Isabelle Elie - fall/winter 2003

The former stylist opened a studio boutique on Montreal’s tony Avenue Laurier last year, and if the collection is any indication, it’ll soon be full to the rafters.

Nestled in an ambient little bistro just a block away from the studio, fashionistas were treated to the label’s first full-fledged showing. The collection stormed out in brazen burnt orange, cadmium, gold and fuchsia with Martinique stripes for shirts. Patterns are given carte blanche, and it looks like bold plaids are maximizing their leeway with the knee-high skirts. A pair of herringbone tweed pants (it is a fall collection after all) look as cozy as the brocade tops and knit dresses, as well as the burgundy felted wool jacket.

There are dangling snippets galore in this collection, whether it’s patchwork appliqué, fur trim, streaming brocade or lace hems. A sultry sequence of gossamer camisoles will leave the boutique’s customers absolutely no reason to walk out empty-handed.

In representing such a wide spectre of tastes, it is incredible that the Isabelle Elie menu never spreads itself thin. The fashion community needs people like her, a designer for whom the very idea of cutting eighty pieces in the same fabric is unfathomable.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer