When technology gets you down, is frozen and simply won’t comply the only thing left to do is reboot. The same can be said for fashion. Finding myself a little unimpressed with the Toronto mode mood I decided to head east in hopes of unearthing some haute new Québécois couture.
Destination: Montreal, a veritable pool of creativity and underground everything. Known for their ability to pair high-end designer with local up and comers I combed the city for any sign of French flare.
The trip began with a check into our hotel de jour, The Germain’s new boutique hotel located on the Southshore; The ALT Hotel. Alternative and culture clubbed out, every detail from the lobby to the lofty suites screamed, “this is the place to be.” The hotel was stocked with all the typical boutique amenities and then some; flat screen TV’s, goose down duvets and designer pillows. It embodied a feeling that was tres tres Berlin with a Scandinavian twist. ALT certainly served up an arty slice of life with graphic modern treatments and even a DJ booth in the lobby.
Later that evening we dined with close personal friend and fellow McGill-ite Richard Beynon. Although finding the gorgeous two-floor loft in Montreal’s Little Italy was an adventure to say the least, once there it was well worth the GPS catastrophe that landed us more than fashionably late. Richard and his partner Richard served up a beautifully designed sushi smorgasbord and French white wine pairing.
The surroundings were chic and minimal with an eastern flare. Buddha statues, a Koi pond and Roche Boubois furniture filled the lavish loft creating a sense of boutique lifestyle. Dressed inToronto green label Preloved and Dolce and Gabanna the Richards played the part of perfect host giving the first night in Montreal a jump start injection of style and sophistication.
After perhaps a few two many glasses of vino we made our way down to St.Catherine Street. The sound of Black Eyed Peas “Tonight’s Going To Be a Good Night,” blaring in the background set the perfect tone for our next stop at the Montreal Gay Village’s hot spot Saloon. It seemed that the Toronto village style standards had followed us all the way past border patrol to the streets of Montreal. Everywhere we looked American apparel V’s and Abercrombie tee’s married high-end denim, practically murdering my search for Bourgeois eclecticism. If nothing else, the ambiance of Saloon was a saving grace and welcome visual aperitif. Its fantastic micro patterned wallpaper, hot pink partitions and runway video instillation were refreshing saving graces to the resto-checkpoint.
Not long after and another bottle of wine down the hatch we met up with a DJ friend of ours at Parking nightclub. Downstairs in the club’s main room we were welcomed by yet another Toronto fashion stowaway. It seems we had stumbled upon a Superstein fashion show. The hometown fashion label, which is known for its graphic screen-printing and highly recognizable branding set up shop by the bar selling everything from the standard long sleeve shirts to hoodys. By this point I decided to give up on that night’s quest for the nouveaux and just let the wave of Toronto tag alongs wash over me. Although I had seen nothing new in terms of fashion there was certainly something to be said for the Quebecois way of life. No matter where in the world you go, or what you happen to be looking for this FF blogger is certain. The most fabulous accessory and favorite label to wear are those you share the experience with; your best friends without compare.