Canada isn’t just about bears, whales and snowy mountains; step into its cities and you’ll find corners of exciting culture and artsy underground movements. In recent years a plethora of designers and artists from Canada have produced some stunning fashion pieces and the successful growth of both the Toronto and Montreal Fashion Week is testament to the rise of the Canadian fashion movement.
Erdem Moralioğlu was born in Montreal and grew up between Canada and Birmingham, UK. His ready-to-wear self-entitled women’s wear label has exploded in recent years and become a powerful and influential brand. His designs invert traditional floral patterns, creating exquisite contemporary prints and fabrics that are both classic and cutting edge. Erdem tends to play on past traditions whilst keeping the prospect of the modern, liberal female at its forefront, creating pieces that are both sweetly feminine and defiantly sexy.
Greta Constantine is a womenswear label based in Toronto, and is designed by Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong. The name derives from Wong’s mother, Greta, and Pickersgill’s grandfather, Constantine. The label creates luxury ready-to-wear pieces; their lines move from relaxed and simplistic to dramatic and provocative, with underlying chic and empowering tones. Their strong designs have made worldwide renown, with the influential likes of Coco Rocha singing their praise.
Arielle de Pinto
Arielle de Pinto’s jewellery designs are at just the right stage; renowned enough to be a success, underground enough to stay original. This Canadian designer creates expressionistic pieces with materials that range from brass to quartz crystal; her unique metal work allows her to hand crochet, hammer, ionize and polish, creating collections that are simultaneously rough and delicate. Think shabby chic with a wealth of innovation. We love her bun cages; hand crafted in brass, these innovative yet understated accessories are perfect for gathering up your locks on sweltering holidays.
The Underground City
Wind through the maze of Montreal’s Underground City and you’ll come across everything from Arabic spice shops to eclectic art installations to the high end Les Cours Mont-Royal mall. You’ll even stumble across an atrium which has been developed within the frame of a two hundred year old church. It’s an interesting mix of old and new and an ideal stop for some retail therapy, providing you with a great anecdote when you’re back home and asked…’’Where did you buy that dress?’’…
Toronto Vintage: Bridge and Bardot
True to its name, Bridge and Bardot takes classic fashion trends and adds a contemporary twist. Items are all couture courtesy of the vintage pieces this shop sources and expertly retouches. Rich colour sits next to sophisticated monochrome pieces and their recent summer campaign has seen floral bomber jackets mixed with grungy tees and dainty cream lace accompanied by neon jewellery.
Toronto Vintage: I Miss You Vintage
One-of-a-kind pieces in this high end boutique mean any trip requires a substantial amount of self-control, but this is no way a reason to avoid designer Julie Yoo’s fashionable treasure chest. Yoo places Thierry Mugler fitted blazers next to vintage white beaded sweaters and pin up golden heels from the forties: we can’t help but forge an imaginary wish list based on their website alone.
Montreal Fashion Week
A calendar must for the fashionistas amongst you, Montreal Fashion Week showcases the latest collections from Quebecois designers and beyond. Over the years this event has grown in popularity and has now earned a position as one of the world’s best fashion events, attracting buyers from around the globe. Major international designers exhibit clothing lines alongside up and coming local designers and the event offers an eclectic mix of quirky, classy, daring and exotic outfits. An international platform no designer would turn down, we couldn’t let Montreal Fashion Week go without a mention.