In its open setting, the FMD is not your usual festival, celebrating the talent of Montreal’s fashion and design scene through shows, showcases and conferences. This year, in an explosive manner, the festival highlighted the diversity, creativity and culture of the local scene as well as its craftsmen and artists, and cracked it wide open. Montreal being no little player in the fashion game, we got schooled with a few lessons reiterated by local collections, also capturing the magic of the events through my lens. Here’s what fashion have taught us:
1.The gender barrier is down. Unisex designers like Rad Hourani has been paving the way, recently followed by the likes of New York-based much-acclaimed label Hood by Air, famous avant-gardist Ann Demeulemeester or playful newcomer Jaquemus making genderless pieces; menswear maven Jonathan Anderson himself wore clothes from his women’s collections for Loewe on the cover of a magazine, transgender models now have famous ambassadors with Andreja Pejic and Lea T. while Gucci, Proenza Schouler, Chanel, Givenchy, Giorgio Armani, Saint Laurent, Raf Simons and Moschino cast models of the opposite gender in their respective runway shows. Now, Ruby Rose made gender fluidity trending, Jayden Smith wore a dress and a flower crown to Coachella and UK luxury department store Selfridge unveiled Agender, gender-neutral space. Phew. Closer to us, fashion students from Lasalle College put on a terrific show titled Generation Z, featuring no less that a hundred models. The concept ? No rules, only a true representation of millennial culture along with this new careless attitude that might be in Montreal’s DNA. With its own perception, this generation does not feel confined, refusing classifier, blending it all through through garments and leading the way in what feels like fashion’s adolescence.
2. Trends are dead. For a few seasons, there has been a lack of a consensual aesthetic and direction, rather taking upon multiple influences for clothing made for all tastes, body shape and lifestyle. In this new era, self-expression is prioritized, fashion is accessible, style is democratized. Interestingly, these new manners are also bringing down fast fashion, swapping consumerism for with a desire for great, practical, unique or timeless designs, durable clothing, a recognition for the craft, inquiring about environmental and social consequences and individuality. While collections are pouring actualized remixes, it is now about inspiration and interpretation. Dress like nobody is watching, and own it; you do you.
3. Diversity lives here. Following the numerous debates (and embarrassing faux-pas), representing diversity is fashion’s most important challenge and mandate nowadays At FMD, we were pleased to see models of every shape, height, ethnicity running the catwalk. Diversity is the new normal, and Montreal embodies like no other; now to be seen more in our magazines.
4. Local artists are the bomb. And the need bigger tribunes. We were quite blown away by the surreal performance of vocalist APigeon, our new favorite, or bouncing to Charles Cozy and Ryan Playground dropping beats before and during shows. Bliss.
5. Dancers. We need more of these everywhere.
Generation Z: Backstage
About Christelle Saint-Julien
Professional writer and translator based in Montreal, Christelle compiles projects on project such as brainchild Naked Underground Montreal, literary collective Le Shindig, music, arts and sharing her passion for local culture.