Graceful Crescendo At Helmer
Impressing the Montreal audience with his artistic patchworks last season, Helmer dazzled us again for Spring ’08. Opening his collection of ’50s-inspired sportswear, the former Parisian designer’s colour palette remained neutral tan, with occasional details in navy and red. From waist-high skirts and round, low-cut necklines, the collection was punctuated with a high, ruffled collar baby-doll dress in navy. His fantasy-inspired evening gowns included his trademark floor-length, geometrical patchwork, a green taffeta mermaid skirt with a lacy top (paired with a matching zigzag shawl), and a ruffled gray and black tube mini. Helmer once again wooed the crowd with his savvy tailoring.
The concept behind Michel Desjardins’ show for his Spring collection was nothing short of elegant and intimate. Held at his downtown Montreal boutique at 416 de Maisonneuve Boulevard, Desjardins’show was at once a runway event and a photo shoot. Models took on ethereal personas as they slowly walked down the white-carpeted “runway” toward a white-curtained backdrop. They posed against a ladder, poised and beautiful, ready to have their photos taken, which would somehow forever immortalize their feminine mystique. The clothes were romantic, feminine, and colourful. For the business woman, a sleeveless, pinstriped vest and matching wide leg pants was gently accentuated with a wide black lace belt. Silk and chiffon gowns of flowery variations, with empire waists and sweetheart necklines, floated, hugged, and flattered the body. Michel Desjardins’ work is naturally understated, and unmistakably one of the most romantic collections of the season.
Stitching On Canvas
Inspired by Besner’s paintings, Claudette Floyd let her artistic flair flow through her collection for next spring. Indeed, the blue floral prints and the rusty gold and deep forest green flower appliqués were sprinkled over her short summer dresses. Lacy to sheer with asymmetrical lines and patterns, her dresses were her canvas, her sewing machine the paintbrush. And what better way to end her show than with a sneak peek behind the scenes of the work involved in the making of two hand-painted dresses — artwork on white taffeta canvas, finely executed, and giving new meaning to “Art Nouveau.”