Envers - spring/summer 2004

The smell of incense and torch oil wafted through the Montreal audience as elaborate sand designs were poured at the foot of the outdoor runway. I Musici de Montreal set the tone with a neat little aria, decked out in the latest Envers offerings. What Envers show isn’t a magical affair?

Indian culture had its fingerprint all over the collection, with black, red, gold and silver as the main colour palette. Ornamentation is taken one step further than in previous seasons, using blatantly metallic finishes to catch the eye. A quicksilver organza mesh top is crumpled in just the right way to offset the propriety of a pair of pinstriped cotton pants. That a sexual thunderbolt runs through Lacasse’ women’s wear is undeniable. What happens when you corset an embroidered chiffon dress? Take a look for yourself.

For men we see many of custom Envers silhouettes we’ve grown accustomed to-the long flowing garb and wraparound shirts. The Punjab warrior look tries something a tad different, but not all of the details are apparent at first glance; jute string is embedded in many of the linen and cotton fabrics, giving a bit of spine to the layers of draping fabric.

Some anomalies did poke through, like the stiff grey and white striped peasantry of Fall 2003, replete with hand-made leaf appliqué. There are even a couple of swimsuits in the collection, hinting at 1920’s coquettishness.

The cultural clashes that Lacasse exploits often results in brilliant contrasts, but it would be nice to see an Envers collection free of colonial or imperial rhetoric.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer