Denis Gagnon - fall/winter 2009

Contrasting hardy with light and sophistication with ease, Denis Gagnon’s fall-winter 2009 offering exudes an energy all its own.


The lavish show that closed Montreal Fashion Week was held at Fullum & Holt, the leathergoods factory that manufactures, among other things, Gagnon’s must-have handbags. The industrial setting and bright spotlights made for a Blade Runner-like effect, as the 800-strong crowd was treated to armoured goddesses that embody femininity in all its strength.

The beloved designer blends all of his signature materials—jersey, silk, and of course leather—in combinations that are fresh and energetic. From leather mini-dresses to skinny pants with wraparound jackets, there is an overall sophisto-rocker quality. There are also heavy doses of ribbed wool, what’s shaping up to be a fall favourite on the Canadian Fashion Stage, and this warmth is echoed by fur embellishments on cardigans. Could those zippered dresses come off in one deft move? Quite possibly. It’s noteworthy that this dark collection rarely dips into the colour wheel, save for a crimson handbag.

Quilted leather bombers have sharp shoulder cuts, offset by flowing, panelled draping in steel-grey. In fact, the draping in the jersey dresses has such great structural flow, helped out by artsy fastenings courtesy of Harakiri, the popular Montreal jewellry line by Mireille Boucher.

Indeed, accessories are outstanding in this collection, including the folded and stitched handbags gussied up with broaches and mirrors, ribbed hoodies with seed beads, and touches of metal and fur. This is one insomniac dream that echoes London fashion trends with its head-to-toe packaging.

And who was that mysterious character, flying down the runway wearing a fur ski-mask? Like the collection teaches us to do, we must use our imaginations.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer