Défilé Bollywood - Crédits photo : Agnieszka Stalkoper

(An) Montréal The Fashionista

I feel overwhelmed by the strings of festivals that have swept Montreal since the beginning of the summer: the Jazz fest, the Francofolies, Just for Laughs and Nuits d’Afrique just to name a few… There is one festival that just brings out the best of Montreal. Aren’t we known worldwide for having the most beautiful people? Well, the Festival Mode et Design de Montréal happening right downtown was THE place to be to spot the hottest models, the best local designers and the latest in fashion. Good thing I had my good friend Janna Zittrer, Founder of Montreal Shopping Tours (a service that offers customized tours through Montreal’s best boutiques) and Special Correspondent for FLARE magazine, to give me a crash course of fashion 101. Who else could have given me insider’s details on what not to miss during FMDM 2012? Plus she knows all my little quirks, so I just know I will love everything she suggests. Here were her recommendations for 5 not-to-miss events during the festival:

1. Tendances SMM22: Get a first look at what’s set to land in stores over the coming weeks as Montreal’s top designers showcase their Fall 2012 collections. Each show celebrated a major Montreal Fashion Week theme, from sheer delights (featuring local labels including Ça va de soi, Lyn par Jocelyn Picard and Travis Taddeo) to light-reflecting looks (courtesy of Nadya Toto, Tavan & Mitto and more) and eye-popping brights (from the likes of Bodybag by Jude and Iris Setlakwe). Better still, all three shows were styled by José St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger, the talented duo behind the much-buzzed-about Montreal brand UNTTLD.

2. Rallye Shopping: If you deem shopping a sport, then consider this the shopping Olympics. Produced in partnership with LOULOU magazine, the massive shopping event transformed downtown Montreal into one giant fashion playground with gift bags, live music, cocktails and exclusive discounts on offer from major retailers including ALDO, Forever XXI, Dynamite, Jacob, M0851 and Sephora. (Read: warm up, cool down and stretching recommended.)

3. Crème à la glace, limonade sucrée: This show was packed with sweet summer styles by local female designers Anastasia Lomonova, Valerie Dumaine and Catherine Métivier and Anne-Marie Laflamme of Atelier B.

4. Collectif de Montréal: It’s a no-brainer, as it shines the spotlight on the best of Montreal (think Betina Lou, Harricana, Mackage, Second Yoga Jeans and Soia & Kyo).

5. The Festival de Mode et Design de Montréal Pop-Up Store: Fall shipments may be starting to arrive in stores, but we still have plenty of sunny days ahead. The pop-up store let you shop the current collections of local brands such as Valérie Dumaine, Mélissa Nepton and Masanbi right on site. After all, summer ain’t over ’til the leaves start to fall!

Now, let’s see if I passed or failed my intro class to fashion… either way, if ever I need a refresher course or summer classes because I still don’t understand what color-blocking is, I can always tag along to one of Janna’s tours and let her enlighten me with her undeniable fashion sense.

If you were at the festival, I would love to hear about your favourite event, favourite designer, favourite trend… Maybe share a few of your fashion tips with me.

Geneviève Borne, spokesperson of Montreal Fashion and Design Festival (fr) :

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