Montreal Fashion Week Struts Into Town

Once again the moment has come when women line up in heels on the white marble steps of Place Bonsecours, waiting for a sneak peak of the upcoming fashion trends.
But it’s not all about the trends.

“Clothing is functional,” said Paria Shirvani, one of the twenty-seven designers who will be unveiling her Spring/Summer 2011 Collection during Montreal Fashion Week.

“It’s a basic need. Fashion is about pushing the boundaries, about connecting you to something, which is much like art. Fashion is about trying to communicate a certain emotion to an audience,” she said.

Her clothing line is called Paria Lambina. “My spring collection is an expression of versatility and femininity well suited for the modern woman that lives in every moment,” said the Canadian/Iranian designer. “You can expect to see what a woman would wear throughout different parts of her day, from work transitioning into evening.”

The Toronto designer has worked with designers such as Costello Tagliapietra and Jeremy Scott during New York Fashion Week.

Shirvani left Iran at the age of three and attended an arts high school in Mississauga.

It was the Joeffer Caoc fashion show that she attended with her model friend, Daria Werbowy, that drew her into the world of fashion.

“I was instantly mesmerized by the collection,” Paria said. “I was eager to learn as much as possible about what fashion was like behind the runway. Shortly after, I went for an interview and got [an] internship at Misura. My life has been dedicated to fashion ever since.”

With her own personal favourites like Alexander McQueen and Canadian designers Andy The-Anh and Lida Baday, Shirvani has become a distinguished designer herself. Her designs are modern and elegant in their romantic Parisian ideals.

Although Shirvani has built herself a reputation for creating well-tailored and timeless designs, she is never short of creativity. She admitted that her muses have a way of finding her in various forms, whether it is architecture, a shape or people in general.

“I remember it was raining, and even though it was grey and cloudy, the sun was so strong that I could see these pinks and corals in the sky,” Shirvani said of her visionary moment in the Caribbean for her new collection.

Shirvani’s colour-inspired collection will be unveiled to the public this week during Montreal Fashion Week.

Montreal Fashion Week takes place from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30. See for the full schedule.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 07, published September 28, 2010.