there too interesting colours such as red can be worn and go perfectly with the season plus…You can wear them again on a sunny vacation.

Voilà!

“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.”  – John Locke, English philosopher

Cardigan: The Gap

Tonic Scoop T-Shirt: All Saints

Belt: Polo Ralph Lauren

Trousers: Ralph Lauren

Loafers: Baileys 

Glasses: Tom Ford

Watch: Tissot

Bracelet: Bloodstone Jewels

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Oh Man, Stéphane Leduc did it again. And just like last year, he goes big… and bold.

Flashback to a year ago: Stéphane, whose 25 years of experience and globetrotting made him a key player here and abroad, curated the first edition of the FMD Conferences – Which was a huuuge success, and a treat for the creative minds. Names like Patricia Field, Scooter Laforge, Vincent Leret, and my favourite, Marc-Antoine Coulon, shared life experiences, and motivational lessons on how they’ve made it (I simplified it in one sentence but believe me when I say the conferences were beyond! Drop a comment if you were attended the conferences and left inspired)…

… This year, he promised bigger names for next edition, and boy, he delivered. The super connected globetrotter that he is, announced yesterday morning the participation of international names like Hervé Leger-Leroux (yes, as in Hervé-freaking-Leger), Scott Schuman aka The Sartorialist, Lise Watier and Gucci latest collab Trouble Andrews… To name only these! The roster also includes national leading moguls such as Jeanne Beker, Max Abadian (International photographer known for shooting big names like Gigi Hadid), and Cirque Du Soleil costume designers Kim Barrett, Mark Decoste and Benoit Mathieu.

More to come on this story, but for now, let’s take a moment to say: Hats off to you, Stéphane!

 

 

Libre Comme L’Art. Divine like a dream. The MBAM’s annual ball was beyond mesmerizing: Gorgeous gowns, Starry set-ups, Elegant guests, Sparkling jewels (And smiles)…under the incredible roof of Le Musée Des Beaux Arts! Socialites,philanthropists, Business moguls, celebrities and influencers gathered in a fall night to celebrate art (and freedom), and raise money to finance the museum’s projects. What you (probably) didn’t know, the museum is a private institution that has to auto-finance itself to keep active – Which our city desperately needs, given the successful and positive contribution it adds to our society: It has a spectacular encyclopaedic collection and around 41 000 art pieces that inspire and educate the hundreds of thousands subscribers. Major Bonus Points for the extraordinary exhibitions they hosted last year: Benjamin Constant, Rodin & La couleur de Jazz. This might sound like nothing if you didn’t visit the museum this year, but believe me when I say the scenography around each exposition was completely insane.

Back to the ball. As we were entering the museum, a huge Eiffel Tower peace symbol was displayed – which made guests stop for a second to snap a picture or just to acknowledge the emotional meaning of the sign. But something with more gravitas keeps this ball popular year after year than the peace sign. Maybe it’s because of how the guests always look magical in their choice of gowns and attires (you never looked so good, Montreal). Perhaps this year it was the multi-disciplinary artistic set-ups of the exposition rooms (transformed into dinner rooms* for the night), to which many local talents contributed. Or perhaps it was because Tina Dupont presided the organizing committee* and that the exceptional dinner was signed by Helena Loureiro.

Whatever the reasons, I can’t wait for you to scroll down and check out the gorgeous pictures Josée took that night. In a room full of gowns, we sipped on champagne, had gorgeous discussions, met fabulous people and reconnected with old friends. It was a dazzling night, and I surely can’t wait for the next edition.

*The organizing committee is impressively composed by 15 notable professionals who distinguish themselves by the success of their respective career.

Photo Credit: Josée Lecompte 2015_party_museum 2015_party_museum1 2015_party_museum2 2015_party_museum3 2015_party_museum4 2015_party_museum5 2015_party_museum6 2015_party_museum7 2015_party_museum8 2015_party_museum9 2015_party_museum10 2015_party_museum11 2015_party_museum12 2015_party_museum13 2015_party_museum14 2015_party_museum15 2015_party_museum16 2015_party_museum17 2015_party_museum18 2015_party_museum19 2015_party_museum20 2015_party_museum21 2015_party_museum22 2015_party_museum23

I Come from a country where hair is mostly curly – And mine is no exception, regardless of how much keratin treatment I invested in. It always amazed how, back there, hairdressers would style your hair without using any hot tools (no curling iron, no straightener, just a hair dryer and a brush)…. A technic that very few people master here. In my case, I just never found anyone who can handle my thick hair without either getting tired (looong process and lots of arms workout), or being discouraged enough to start warming-up hair straightener midway of my brushing. But that was before I discovered Tony from O Coiffure & SPA.

That day, I went to the fifth floor of Ogilvy’s to try O’Coiffure & SPA for the first time. I had a wedding, and I admit I took a risk. But let me tell you that a guy who’s so well renowned in the industry, who have learned from masters in the hairdressing world, and who did Meg Ryan’s hair (I learned that later) is trustworthy. He has been in O Coiffure & SPA for 9 years now, a very short time if you ask him. “You find that short? Hairdressers can’t stay over five years in the same hair salon, they always move on after a certain point!” I said. To what he responded: “Not here though. We’re all a big family, few people leave after they join. Ask around you, everybody have been here for 25, 20, 15 years! Hugo, how long have you been here?” Hugo, a young (and handsome guy) was there for 19 years! “See?” Tony said with a smile.

Back to my hair. In less than hour, he styled it so well and so fast. Bonus points for his sense of humour. We laughed and discussed during all the time we spent together! The price? Same than your most average hair salon! For such a high-scale place, with so talented people, I was surprised. In fact, I believe I paid more in very random places. “People think we’re expensive because we’re at Ogilvy’s. But our prices are more reasonable compared to others, and I’m proud because our team is super talented!” Enough said, scroll down to see the result (and NO, no curling iron involved!)

P.S: How CUTE is my niece!!

DSC_1185DSC_1219

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

It was 2 p.m. I was waiting for him at the Palm Court of the Ritz Carlton. To be honest, I was a bit nervous. I was expecting Dick Walsh, one of the most important creative gurus Montreal has ever known.  I’m sure he can’t fit all his achievements in one C.V, but long story short: he did windows for Dior, Shieshedo, Valentino; He produced Celine Dion’s wedding, the amazing balls of many museums (like Guggenheim) and charity organizations, he launched Carine Roitfield’s magazine, he did the Grammy’s… And the list goes on… and on. Yep, you can tell I had done my research. I knew his bio so well , but nothing can ever prepare you to meet someone who has such a tremendous influence in the world of design and lifestyle.

The revolving door of the lobby opened and he appeared… he looked very dapper in his double-breasted suit, his funky green and blue velvet loafers… and of course, his great smile that makes you feel instantly comfortable! And that’s the thing about Dick Walsh; Smart, witty but never pretentious. He was very generous, talking about his career; his vision of Montreal’s design and fashion scene… He even shared some of his design secrets (yup, you might want to read until the end!) MAT_Dickwalsh1

Just like any giants, it only comes natural to start by asking: Where and how did it all start?

Dick: I was 17 and I was looking for a summer job. Eaton was opening in Quebec city, and I really wanted to work there but I was underage. I guess I can confess this now, I slightly bumped my age up while applying and they took me. So  like any beginners, I started by opening boxes. I was fortunate enough to be handed what were to be used in the store’s windows. After opening all the boxes, I pulled out the wigs, the mannequins and the accessories… And I had no idea what to do with them. I instinctively dressed the mannequins and used the accessories around them in a way I liked. Next day, Eatons’ GM saw my work and he loved it. Six Months later, I moved to Montreal. They’ve put me in charge of all the windows and I was working with over 40 employees.

During 3 years, Dick created the most amazing windows For Eatons. He Perfected his art and changed the face of Montreal. The secret of his success?

