Posts from ‘Montreal Artists’


Feathers are always very glamorous and they have been appearing in earrings for quite some time now.

I love feather jewelry because it allows you to make a big statement, add a touch of colour and feel glam all at the same time.  Feathers have a history of being worn in hats, headdresses and then there is always the feather boa.  But I want to tell you how to wear feathers in the day to day.  Why?  Because feathers allows you to make a statement without doing very much else to your  wardrobe.  They can be added to a dress or a t-shirt.

Here are a few tips when purchasing feather jewelry:

1.  There is such a thing a too much:  Unless it is for a gala event, don’t wear a fully plumed garment.

2. Be aware of how tribal feathers can look.  I love tribal fashion and all things that make you feel like a powerful woman goddess.  That being said, long feather earrings to your waist should be saved for very special ceremonial type occasions.

3. Cheap feathers will always look like they came from the dollar store.  You know the ones i mean… they come in bright colours and often have black dots.  Don’t buy them.  Don’t wear them.

4.  Be ethical in your feather consumption.  Exotic birds are killed for feathers.  Purchase feather jewelry from artists that use naturally fallen feathers, vintage feathers and rooster feathers.

5.  Take good care of your feather jewelry.  It is fragile, should not get wet, is hard to clean and can be easily lost.  Feather earrings have a tendency to fly away without you even noticing.

6. Try something other than feather earrings.  Feather earrings are a bit over done in fashion right now.  Try something a bit different:  necklaces, cuffs, belts.

  This necklace presents a new take of the feather ornament.  Green is one of those colours that a lot of women feel they cannot wear (I don’t agree by the way, there are a lot of greens out there…. and there is a green for every one of you.)

It softens the framing of the face.  That means it is great combined with glasses, geometric haircuts, straight hair, up-dos and tailored clothing.

The necklace above is by Samsara Concept.  We have them at the boutique in blue, emerald and black.


by Eva Friede

MONTREAL – Call it circus chic.

Katrin Leblond celebrated five years of her colourful designs this week with a party featuring some of her favourite private clients: trapeze artists and contortionists.

In a long hibiscus-print dress and holding her 2½-month-old daughter, Victoria, the designer greeted clients, family and friends at her boutique on St. Laurent Blvd. as the trapeze artists swung above a small catwalk and the contortionist toasted Leblond with a glass held between her toes.

Also to mark the anniversary, Marie Cornellier published a book celebrating feminine beauty, the designer’s spirit and a collection she created in which each garment had an intent.

That involved asking her friend and clients to submit wishes, Leblond explained. She then put the phrases into Google images.

“It’s sort of the most international feedback on how to turn those words into pictures,’’ she said. “I wanted it to mean something,’’ she said of the collection.

What emerged included a dress of grey-green elephant appliqués, the result of her mother’s wish to save the creatures, another of vegetable patterns based on an organic garden wish, and one printed with a map of the world, pinned with hearts for where you might wish to be.

Five years in business on the Main have been tough, but rewarding, Leblond said, noting that it takes tremendous energy to keep things running well. Sales dipped when she took two months off for the baby.

The designs include easy stretch pieces, cotton frocks in plaid or with kitschy condiment prints, and Leblond’s wedding dresses, another custom specialty. In addition, there are a handful of local designers on the racks, including Maillagogo and Melow.

Gazette article


 I am so excited!  This painting is wonderful and colourful and contains one of my dresses!  Today Johanne rang my doorbell asking me to come upstairs to her painting studio to see her latest piece.  She was just finishing up.  She hadn’t even signed it yet.  Months and months ago, she borrowed some of my runway dresses for inspiration.

When I saw the painting I screamed!

This is the original dress.  Actually it’s a skirt.  Johanne’s model is wearing it all the way up as a bustier-dress for her painting.

 And here is the artist herself.  Johanne Cullen

 Below is another painting that she did based on the same skirt, but she changed the original colours.





This is a new design by Daniel Thiboutot whos dresses appear under the label OCUNI-D (meaning aucune idée).

They are classic cuts with true waist and princess line seams at the bust.  The fits are impecable and they are especially good at hiding the venus tummy.

Great for summer weddings, very sophisticated office wear (with a little black blazer!), mother of the bride, or a Saturday at Jean Talon market.

Notice the lace overlay at the waist; The yellow and black is my fave, but he made some in red/black and some in blue/black.  Being the “artist” that he is, there is never really any consistency in his production.  Sometimes I have to remind him to make more than one size, or to put his label in the dress.

 Ok, now this is where it get’s truly insane.  You see the fringe edge…well he did that by hand…as in he pulled threads out of the materialSummertime Dres one by one until he had a fringe hem at the bottom of his dress.  That is love, ladies and gentlemen, the love an artist puts into his art!

 This little flower pot handbag is made by Concubine (Montreal design).   It opens at the top and has a deep well for all your goodies.  A great little statement piece for Summer.


 We just got these in the store and they are very fun to play with.  They can really jazz up a plain black dress, a little colourful T or mix them with other polka dots.  They look especially great when worn with a bold pair of glasses.  I tell you, these earrings are outfit makers!

They are made by Montreal paper artist Nicole Wisniewski.

And, best of all, they are light, comfortable and extremely affordable.  ($20-$30/pair)

Buy some for yourself or gift them to your out of town friends.  They are light as a feather and can easily be put into a little bubble wrap envelope to be mailed around the world.



Our creative process has evolved a lot as our team has evolved.   This is what our collection boards look like.  We move the mini mock ups of the pieces we are designing around on the board and find our matching out fits and plan delivery to store dates so that when the items finally  come to you they are  ready to pop into your wardrobe as single items or even better as complete outfits.

These are mock ups of our March first delivery group.  Lots of black and white accented with roses.   Pops of garden green and lime with fuschia and hot pink and peachy rose.  Playful pieces to prep you for a great summer ahead.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.



This is the fabulous Karin Maren Haglund:  circus performer, fashion show artistic director, wife, mother and great friend.

I love that I get to make her costumes.  I feel honoured that she chooses me time and time again as her costume designer.  This was our newest collaboration.  It ‘s for her wheel act.

It highlights her fantastically toned sexy-mama body and swooshes when she moves.  The body suit is a one piece with gaucho wing legs.  The back and straps are a-symmetrical with crisscrossing lines, ruffles and  an amazing beaded collar piece that I saved from one of my grandmothers old Parisian haute-couture dresses.  I am very proud of this creation.

Here are some casual pictures that she took backstage posing and looking adorable.  Room #6.

Krin on tour with her little munchkin circus child Ole.

Not only does she blow me away with her talent and showmanship, her amazing ability to entertain, but she is a great role model for how to have a kid and still be yourself.

Love of love to all the circus families that just do it!  -Kat


I was very excited last month when I got a preliminary phone call inviting me a to be apart of this years WAWA (an acronym for: We Are Women Artists).  I got to dress the femme fatale herself…drumroll please…Amanda Mabro!  The contact was made when Krin, my fashion show artistic director and circus star in her own right, was invited to hostess the event.  We did the press photos at the store and tickets will be available at boutique Katrin Leblond soon.

This is one of my all time favouritqe costumes.  I made this for Krin’s wheel act and it is made with entirely designer silks including 10cm of Dior.

Here are the digs on WAWA:

Amanda Mabro, The WAWA Show
February 26, 8 p.m., $25, Gesù — Centre de créativité

Fresh off the heels of her outstanding performances at the 2008 and 2010 Montreal Jazz Festival and OSHEAGA music festival, musical visionary & vocalist Amanda Mabro brings you “The WAWA Show!” An acronym for “We Are Women Artists”, Mabro’s main inspiration for the event is fostering community among female artists internationally. Now in its 6th edition, WAWA is pleased to be part of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival delighting the ears, eyes, hearts and minds of festival goers; witness the powerful pipes and soul-pop sounds of Amanda Mabro herself, the soaring gypsy voice of Cirque de Soleil singer Mirjana Milovanovic, the achingly beautiful harmonies of 2010 Juno winners The Goodlovelies, the colorful and classy couture of Katrin Leblond, the amazing concert photography of Andree Anne Handfield, and the incredibly entertaining hosts & circus artists Krin Haglund and Andreane Leclerc.


Because ideas don’t emerge from a vacuum.   We create in a community.

The artist expresses a distilled idea culled from the pulsing, flowing, churning well of our collective experience and reflections.

Our shared experiences lead the artists of our communities to reflect on common themes in a kaleidoscope of variations providing interesting parallels.

I find it so much more interesting to dress in many artists than to simply build my whole out fit from one designer.  That is why I choose to offer over 75 different designers in the store.  Sure its more work, but its worth it.

I try and find artist who communicate an interesting dialogue  with their own work and that of  Katrin’s.  I love finding great outfits among the offerings of so many different artists.  I love how each outfit created can belong entirely to the person who is wearing it in part because the combination they have selected is theirs alone.

When you buy from within your community you are already part of the art at its inception.  The art belongs in part to you and you are part of  art, the artist, and the community.  The  reach of the communal net begins at home and extends out around the wold.

At boutique Katrin Leblond that means beginning with Kat’s creations and then looking at what is creatively being generated in her immediate neighborhood:  The Plateau, and then looking at the context of that in the greater Montreal area, and then further out in Quebec, and then in Ontario, and the Maritimes, and then the rest of Canada, and then further still, till you are culling a bit from the USA, and a bit from Serbia, or Mexico, or Thailand,or… .  It’s like a fashion rock being thrown into a pond of design ideas.  The biggest splash is at the center and the ripples get lighter and lighter as they move away from the center but they still travel out quieter and quieter as they go across the whole lake.

It’s about dressing yourself while answering the question  “What are you part of?”

Don’t forget…..

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.


The store is committed to local.  What does that mean for the store.    How Boutique Katrin Leblond expresses local.

It’s cool to know that there is an artist half way around the world sharing an interest in similar visual themes to a collection that Kat is working on here in Montreal.  There is all these great Montreal artists of course we are going to sell their stuff.


Say goodbye to cold cheeks.  Say goodbye to cold noses and cold chins.  Say goodbye to messy hair and bad hat head.  Say goodbye to winter whining.  Snuggle up in a KAZAK hood.

Let the wind blow.

I have to warn you once you have worn one of  Genevieve Paquette’s hoods you may not wear your hat again.  Fashionably warm yourself in recycled hipness.   Genevieve Paquette brings us her winter collection for 2010-2011.  As always she is consistent about offering winter warming wear that bridges Fairytale Romanticism from urban to country.  The hippie goddess in you will be as warm as the urban hipster and both of your playful sides can comfortably face the Montreal elements with a mischievous smile.

Be bold.  Be mysterious.  Be rebellious.  Be sweet.  Stay toasty warm while being cooler than cool.  Cast a love spell.  Carry a poem in your pocket and transform every jacket and coat in your wardrobe by topping it with these gracious hoods.

Genevieve’s hoods are available with recycled fur for $88 or in a non fur version for $58.  Come pick up the warmest head gear Montreal has to offer you this winter.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.



These beautiful hats  have just arrived in store.  Local Montreal artists and Mile end mama of many, Allison Astridge from For whom the cap fits and Fiber Alley, created these by hand working the felt fibers into these feminine and practical winter head warmers.  Natural fibers breath well keep you warm and love you lots.  Include some wool in your wardrobe.  Lots of sheep were loved to make these hats.

These hats are available in a variety of cuddly colours for $88 each at the boutique.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.



All photos in this post by Erin unless other wise mentioned

Fabric.  Art, that is then used to make more art, that is then used in the art that is your life.  High quality 100% cotton.  This is luxurious, high thread count, cotton.   We love this print by Kaffe Fassette.  Kat’s team made it into a “cerise” dress (that means “cherry”  in french), a skirt, bedding and more…. available in the store.

I personally can’t wait for it to come in as throw pillows.  I really want one for my bed that is already dressed in various Katrin Leblond bedding mix and matches.

It reminds me of a kaleidoscope, mandalas, Van Gogh’s Starry Night swirls,  Klimt, Toller Cranston’s costume details in his paintings of the nutcracker, summer, fall, arts and crafts, the universe, gypsy magic, and the bindis on my daughter’s custom embellished bicycle that she loves and I Love, LOVE, LOOOOOOOOOVE.

Bindis are normally used for ceremonially decorating the faces of women and girls all over south Asia including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Indian.  They are kind of like tattoo stickers.  They come in all different shapes, sizes and colours.  The ones on Aya’s bicycle are covered in rhinestones.

I have to brag.   I thought I was a genius when I came up with the idea of lacquering bindis onto her bike.

