Montréal isn’t just a fabulous Quebecois city renowned for scenic streets, sexy people, fun nightlife and amazing food. It’s also a thriving style center which breeds young designers, boasts its own hometown fashion mavens, seves up fab cultural offerings, and just generally manifests its own brisk, hip, northeastern Canada-meets-France flair in how folks dress .
I got to bop around Montréal several weeks ago, and while there, I visited with some of the people making the city such a sassily stylish place. Take a look!
First, I visited local style legend Denis Gagnon at his sparse and swank flagship boutique in Old Montréal. Gagnon is an icon of Montréal – those glasses, coupled with his dramatic take on sleek, shimmering, almost avant-garde fashions for women (and some men) – have made him synonymous with Montréal design.
I also got visit young designers. Lise-Marie Cayer is the force behind Voyou, a womenswear line that melds simplicity with chic casual style. And Rodrigo Braga may be a PR-man by day, but he’s also recently launched his own fun and sexy T-shirt line, Curateur, which serves up witty, graphic takes on some gay-male iconography (mustaches, poppers, etc).
Fashion isn’t only celebrated in shops and boutiques or by working designers. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts recently hosted its own hugely successful retrospective of the work of French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, who’s had a long-thriving creative relationship with the city.
Created by model-turned-art-curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier celebrated all things Gaultier; everything from his work in films (by Pedro Almodovar, Luc Besson), his collaborations with pop icons Kylie Minogue and Madonna (the Blonde Ambition cone-bra corset I was represented) and his melding of punk, couture, street and classic fashions. This multimedia experience was on display thrillingly throughout this past summer. (Next stop for this visually vivacious show is Dallas, when it opens at the Dallas Museum of Art on November 13.)
And even when you’re just out dancing or catching a concert, you can’t escape Montréal style. At a rollicking concert for New Orleans “bounce music” artist Big Freedia, hosted by Montréal’s own DJ/producing powerhouse, Lezzies on X, there was an opportunity to get a styling new hairdo as you rocked it out. JJ from the wildly popular, queer-own Montréal bikeshop, Bikurious, set up a barber chair was offering concertgoers one of her signature “Lesbian Haircuts for Anyone.” Who could turn that down?
MONTREAL STYLE RUNDOWN
170-B Rue Saint Paul West
Montréal, QC H2Y 1Z7
9333 Blvd St-Laurent, Suite 404,
Montréal, QC H2P 1N6
Montréal Museum of Fine Arts
1379 Sherbrooke Street West
Montréal, QC H3G 1J5
Bikurious/Lesbian Haircuts for Anyone
1757 rue Amherst
To contact JJ, call (514) 625-HAIR