I attended 4 shows: Duy, Samuel Dong, CIMM collective and Second Clothing. Check out my reviews below.
I didn't really know what to expect from Duy as it was his first official Montreal Fashion Week-associated outing (although he's been around for very long). His first look, a gorgeous lace dress with a bouquet of white flowers, as the top, was very promising. I must say, speaking in terms of pieces alone, one by one, most of them were stunning, very interesting and the workmanship and level of detailing was tremendous, but (yes there is a small but), the show needed a bit of editing as it lacked of coherence in the message. Some of his pieces were over-conceptualized...just too many different things going on at the front and the back of a white tailored jacket for instance. However, they did make for great editorial looking pieces. But, Duy can cut a dress, a skirt, a blazer like no one else. Also, his combination of textures was great and looked oh so luxurious. His play with sensual ruffles, lines, volume and asymmetry was gorgeous. With some editing, he has the potential for greatness which is bound to happen!
Another designer I was eager to watch was Samuel Dong's presentation as his show was another of my favorite from Fall.2011 Montreal Fashion Week. He continued with his very ladylike look established in the previous season, but had much less styling and much more prints than what I remembered him doing last season. For Spring.2012, it is all about Prints for Samuel Dong, in all variety of shapes, colors & fabrics and on every silhouette! Wild colorful prints, soft prints, and everything in the middle. There were lots of ruffles, movement, flow, brocade and asymmetrical detailing, which are all Samuel Dong signatures. The evening gowns were superb in their workmanship, especially the finale dress, with rosettes of flowers on a pink full ball gown. The great thing about his creations is that he fully understands his customer's needs and delivers in that aspect. Why change something that works right? However, I must say I wasn't as blown away as the previous season, and left somewhat wanting more from this show. The music, the (weak) styling and the exuberance of prints left me somewhat puzzled.
-CIMM Collective (Zenobia Bawa, Ronen Chen, Simon Chang)
Zenobia Bawa: A collection full of transparency (huge MFW21 trend) and draping on long evening dresses. Volumes were lightly explored but could have been more touched upon. Specific to a targeted clientele.
Ronen Chen: I was eager to see Chen's show as a few weeks prior, I had visited his London, UK boutique and found myself interested by most of his pieces. Some of the pieces on the Montreal catwalk I had seen at his boutique already, which was weirdly intriguing. Sheer tops and architectural structured lines were evident in his Montreal presentation. However, I found the styling and the pieces presented a bit all over the place, with no real intention but to show clothes from his boutique. This became more evident when reactions, gasps and murmurs came from the crowd (sitting in my row at least) upon realizing that tags were kept on and visible to the naked eye, especially on sheer tops! Somewhat disappointing.
Simon Chang: Always the crowd pleaser, mr.Chang was as energetic and happy as his collection was. Lady Gaga's Born this way blasted through our ears (really was way too loud) as the prints festival continued (seems like it was the trend of the day). Simon Chang used prints galore on shirts, dresses, blazers, skirts, multi-colouful crochets, peasant-prairie like blouses and dresses etc. Animal prints of all kind; psychedelic prints, flowers, cities, tribal, name it, you probably had it. There were some great pieces like the sequined paneled trench coat, as well as a clear white crochet cardigan over a great tribal print dress. But the styling was a bit over the top (including the make-up), which didn't allow us to fully grasp some of the beautiful pieces that were sent down. It would have benefited from a "less is sometimes more" approach but still, mr.Chang's many clients and followers in the crowd seemed to enjoy the show as he was enthusiastically cheered on when he took his finale bow down the runway.
Always a favorite for their great jeans and streetwear clothing that is young and fresh, Second Clothing did not disappoint the fashionable crowd in attendance with their Spring.2012 outing. Many pieces were favorites of the many fashionista's sitting next to me. And judging by the constant twitter feed of ouh's and awe's, the same could be said about the pastel colored flared and skinny jeans as well as the movement of the water-like printed flowered dresses that walked down the runway. The pastel color palette consisting of light yellow, salmon & pistachio was delightful. The chambray fabric, although excessively used, was light as air, especially on the beautiful dresses that flew like the wind (which was the theme of the night & the week by the way) and the great flared pants with pleating at the waist. Besides a good cut & editing job needed (as there were too many looks going down which felt like I had witnessed their entire catalog), it was easy casual street wear at its best with very good pieces (especially the jeans).
Day 4 reviews, final day of Fashion week, coming up...Stay tuned!