Denis Gagnon - spring/summer 2006

In the Canadian fashion industry, a delicate creature that exists through interdependency and good survival skills, the combination of consistency and instinct can be killer. Enter Denis Gagnon and his vision of what spring-summer 2006 fashion should be.

You won’t need those rose-tinted glasses come March thaw-Canadians will be wearing black and white, if we take our cues from the fashion designer with his finger on the button.

For women’s ready-to-wear, there is a weaving of themes that only a designer as style-sensitive as Gagnon can muster. The simple white cotton skirt, pleated at the waist and not at the hem, worn under a black embroidered lace top with white tuxedo neck, deconstructs a uniform to show individuality. The white peasant dress, following a faux-serious current in Canadian design this season, is as sombre as the leather bolero is playful.

What would spring cleaning be like, scrubbing in a three-quarter length jungle green body suit, and matching flared leather jacket? I’ll bet it would be as fun as chasing dust bunnies in the tulle bell skirt and slitted white dress. There’s something musical in the clingy skirts, sound waves stitched together into pieces inexorably Denis.

Siphay Southidara, of YSO fame and now Parasuco’s secret weapon, commented on the emotional depth of the collection after the Montreal show. “The collection is absolutely exquisite. It’s amazing for a designer to show such vulnerability, to use volume and texture the way he does. Here we see what a Canadian designer can really do.”

The menswear is just as sexy, if not a tad more irreverent. Tuxedo pants have drooping suspenders and are worn with a trademark Gagnon leather biker jacket, proving that there’s a bad boy in every suit. The plunging V-neck works on the runway but might not in the wardrobe, unless the wearer is as gutsy as the designer.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer