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2011 Montreal Fashion and Design Festival

Montreal, Quebec | Aug 3 2011 | (14:14:34 - EDT)

The 2011 Montreal Fashion and Design Festival, a style mecca presented in the heart of downtown Montreal on McGill College Avenue, features 75 fashion labels -- from local to international -- showcased in 50 outdoor fashion shows, will be presented at the 10th edition running from August 3 to August 6, 2011 every day from noon to midnight. It is to kick off Wednesday with a high-heel race and will wrap up Saturday with a lingerie show. In between, the 11th edition of the Montreal Fashion & Design Festival will hit some high fashion notes. Jean Paul Gaultier brings 30 men’s and women’s looks from his fall-winter prêt-à-porter collection to Montreal. The women’s collection, titled Bourgeoises Sans Âge, features models in grey beehive wigs. In addition, 12 iconic Gaultier looks will hit the catwalk. Muse Tanel Bedrossiantz will be on hand, too. This follows what is surely the summer of Gaultier for Montreal: the opening of the first retrospective of the French enfant terrible’s 35-year oeuvre at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Pinkarnaval parade featuring a cast of sailor-striped characters, including the designer himself. On Thursday night, Opéra de Montréal artistic director Michel Beaulac teams up with mixologist-composer Christian Pronovost in a show featuring soprano Caroline Bleau, baritone Etienne Dupuis and tenor Antoine Bélanger. The visuals? Opera costumes styled by Yso and chief costume designer Dominique Guindon along with a live performance art by Zilon.

Over four days, more than 80 labels will go on show on McGill College Ave. from de Maisonneuve Blvd. to the plaza of Place Ville Marie. The big retailers will be there: Aldo, Dynamite, Le Château, Tristan, Reitmans, as well as emerging designers and Montreal’s big stars. In addition, this is the second year of the festival’s design component, with six interactive and mobile container installations on McGill College south of Ste. Catherine St.  Also, the festival has launched a design competition for public benches in collaboration with Ville Marie arrondissement. Five benches will be installed this season, with five more each year until 2017. Events kick off each day with the opening of the design area at noon and a 12:15 Mode sur L’Esplanade show. The runway action heats up during the day, culminating with blockbuster shows at 10 p.m. each evening. A boutique with local designers, makeup stations, cocktail corners and a shopping rally are also part of the festivities.

A few other events of note:

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In the wake of the Quebec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body Image, the festival presents a show of everyday people and a few stars: Joannie Rochette, Alexandre Bilodeau and Chantal Petitclerc. That’s on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Highlights of Montreal Fashion Week rock the runway Wednesday at 9 p.m.

Finally, there’s the high-heel run at the start of the festival to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society. Teams of two can sign on with a $100 donation. Ladies and gents, don your stilettos. Full details at www.fesitvalmodedesign.

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