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.
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