FlashMode: A Way to Enhance Old Montreal’s Creatives

The Société de développement commercial du Vieux-Montréal held FlashMode, an evening to showcase local fashion designers and boutiques, at the Darling Foundry on Oct. 1, opening the city’s fashion events calendar for the month.

For its second edition, the invitation-only event began with a cocktail from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Guests helped themselves to free sparkling wine and appetizers. Approximately 400 people then watched a runway showcase featuring designs from the Old Montreal’s boutiques.

Clothes were chosen by nine fashion bloggers, including Lolitta Dandoy (Fashion is Everywhere), Jean-Pierre Desnoyers (Ton Barbier) and Camille Dg (Le Cahier). A photography exposition by stylist Simon Venne and photographer Anouk Lessard was also presented to guests.

Moreover, temporary tattoos were offered to everyone. The Centre Phi’s pop-up boutique used the event as a way to advertise its limited-edition prints. By putting the images on their skin, fashion influencers promoted the boutique’s printing experience.

SDC Vieux-Montréal executive director Mario Lafrance said the event’s goal was to create anticipation and excitement around the district’s fashion market.

‘‘Tonight is an exclusive event reserved for the industry’s most influential players,’’ said Lafrance.

Lafrance is conscious of how difficult Quebec’s fashion market can be. ‘‘Quebecers are not inclined to buy local fashionable clothing. I find it important, as a developing organization, to emphasize the presence of Old Montreal’s boutiques.’’

The event allows fashionistas to share their vision of 2014-2015 styles and trends available in the district’s shops. Montreal Graduate School of Fashion Design coordinator Stéphane Jean believes bloggers and trendsetters will promote the event to their followers. According to him, this communication strategy is the ideal way to highlight fashion designers. ‘‘In only one post they will share their favourite discoveries to more than 500 000 people,’’ said Jean.

Fashion student Marie-Michele Larivée questioned FlashMode’s impact on clothing. Larivée says guests will certainly talk about the evening, but is uncertain whether the creations will be highlighted. Larivée suggested clothes should have been displayed on the walls. In her opinion, to improve the interaction with the public, models could have paraded among the guests all night and not only during the runway presentation. ‘‘People who come to these events are passionate about clothing. I would have liked to see more of the creations,’’ said Larivée.

Mario Lafrance was optimistic in saying fashion events are characterised by their surprises and new guests could have arrived at the last minute. Most of the guests left around 7:30 p.m., after the runway show. The crowded atmosphere was rapidly transformed in an even more private event. It showed most of the guests were coming for networking during happy hour while discovering the fashion exhibition.

All of the clothes presented at Flash Mode will be available this fall in various shops in Old Montreal.

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