Shop Local: DTK’s Top
At Dress to Kill, we know that shopping local not only feels good, but supports our local talent and community, and ensures that they have the ability to keep on producing their incredible products. Even more, shopping local reminds us that Canada has an incredible talent that can rival even the best, and we should be proud! This holiday season, consider shopping local at our pop-up shop, Le Magasin Général, which includes a carefully curated selection of some of the best in Canadian design and fashion. To inspire you, here’s some of our favourite Canadian designers that you just have to know, whose products are available at Le Magasin Général.
By Luisa Tarantino
Considered one of the most important Canadian designers of his generation, Denis Gagnon’s designs draw from his artistic background. After spending some time as a molding teacher at a school in Morocco, Gagnon launched his solo fashion career in the year 2000. In the following years, Gagnon became a fashion favourite not only in Montreal, but elsewhere in Canada. He took a break in 2008 to continue his art career, but returned to fashion soon after, earning praises amongst critics in Montreal and boasting sold out shows. Known for his “couture” and glam-rock style, Gagnon’s designs feature artistic aerial and precise silhouettes and a play of textures, namely leather, his favourite material. With a boutique located in Old Montreal and an online store, Denis Gagnon is a truly unique designer whose pieces are one of a kind.
Based out of Montreal, UNTTLD is a collaborative brand founded in 2001 by designers José St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger. Having won several industry prizes, such as the Swarovski Canadian Arts and Fashion Award (CAFA) for best emerging talent in 2016, the Mercedes-Benz Start-Up contest and the Star Wars Fashion Prize in 2016, as well as being nominated for the CAFA 2017 Designer of the Year Award, UNTTLD is a unique brand taking the Canadian market by storm. As an extremely artistic brand, their atelier and showroom is housed in the Arsenal Contemporary Art gallery. Both elegant and edgy, avant-garde and classic, UNTTLD describes their brand’s vision as letting “the woman’s personality and style shine through sensual tailoring, rich materials, and an impeccable fit.”
As the first entirely gender neutral fashion brand, Rad Hourani is breaking boundaries. As an artist, designer, film director, and activist, Hourani’s brand celebrates neutrality as the defining human trait. He launched his brand at only 25 after launching the first ever entirely gender neutral unisex collection. At age 30, he became the first ever Canadian designer to win the honour of becoming an “Invited Member” of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris. Entirely gender neutral, Hourani’s designs are fresh and sophisticated, and add something to the fashion world that is innovative and original.
Originally of Italian origin, this Canadian designer launched her ready-to-wear label in 1989. Combining refinement and comfort, Toto celebrates sophisticated, feminine, minimalist, and romantic designs. Featured in prestigious media outlets internationally, even huge Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie and Drew Barrymore have rocked Nadya Toto. Her pieces are effortless and elegant, all while being incredibly trendy and stylish, made for the modern woman.
Hip and Bone
A trendy Montreal-based brand, Hip and Bone is a menswear brand worn by celebrities like Kanye West and Canadian sweetheart Ryan Gosling and fashionistas alike. Created by Carlos Fogelman, Hip and Bone defines itself as a brand that revives the modern man’s wardrobe with an array of redefined basics. Hip and Bone fuses luxurious materials with relaxed silhouettes, such as their trendy graphic tees and sneakers that embody their classic, contemporary streetwear style. With a focus on quality, Hip and Bone pays special attention to sourcing the highest-quality materials such as exotic skins, pima cottons, linens and various tech fabrics. Being both edgy and stylish, Hip and Bone is sure to upgrade any man’s wardrobe.
Another Montreal designer worn by the stars, Nicole Benisti makes beautiful, trendy jackets and coats that are not only super stylish, but made to withstand a proper Canadian winter. Having the goal of creating jackets that fuse practicality with style, Benisti’s collection of jackets are statement pieces made for the modern day woman. Styles range from glamorous and sophisticated to edgy and trendy, embodying Benisti’s unique originality that combines luxury and streetwear. Also made from high-quality materials, Benisti’s jackets are likewise made to endure a harsh Canadian winter, so you can step out during winter in the utmost style.
Established in 2001 with the objective of creating a women’s line that fits in all the right places using nothing but superior-quality textures and supporting the local workforce, Iris Setlakwe is a Montreal-designed and Montreal-produced brand to this day. Setlakwe’s pieces simplify businesswomen’s wardrobe, having collections with pieces that can be mixed and matched for an infinite number of options. With beautifully feminine pieces, a keen attention to detail, and high-quality materials imported from Europe, Iris Setlakwe is both modern and timeless.
A Canadian menswear designer that is based in Milan, Italy, Christopher Bates embraces the made in Italy philosophy. His collection are incredibly stylish and contemporary, created for men who appreciate premium, artisanal products created from sophisticated materials. Bates’ collections suit all stylish men, whether they’re 25 or 50, being both refined yet contemporary and trendy. Both cosmopolitan and classic, Christopher Bates’ brand is dynamic, clean, and sophisticated.
Di Carlo Couture
Born and raised in Montreal, Antoinette Di Carlo runs her atelier from Little Italy. Having caught the attention of the best in Montreal media and fashion and having graced many magazine covers, Di Carlo Couture makes stunning bridal and evening gowns that are elegant, feminine, sophisticated, and glamorous. Specializing in custom designs, each of Di Carlo’s pieces is hand-crafted with high-quality precious fabrics with an exquisite attention to detail. Whether you need a custom bridal gown made or a ready-to-wear evening gown for an event, Di Carlo’s beautiful gowns are everything from contemporary and chic to edgy and sexy, made to suit all women.
A Toronto-based designer who studied fine arts in Europe, Lucian Matis is a womenswear brand that makes elegant couture daywear and evening wear. Having launched his first collection 2007, celebrities such as Iman and Nelly Furtado have since worn his designs and he has been nominated twice for for the CAFAs Womenswear Designer of the Year award. His designs are beautiful, elegant, and refined, with dresses and gowns suiting a variety of tastes and a variety of occasions. While classic and timeless, Matis also makes unique, stylish pieces that are one of a kind.
Want to shop these incredible designers? Come see us at Le Magasin Général at 9415 Boulevard Leduc, Suite 5 at Le Blok in Quartier Dix30.