I loved fitting the bindis onto the shapes of the bike frame.  I loved finding a place for them that  seemed like they were always meant to be there.

Try and find the bits of broken disco ball.

Peeka boo! I see you!

Dring!  Dring!

The image on the bell is Ganesh the Hindu elephant god of abundance. Success!  Good fortune! This cheerful safety accessory for your two wheeled vehicle  is made by a local Montreal artist, Glen, that crazy Mile end metal sculpture artist, responsible for the sculpture park near the train tracks.  You can get his bells at the used sports equipment store on Bernard between Parc and Saint Urbain.

The seat is covered in swimwear fabric, of course!   Kat helped to hand stitch.  Swimwear:  Stretchy so it fits snug and dries fast when it rains.  Cover a bike seat for a small person you know with one of the swim suits they have just out grown.  A few whip stitches is all it takes!

We made this bike from a street side reject with a sign on it that said “If you want it, you can have it”.  My daughter and a friend cleaned it up and she rode it for a while till she complained about the rust.

What colour would you like it to be? I asked.

“Gold” she said to my surprise.

The end result is covered in bindis, spray painted gold, lacquered with nail polish, sparkles and more spray laquer.

I am very proud of this little art project and Aya and I had a really lot of fun doing it.  The basket and handle bar fringe are from Canadian Tire.

Yeah for bikes!  Pedal freely forward.  Free from gas prices.  Free from constant repair costs.  Free from the emissions guilt.  Float on two wheels.  Yeah!  Bikes!  Don’t forget your helmet!

I bike in my cerise dress on my own bike, along side Aya, all the time.

Kat wears the cerise dress available in store. Photo by Barry Maccleod.

Your life is your most powerful art.  See you at the boutique.



Welcome home Colette.  It is great to have you back.

Come check out Colette’s knit vests and ponchos in custom colours as well as her unique knit necklaces (shown above).  These necklaces are made with one continuous knit piece.   They are a stylish addition to any wardrobe ( I know I have one in my own).  They are especially great for new or expecting moms as the one piece nature of the necklace makes for a safer neck adornment for concerned mothers who don’t want their child potentially chewing off some hazardous beads while nuzzling your neck.  They are also great statement jewelry for sensitive souls who can’t tolerate any metals.

See you at the boutique.



What we are doing is real.  It really impacts the community and sometimes that community is my husband (owner and chef of Restaurant Aux Vivres) and sometimes it’s my little brother Nick (artist, photographer and co-owner of Big Dog Screen printing).  As an entrepreneur I feel more politically empowered than I ever did as a feminist, activist, or animal rights worker (yes, I have done all of those things).  I have the decision making power of every cent I spend.  I choose to buy locally made fabric.  I choose to buy organic locally made fabric.  I choose locally made thread, zippers and buttons too.  Yes, it is more expensive than imported equivalents, but I can guarantee it is better quality and it comes with soul. When I switched to local thread, all of my machines started running better and needed to be re-threaded less often.  The amount of people that those decisions affect are a ripple of local workers, salespeople and small businesses.

Oh, and I also only do business with people I like!

Let the good vibes flow.

Here is a little peek into the screen printing studio of my little brother Nick.   Studio Big Dog printed the patches for my scout costumes at Circus Smirkus.  His partner Carlos illustrated them.

This is not a unique Montreal story.  Many of the artists and designers we have in the boutique are living from their art with the help of local shop-owners.  We are a city of creative people.

My little brother is celebrating his birthday today.  I love you Nick.

Studio Big Dog
5333 Casgrain, #416
Montreal, QC
Canada H2T 1X3,
Tel: 514 358 7007

[email protected]


Hand made in Montreal, Laura Fafard Bags.

Made from vintage recycled ties in eco friendly high fashion style.

Store your most precious valuables and tote them around town wherever you go.  These bags are so hip in their deconstructed shaping. Crafty high art!  I love the vintage button details.

I love the sentimentality of vintage prints.  This bag is so sweet.  I like it’s femininity.  It would fit so nicely into a warm toned late summer, early fall,  wardrobe.  Carry it with you for a walk up the mountain or a trip out of town to pick some apples.

This one is bright and cheery and needs to go with you to a breakfast brunch “resto rendez vous” on the weekend.

