WWDMAGIC Co-Sponsors a Night Out Featuring the Best in Montreal's Fashion
Set against the twilight sky at the Central Courtyard of Hollywood & Highland, WWDMAGIC co-sponsored Fashion & Opéra, a theatrical-themed celebration of the fashion and music of Montréal—followed by a production of the Montréal-based Cirque du Soleil at the Kodak Theatre. The evening’s runway show and stage performance treated a select group of buyers, designers, industry professionals and Canadian government officials to a night of cocktails, cuisine and Québec-bred culture.
Showcasing creations from six standout Montréal designers, masked models walked the runway in fashions from Philippe Dubuc, Mackage, Marie Saint Pierre, Morales, Barilà and Denis Gagnon. Interspersed with Opéra de Montréal performances, a parade of costume-inspired spring collections wowed the crowd by juxtaposing the wearable with the wonderful, the refined with the risqué and—most of all—the elegance with the edginess that defines Montréal fashion.
According to MAGIC president Chris DeMoulin, the partnership between WWDMAGIC and Montréal fashion furthers MAGIC’s mission of exposing U.S. retailers to top international brands. “We were excited to work with the Montréal fashion community,” said DeMoulin. “Partnerships such as this align perfectly with our role as a unifying force and our goal of introducing the MAGIC audience to cutting-edge international lines.”
Dubbed “Canada’s Cultural Capital” by London’s Monocle magazine, Montréal has been a fashion and culture center for centuries. And Québec government representative Alain Houde attributes the creativity coming out of Montréal to the city’s strong cultural flavor. “The cultural life is so dynamic in Montréal in terms of art, music, film and fashion,” he enthused. “We are real lovers of culture, and this reflects on the creativity of our lifestyle.” Moreover, there is an already-established creative connection between L.A. and Montréal, a connection Houde hopes to encourage. “There are a lot of similarities between Québec and Los Angeles, and a lot of ties that already exist within the fashion and entertainment industries. This is an occasion to strengthen those ties.”
According to Jean-François Daviau—co-president of Fashion & Opéra producer, Sensation Mode—the presence of MAGIC makes Los Angeles even more appealing. “We produced this show because L.A. is a capital of fashion and entertainment,” he states. “We want to show new markets what Montréal designers can do. And for us, MAGIC is the major show in the U.S.”
WWDMAGIC VP Christopher Griffin agrees that participation was a fitting opportunity to support L.A. fashion as well as enhance MAGIC’s expanding roster of foreign fashion initiatives—a list that currently includes partnerships with Prêt à Porter Paris, the Italian Trade Commission and the British Footwear Association. “Our international initiatives are another example of how MAGIC is bringing buyers something unique,” explains Griffin. “By exposing our audience to leading labels outside the U.S., in addition to the big-name and boutique lines they’re expecting to find at our show, we can provide an even richer, more comprehensive marketplace.”
From an attendee perspective, people are noticing. West Coast women’s rep Lynn Girard, of the Lynn Girard Showroom, feels that international initiatives are a factor in converting her high-end customers from East Coast shows to MAGIC’s twice-yearly Vegas events. “For some of my lines, we’ve doubled our figures in the last year at MAGIC. And I definitely had stores come because Prêt à Porter was there—stores that used to feel they could only go to Coterie. The European presence really acknowledged to them, ‘This is a serious show; come here, and you’ll see new things.’ It made them say, ‘I can see my international people in Vegas.’”
Echoing this optimism, the culture-packed evening closed with a general feeling of accomplishment—and anticipation for the future. The Montréal designs and show’s artistic presentation impressed the U.S. audience, while L.A.-based attendees left looking forward to more MAGIC-sponsored events and international fashion exposure. If a style opera and circus extravaganza are just the beginning, we can’t wait to see what’s next.