Last Wednesday I rolled into Montreal after a seven-hour trip, with just 20 minutes to drop off my bags and change into clothes that weren’t wrinkled and smelling like Megabus before running to the Rialto Theatre.
Needless to say, I was feeling a little self-conscious about attending POP Montréal’s annual Fashion POP show in this state, but after seeing WORN’s preview of the six emerging designers’ work, no way I was going to miss a chance to see those clothes in person.
I didn’t envy the judging panel (which included WORN’s Emily Raine and last year’s winner Angie Johnson), as every collection was incredibly impressive but each so different from the last. How do you compare the fun and whimsy of Catherine Durocher’s Prototype—which included a bright cartoon-like fox in the collar of a dress and an owl’s face in the back of a hood—to the clothes of Market Market, which were beautiful in their sheer simplicity and lack of unnecessary detailing?
Winner Natasha Thomas struck the perfect balance between these two extremes: she worked with simple, classic pieces (primarily trench coats), but turned them on their head with unexpected cut-outs, exaggerated shapes and surprising lengths. Hers was the collection that made the woman sitting next to me whisper, “I want to own all of that,” into my ear as the last model left the runway. And I must confess, fantasies of playing Inspector Gadget or Sherlock Holmes while wearing her trenches have been running through my head since Wednesday.
Congratulations to Natasha for winning the $1,000 prize, a $500 gift certificate from Le Chateau and (most exciting, in my biased opinion) a feature in Issue 12 of WORN Fashion Journal. We’re all looking forward to working with you!