Bags are my favorite accessories these days.  You get lots of bang for your accessory money when you buy a bag.  It takes up lots more space than some of the other finishing touches  we reach for when completing our looks.  Bags really impact your overall look and fashion expression when you are walking down the street.

Plus you can carry stuff in it.  Bonus!


The romance and poetry of roses is deep in our culture and our consciousness.    It seems, dreams lay deep in the center of each one,  under the folds of  petals.   Roses are like this incredible heady,  intoxicating,  offering and at the same time they seem, as if,  they hold a mystery.   Nature overwhelms when it comes  to roses.   Sent and colour overdose.

With roses,  the artist plays on a palette of nature’s beauty.

After much searching, Katrin found real roses perfectly captured in resin.

These are possibly some of the most beautiful jewelery pieces I have yet to come across!!!

Designed in part by our very own Katrin Leblond and assembled exclusively by Sophie Lin Tran, these real roses have been coated with resin to immortalize their natural beauty!

Hung on sterling silver and 14K gold chains, embellished with real crystals and jewels… what’s not to love?  These gorgeous statement pieces hit all the right feminine notes!

The weekend is almost here – hang in there and enjoy the beautiful day!

Don’t forget to spoil dad this Sunday for father’s day!



Imagine the romance of dinner under a chandelier in a beautiful dinning hall or a secret garden.   Imagine whispering with twinkling mischievousness to your companion.  Imagine the music of  tinkling fine china.   This is the world  I am transported to when I see the earrings and necklaces made by Shopie Lin Tran.  A moment were the sweetest and most vulnerable parts of yourself are truly powerful.

Subtly express yourself.  Combine sophistication, glamor and innocence.   Sophie Lin Tran studies nursing here in Montreal.  She dreams of offering palliative care or Pediatrics.  She will nurse your Jewelery blues away (her creations above).   Sophie Lin Tran is a lovely person and we think she is awesome both for her work and for who she is as a person.     Sophie enlists her brother who she loves sooooo much to help her with sales on her jewelry line.  Even when she is exhausted from her work study schedule she always has a smile.   Sophie creates beautiful intricate, delicate, sweet accessories for the lucky few that snap them up before they are gone.  Crystals, gold, sterling, quality materials are her inspirations…. She loves nature and colours and it shows in her work.   We love Sophie!!!!!!!

When the magic of the garden wains and the city streets call out their own noisy poetry.   When you want to imagine yourself  wandering along a street filled with Paris shops or pedaling over cobblestone.  Reach for a Melissa Bolduc creation available in all is subtle architectural fashion.

Melissa Bolduc’s  (Melow) pieces are now in our shop.    This wrap top (above) is available in teal and lilac and black!  The jacket below is in linen and is available in aubergine, black and plum for a great price at $135.  I love the arcitechtural dimentions to Melissa’s designs.  These jackets are so comfortable and easy care.  The more you wash them the better they get.   The linen “melts like butter” as Kat would say.

Come and check them out!!!


Have a beautiful Thursday!




Claudette Vandal’s bracelets are now in store.   Completely made by hand and beaded to perfection, this gorgeously pleated piece will get you many compliments.   Match Claudette’s peices perfectly by pairing them with the beautiful Emilie Desmeules skirts in store.

I love how Emily Des Meules crazy applique of intertwined threads are visually paralleled  in the wire knit work of Claudette’s bracelet.  I also like how the two pieces similar colour palette plays of each other.  Comdining the two makes a sophisticated and artful fashion statement.  Claudette knits the metal strands by hand one stitch at a time on knitting needles.  Similarly,  all of Emily’s fashion works of art are appliqued with love by hand, giving each one it’s own flavor.  Last year Emily won one of Quebec’s prestigious emerging artist awards for textile art.  She deserves it!

On a different note:  We have the work of Amy Belanger in the   store.

Amy Belanger’s  Chipped China necklaces.

Made from recycled tea cups, saucers and plates, each pendant piece is filed smooth on all sides and hung on sterling silver chains.  Amy also creates custom necklaces with your treasured heirloom china that has been passed down for generations.  If you accidentally break your family’s treasured piece you can still share the memories the heirloom holds by giving each member a token pendant to wear of great great grandmother’s favourite plate.

It’s Thursday – make it a beautiful one!


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