Dubuc - spring/summer 2002


True to their expressive nature, passions are impossible to conceal. Similarly, a love for fashion in all its incarnations as a cultural expression and lifestyle element can’t help but get on the roof and belt out creative affidavits. Canadian designer Philippe Dubuc is one such createur de mode whose obsession is contagious. Toronto Fashion Week was treated to Montrealer Dubuc’s first Toronto show in 3 years, high time for one of Canadian fashion’s most glamorous rising stars.

Dubuc is pure style. The classic Savile Row tailoring, impeccably sharp cuts and long, stately Bavarian lines square Dubuc as an haute couture challenge to the European sartorial hegemony. Recently closing a sponsorship deal with Moet & Chandon is guaranteed to assist Dubuc in this quest. Fritz Laboucane, Creative Director for Vidal Sassoon Canada, says that “Dubuc consistently puts out a good collection. Look, I’m wearing Dubuc head to toe!” Despite the unanimous praise, the prolific menswear designer knows when a change is in order. Incredible demand predicated the launch of a women’s line in Fall 2000.

Dubuc’s outdoor show featured both Fall 2001 and Spring 2002, a gesture showing the dedication Dubuc has to his customers. The Fall 2001 men’s collection boasts a magnificently cinematic line of tweed jackets, in smoke-blue positive/negative and black/white check. The positive/negative pattern red velvet pants are straight-cut with an unmistakably masculine edge. The women’s pinstripe skirt with side hook clasps cleanly demonstrates Dubuc’s ability to design a feminine silhouette without compromising the angular integrity that he is becoming famous for.

Dubuc’s Spring 2002 collection marches down a bohemian, latin-flavoured avenue, licensing a playful colour palette. The women’s line presents some new looks, such as the black suit with highly visible red asymmetrical stitching. The baby blue bias-cut skirt with furling pleating and matching jacket with a tight, clean neck is a combination that proves his women’s line is more than just a convenient addition. The men’s 2002 line is sporty and functional, as seen in the white double-striped black zip-up longshirt. The classical approach to masculine dress codes is tempered with a romantic vulnerability. The men’s purple wool pants go swimmingly with the variegated multi-colour striped demi-sheen shirts, which are also available for women.

Daniel Cox and Dubuc
Despite the copious amounts of attention engulfing Philippe Dubuc at the present moment, his design approach remains grounded. “Each piece has to stand on its own. I always think, ‘who will wear that?’. Being from Montreal, we have a tradition of mixing European style with American comfort.” Creating wearable clothing is obviously paramount for Dubuc, who is always spotted in his own designs. “I have the biggest wardrobe in Montreal,” he says with a smirk. “Three-thousand five-hundred pieces.”

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer