She waltzed down the runway in a beaming, white fringe on mesh one piece. Each fragile thread swished and swayed with her every delicate movement. But this was no fairy tale romance. The Denis Gagnon woman has a heart of stone and a head of spears. Her dress may undulate softly as if to hypnotize any onlooker and yet the spell is repeatedly broken by body-length zippers, chain metal hardware, black and white zigzags not spirals and of course, black leather.
At the helm of the Spring collection was undoubtedly Gagnon’s use of ombre fringe, which showed up in floor length dresses, micro-mini mesh sheaths, a stretch lace sweater and a floral lace tank with metallic fringe detailing. His use of zippers was only to outline the female silhouette, the metal teeth scaling hips and busts on many of the fringe on lace creations. In the past, leather is usually the material in which Gagnon grounds his collections but this time around it was just a garnish to the main meal: a few lambskin shorts here and there, a lambskin jacket with black and white striped jersey sleeves, a braided white lambskin clutch and lace-up, black leather ankle boots.
Denis Gagnon never starts a collection with the conventional sketch instead he plays dress-up with different fabrics and textures. We can almost picture the abstract painter who douses himself with gallons of paint, the brush an extension of his body as he assaults the canvas almost intimidated by what he might create. As each look marred the stark runway, jaws dropped and words escaped us – here we witnessed a rare beauty capable of evoking thrilling trepidation and I doubt any of us really wanted it to end.
Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling