Montreal is city with a really distinct style that has produced some really amazing designers. And we've started to see our big stars produce lower end collections for department stores, aren't we lucky.
This trend designers knocking off their own label is something I find a touch disturbing. I like having nice things, and I really like it when that nice thing is less than 100$, but what is the designers motivation? Is it for brand recognition? Is it money? Is it linked to an image change for the brand?
I've decided it's main goal is marketing myself. The brands that are doing it tend not to be the ones people mention first when asked to name their favourite designers (I recently had to do this for school, so I know). They may be relatively new designers (Proenza Schouler anyone?), or designers whose collections have been out of the limelight for a while (Karl Lagerfeld did his thing for H&M as himself, and has really launched his cult of the personality into the 21st century).
Now we're excited about Philippe Dubuc and it's department store adventures.
His last collection showed in Paris in 2005, and he's been running a small boutique not far from my house since then.
Well his come back is here. This fall La Maison Simons is carrying his downscale line of mens wear, and it's hot.
The collection features slim cut everything in muted tones. I picked up two V necked t-shirts with all over prints of sculptures from expo '67, and a very fine knit sweater (in black) with leather strap detail in the neckline. Just lovely.