Dubuc - spring/summer 2006

One of Canada’s ambassadors to the fashion world came home to roost at Montreal Fashion Week, delivering a spring-summer 2006 that met with mixed reactions.

It’s obvious to anyone with a pair of functioning eyes that Philippe Dubuc can cut a good suit. The formal wear for men blends the casual with the debonair, as we see in the pairings of suit vests and cut-off shirts, and a tie thrown in for irony. There’s also a suit consisting of judo pants, and more V-necks in a season replete with them for those guys out there who don’t miss waxing appointments.

In Dubuc’s familiar world, the chic goof is the sex god du jour, as is occasionally the academic oddball. This fashion goodness, however, is nothing that we haven’t seen before from a designer who now shows more often in Paris than in Canada. The awkward neck straps are new but read more as novelty, and I don’t know who’s going to buy judo pants at Dubuc prices.

The saving grace: this may be the first collection we’ve seen from Dubuc where the women’s pieces outshine the men’s, in the past having been more of an accompaniment than a locus for creativity. The women’s line was so good, he didn’t even need to send the scantily clad Québecoise down the runway flaunting nipple.

An eggplant pouf dress with sinewy black contours is cinched at the shin, both reserved and decadent, the halter-neck barely more than a tease. The deconstructed navy shirtdress is both functional and boudoir, and the tie sends it over the top. The bow-tie pencil skirt has the tone-on-tone sheen that Dubuc has become known for. The charcoal and black layered dress with studded cummerbund gave the glitz that style-hounds can’t-nor should-live without.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer