There’s nothing like the proper setting to show off proper fashions. The University Club of Montreal, a venerable private members’ club founded in 1907, played host to a fashion show of evening, gala and bridal wear last Thursday evening.

In the formal dining room  of the club – with its rich wood panelling, oriental rugs, bevelled ceilings and stained glass – models wearing the designs of Di Carlo Couture, Maison Eläma and Finezza Au Nom de l’Homme perambulated between courses as emcees Serge Jean Laviolette and Michelle Laberge provided commentary.

Antoinette Di Carlo was ever elegant with exquisite beaded bridal gowns as well as evening confections like a brocade skirt and white palazzo pants (paired with a pretty black lace top). Standouts included a high-low dress in pastel pink with bold purple and yellow florals, and an utterly fetching bridal gown in satin with a low back and stylized rosette. The sexy bride is in, I have heard.

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Designs by Di Carlo Couture.

Menswear was from Finezza’s Ivan Lehec, also known as Ivan le Dandy Français, and was decidedly dandy – and perhaps a tad quirky, especially given the specs, provided by Ronit Furst. Think bright blue tux, grey jacquard velvet-lapel blazer with plaid pants and bow tie, satin robe – and you’ve got the picture. And fur accessories and a few coats were from Eläma, designed by charismatic and out-and-about sisters Rita and Rim Elias. Rita was present.

In the shadow of McGill University on Mansfield St., the University Club building is a vestige of the old Golden Square Mile, conceived to cater to university graduates. Stephen Leacock, the humourist and McGill professor, was a founding member. It moved to its present location, designed by Percy Erskine Nobbs, in 1913. It is, of course, the proverbial old boys’ club –  you can almost smell the cigar smoke, although I am sure it is now forbidden.

Still, the club is actively seeking women members, with membership deals for women.

Hello, fashion!

Rita Elia and Antoinette Di Carlo in the hallway of the University Club.

Rita Elia and Antoinette Di Carlo in the hallway of the University Club.

A group of models at the University Club, wearing Di Carlo Couture, Maison Eläma, and for him, Finezza.

A group of models at the University Club, wearing Di Carlo Couture, Maison Eläma, and for him, Finezza.