Dick: One of the first thing I did when I arrived in Montreal was to ask for the windows to be lighted-up at night. Back then, downtown was the place to be. All the best clubs where there. So at 3 am. when the clubs closed, everyone stopped in front of the windows. At one point, we had to put ropes in front of them because they were so many people looking at them. I was also asked to make them a little less provocative, because they had a certain sexual undertone to them. Maybe that’s why Karl Lagerfeld is still one of the biggest fans of my Eaton windows.”

He swiped some photos  from his iPhone to show me some examples. The first thought that came across my mind is how windows displays are an art form that needs to be brought back, in all international fashion scenes. Looking at his previous work, I found it interesting how it’s a mix between interior design, photography and cinema. They were like a scene, it always seems to be a story there. It makes you want to pause, reflect, savor and dig into what you see. Paul Klee once said: ”Art doesn’t represent what we see but teaches us how to see”. It’s like a call to stop from walking, to take a break from your routine, to take the time, a moment to really appreciate what you see.

What was your ah-ha moment? When did he know exactly what he wanted to do?

Dick: I never really decide on anything. I’m not career-oriented so all what happened to me wasn’t part of a plan. I just never said no. Like the time when I was still working for Eaton, Famous MUA Serge Lutens suggested I should go to Japan with him for a Shisheido project. I just followed him. For someone who comes from a little town, Donakota, it was amazing. Then, I went to Paris. Then other cities. other projects… I just really never said no.

Then you became an event-planner…

Dick: That was another outcome of not being able to say no. In 1996, I was working for Elle Quebec as a creative director. I got a phone call, they wanted me to to do Celine Dion’s wedding. I never ever did any events, except fashion shows. It was the first time I planned an event A to Z… Actually, now more than ever, I realize it’s really because I have always been open to new opportunities. I always said yes to new projects. I’ve never had any insecurities about my job or trying something new… I’d just jumped right into it. At the end of the day, I’m not a surgeon. If I make a mistake, nobody will die… so I might as well go for it.

MAT_Dickwalsh2What is your secret to great design?

Dick: Lighting. I like simplicity in my home. I don’t like to have many objects, but lighting is the key. Even when you don’t have the budget, you can have a great set-up with the right lighting. I did an event here, in Montreal, last year at L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel. We had no budget but we created a great concept: The models were on Black cubes and we’ve put a nice dramatic spotlight on them. It was gorgeous!  At home, I have different lights for different mood. But I found a great little lamp, here in Montreal: It’s a minimal strip of led light but it produces a great halo. I bought a bunch of them, so I have them everywhere at home now!

What’s next for you now?

Dick: I want to go back to my roots and do more windows. I’m moving to New York, as I’ll be collaborating with MAC Cosmetics for Henry Bendel & Saks. But I would love to come back to Montreal. I find it very sad that many talented people leave the city, because there is only so much you can do. I keep bumping into so many Quebecers, working in the industry, either in Paris or New York.  People blame it on money, they say there is no budget but I don’t agree. I think it’s more about taking risks and being more outgoing. Because otherwise, you can do a lot without much!

What would be then your advice to the next generation? 

Dick: We simply need the new generation and the government to get involved to make the city alive again. In the 80s, everybody would come to Montreal! I remember there were some crazy parties with Fellini, Picasso’s family and others legends. We didn’t to get out to the world, the world was coming to us. But people forgot what it used to be, they need to know the city’s history, what we came from, and what we can do to make the city great again. People wait for opportunities, but they forgot they can create their own opportunities.

***

There was it. A wonderful afternoon with Dick Walsh. He made me proud to be and feel Montrealer. Our Quebec moto is ‘Je Me Souviens’. Let it always be a reminder that Montreal is the city where all dream can come true. All opportunities can be a success. Our DNA can lead many industries. Talent & creativity is part of our heritage and our future.

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, edited by VSCOCAM.
Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

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

MtlBlog_SLeduc_0465

 

“ 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 :)MtlBlog_SLeduc_0667

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).

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

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.

IMG_6454-675x702