POP Goes the Puces: Part Two

Ready to get your Simon Cowell on? (Just kidding, be nice!) Here are the final three contestants for Montreal’s FASHION POP. We hate to sound like your nagging mother, but remember to join the Puces Pop Fair group on Facebook, for a chance to win a subscription to WORN, and visit their event page for more information.


EVITA by MARIE-EVE DION

How long have you been designing under this name?
It’s quite new actually. I’ve just graduated from Ecole Supérieure de Mode Montréal in fashion design and I had decided to put this project (having my own company) on hold. But since I have been approached by FASHION POP, I thought it was a good timing to start it.

Where are you from? Where do you call home now?

I’m from Orford\Magog, but actually call Montreal home, after arriving five years ago.

What is the theme of your collection?
L’aube me jette. It is quite abstract and poetic at the same time, representing all the softness and weirdness one can find in my collection. I took my inspiration from automatic writing and played with letters as my canvas. So all my clothes are made from letters and are telling their own story.

Do you find that your designs evolve or change much from the initial sketch to end product?
In this particular case, I didn’t have any sketches, because what really started my creation process was my experimentation with shapes and fabrics. Not knowing what the result would be was, in fact, essential to my process.

What was the first garment you ever made?
My mother taught me how to sew, and I chose to make a ’60s inspired red dress.

If you could design the wardrobe for any fictional character, who would it be?
Let’s admit it: I don’t like princesses, but I would like to dress the one from the Last Unicorn movie. I really enjoy the aesthetic of that movie.

What is the most difficult part of designing a collection?
Considering it done. I always find something that needs to be fixed.

Do you wear your own designs?
Yes. I always try to incorporate a piece of my own designs in my daily wear. Not so easy considering I do not have a lot of free time to make new garments for myself.

What makes Montreal style and fashion different from other Canadian cities or American fashion?
The thing is that there is a lot of talent in Montreal but we sometimes struggle to showcase it, partly because of our lack of money, but also of a lack of visibility. Our market is quite insular. But I do feel like it is about to change. Young designers are really trying to showcase new ideas and create new kinds of events.


JONATHAN SCHMIDT

What is the theme of your collection?
Generally, subjectivity and beauty. Particularly, the role of the designer’s ideology and bias in defining beauty through the medium of clothing.

Do you find that your designs evolve or change much from the initial sketch to end product?
Sketching plays a huge role in my design process. I won’t start creating a new garment until I am totally satisfied with all the details of the design. I put absolute trust in my original concept, so (for better or worse) compromising the original design is something I have a lot of trouble doing. As such, everything I make resembles the original design very closely.

What is the most difficult part of designing a collection?
Designing is the easy part, it’s everything after that’s hard. I’m uncertain what I will feel once this collection is out but I know that it’s just the beginning of a new phase of bringing product to market and trying to establish a business.

What makes Montreal style and fashion different from other Canadian cities or American fashion?
I really can’t tell. It seems like the internet’s strongest cultural influence has been facilitating conformity. In every metropolitan centre I’ve been in, young, urban people do everything the same.


ISABELLE CAMPEAU

What is the theme of your collection?
It is inspired by Italo Calvino’s novel from 1972 titled Invisible City. I see it as a sensible homage to visible and invisible layers that constitute the city. I wanted to do the same in my collection, but on an individual scale.

Do you find that your designs evolve or change much from the initial sketch to end product?
I always start with making small models and constructions. I don’t sketch a lot. Then, it changes until the end. It’s always in process.

What was the first garment you ever made?
I was always doing alterations on every single garment I had, I can’t remember the first one.

What is the most difficult part of designing a collection?
It’s impossible to stay objective. However, you have a lot of decisions to make and you have to know where to stop.

Do you wear your own designs?
Yes.

What makes Montreal style and fashion different from other Canadian cities or American fashion?
There is a great lifestyle in Montreal, a kind of cosiness that is somehow reflected in the way people dress.

interviews by Casie Brown
photography by Lindsey Fast

Go Go Gaultier Fashion Show!


Like any good journalist, I left the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition with few notes on the show, but a page filled with DIY jewellery and clothing ideas.

I’m not a particularly crafty person. My sewing machine has sat broken in my parents’ basement for about two years now, next to a dress I never got around to mending. Yet, standing in the same room as haute couture creations for the first time in my life, I decided I might have it in me to make some Gaultier-inspired creations of my own.

(As it turns out, I don’t. I’d hoped to include a photo of my metal sponge-turned-necklace here, but it’s too embarrassing and the sponge is now sulking under a pile of dirty dishes in my sink.)

I think what inspired my temporary delusion was that many of Gaultier’s materials, particularly in the punk- and urban-inspired portions of the show, were surprisingly accessible. And that’s what makes them so impressive — not just anyone can turn a garbage bag into a dress and scouring pads into wearable jewellery. Huh.

The exhibition features more than 140 outfits from Gaultier’s couture collections and prêt-à-porter lines. Rather than calling it a retrospective, Gaultier considers the show a creation in its own right. A variety of multimedia and photographs accompany the clothing.

Whether you’re a fan of the designer or not, it really is incredible to stand with your nose inches away from pieces that took hundreds, sometimes thousands, of hours to create by hand. Even to someone with my very limited knowledge of haute couture, the beauty and craftsmanship of the pieces is breathtaking.
(Also fun: the mannequins have moving faces and occasionally speak.)

The show does a good job of tracing the designer’s creative development alongside significant shifts in societal norms. I particularly liked the section that examines blurring gender roles and features skirts and corsets for men.

If you want to catch The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, it’s at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until October 2. After that, it will travel to the Dallas Museum of Art and then to the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, before going to Madrid in 2012.

text by Jaclyn Irvine
photography by Lindsey Fast