Montreal’s Fashion & Design Festival unveiled their 2016 program launch and it keeps getting bigger and better every year: A large diversification of content, from fashion movies at Cinema Du Parc, to collaborations with Cirque du Soleil and live artistic performances. The Festival has been going to great lengths lately, inviting international fashion icons and experts and collaborating with big organizations to deliver great content. Chantal Durivage, the cofounder, also explained the logic behind having local designers as well as international brands walk the runway during the festival as us montrealers like the rich diversity of our cultures and brands.

This certainly differentiates it from fashion weeks as it is seemingly positioning itself as an industry festival for fashion and design enthusiasts looking for entertainment while growing their industry knowledge. There seems to be less local designer fashion shows this year, probably to avoid the redundancy of showcasing the same designers in many different shows. That also makes sense as they are now highlighted by Montreal’s fashion week aka Fashion Preview, in a more detailed manner through full collections, for potential buyers to preview and pre-order as well as for other fashion industry players like media and stylists, all sharing the preview with the public and potential final customers.

The festival will take place at Place des Festivals in Quartier des Spectacles, for another consecutive year from August 15 to August 20. My top list of looking forward to #FMD16 moments are the fashion shows featuring Bestseller, Alton Gray, Cabinet Éphémère, LaSalle College x LCI Barcelona, boutiques Citizen Vintage and Boutique Ethik, all the DIYs from Cirque du Soleil (costume workshop), Daily dans ta face and Shaper Studios, the performance with paper-made dresses created by Alice-Anne Augustin, the fashion multimedia art, the fashion movies especially the First Monday in May about the annual MET Ball (which I loved and reviewed here) and all the conferences and by all I really mean all. FMD Conferences is presented by Destination centre-ville, in collaboration with Elle Quebec. Make sure to pay extra attention during these ones: Herve Leger-Leroux you know THE Herve Leger, MMode about the business of fashion in Mtl, the trio Mark DeCoste, Benoît Mathieu (master artisans in costume design and creation) and Kym Barrett (designer for Avatar and The Matrix) about the challenges of the costume industry, Jerome Gautier about the importance of photography in fashion, Max Abadian the internatinal photographer, Lise Watier and Jeanne Beker who do not need to be introduced, Jacques Nantel, the marketing guru, Didier Vervaeren fashion commissary from Modo Brussels, Trouble Andrew the hip graphic designer and Scott Schuman from the popular blog The Sartorialist. All will be animated by Stephane Leduc from Dress To Kill Magazine.

Other cool things on the menu: The Fashion Hero will be shooting an episode from the Festival’s main runway on Saturday at 4 p.m. for their international reality show, the chic masculine fashion show from Waxman with Love under live East Coast 90s rap musical performances by Montreal duo MIGS AND SILENT J., RELUXE’s business and entertainment personalities, walking to the beat of Ryan Playground’s music, wearing preloved luxury, in support of Le Chaînon.

So basically the big local designers fashion show this year will be presented by Cabinet Ephemere and will showcase Noemiah, Nisse, Poupoune de Luxe, KQK, Wallo and Elama. Emerging designers like Eliza Faulkner, Mon prefere, Feline Dion, Marigold, Anne Marquis and Dorothee Tessier, Atelier New Regime and Robert Atelier as well as graduates from the Marie-Victorin fashion school and high school students from the Fusion Jeunesse program will be featured on the MAD scene. This list is rather different compared to previous years. The festival will also open its runways to Rob Chamaeleo from Costa Rica and to Roxanne Nikki from Vancouver.

And of course, the festival will be a great opportunity to shop at its 30 pop-up boutiques and fashion trucks loaded with local designer goodies from clothing to accessories, bags and shoes, the amount of fab items you’ll find is just ridiculous and the prices are very reasonable, trust me, it’s coming from a personal shopper who does her annual #FMD pilgrimage. Festival Goers are also encouraged to visit the fashion museum at Marche Bonsecours and the Eleganza shoe exhibit at McCord Museum.

For the complete #FMD16 program, click here.

Photo Credit: Manikmati Photography.

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Founder Editor & Personal shopper.

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