I’m back! For two weeks and counting, my online activity involved posting pictures of sunsets on Lake Champlain, checking the weather and GPS routing. And maybe a touch of Facebook and Instagram trawling.

Now the countdown is on to the Festival Mode & Design, Aug. 15-20, when fashion takes its place at the Quartier des spectacles. On the agenda: catwalk shows, conferences, performances and pop-up shops.

Of course, major Quebec retailers and malls – Ardène, Dynamite, La Vie en Rose, Le Château, Rockland Centre, Complexe Desjardins – are showing, but there are new names to discover, too, both on and off the catwalk. Among the intriguing newbies – Eliza Faulkner (Central St. Martins grad, contemporary styles), Roxanne Nikki (wild faux fur), Mon Préféré (versatility is mission) …. And the list goes on. For a good snapshot of Montreal fashion, check out the Cabinet Éphémère show Wednesday night at 7:30.

If you like to touch and try, there will be almost 30 popup shops.


A look from Eliza Faulkner.

A look from Eliza Faulkner.

Mon Préféré

Mon Préféré’s lineup for summer.

On my list for the festival are a few very special events, and one that has me particularly nervous. Read on.

In the leadup to the the festival, I had the pleasure of interviewing two speakers on the ambitious conference program curated by Stéphane Le Duc.

Speaking about his trajectory beyond the bandage dress, Hervé L. Leroux, perhaps better known at Hervé Leger, opened up about his relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, the loss of his right to use the name Hervé Léger commercially, the state of fashion and the challenges facing young designers. Read the piece here.

Hervé L. Leroux.

Hervé L. Leroux.

And Scott Schuman, the Satorialist, talked about the late Bill Cunningham and his own different vision of street style photography, fashion journalism, his inspiration and how he started his blog. Read the piece here.

Scott Schuman. Photo The Sartorialist

Scott Schuman. Photo The Sartorialist

Also on the speakers’ list: Lise Watier, Jeanne Beker, Trouble Andrew, Charlie Le Mindu, Kym Barrett, Max Abadian, Jean-Marie Boursicot, Mark DeCoste et Benoît Mathieu from Cirque du Soleil, Antoine Roset, Didier Vervaeren, Jacques Nantel and more.

First up, though, I plan to catch First Monday in May, the doc on the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Ball, this weekend at the Cinéma du Parc.

As for my case of nerves, I will be walking on the catwalk for the Reluxe show, the event and pop-up shop in support of women’s shelter Le Chaînon. What I am wearing is straight from my closet, a mix of local and not, picked by me with a helping hand from Andrew McNally. (Thanks, Andrew!)

Oh dear, I hope I don’t trip.

Anyhow, it’s all  for a good cause.

Watch this space to learn what I will be wearing ……

Catch the FMD schedule here.