Denis Gagnon - fall/winter 2004

In an oeuvre that is remarkably spring in its tactile lightness, and fall in its sombre step toward making us all a tad more multi-functional, Denis Gagnon shows us why he’s been one of Canada’s most consistent designers for the past decade.

Gentle creases and luxurious treatments soften the paramilitary outlines. The collection sports more than one innovation for closure-the wayward zipper is an instant classic in an outsider kind of way.

Sinewy leather tights and periwinkle use exaggerated pockets. Some of the vests cut away at a nifty swoop and layers of fabric encumber the more elaborate outerwear. Either way, the minimalist groove is what Gagnon succeeded in etching.

The collection is strongly reminiscent of last season’s smashing success, with the clingy silhouettes for men and women. The look is streamlined a little too much in some places, and a touch too gratuitous with frills in other places. I’m not sure why symmetry has such a strong hold on the collection, and this unnecessary restraint makes the offerings gimmicky rather than more wearable. Despite the fact that many of the pieces are presented as combinations, I suspect that they might work better as separates.

The androgyny that runs rampant throughout the collection is single-handedly the most definitive aspect, and it helps Gagnon to continually recreate a world that is at once practical and imaginative. He’s still the closest you can get to perfection when it comes to leather pants.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer