Dubuc

WHO. Designer star, Philippe Dubuc, is a cult figure to his fans who are regulars at his eponymous designer’s menswear shop. And he was the first Canadian to be invited to show a Paris Menswear show.

WHO IS WEARING; It’s a store that caters to the “Hybrid Man”, Sophisticated Urbanite and businessmen with style savvy.

MUST HAVE; Unapologetically cutting edge items in black and charcoal don’t daunt Dubuc’s fashion forward clientele who snap up his newest collections as soon as the boxes are unpacked.

ARCHITECTURE; The artfully sharp, shape silhouette jackets du jour, are narrow in the shoulder , slim armed and loose around the hips.

WOMENS’ collection is small but style setting

MUST HAVE ; The balloon shaped skirts, the cropped military jacket with pointy shoulders are this year’s signature pieces. And for those who toss caution to the wind, the unforgiving sexy stretch flannel dresses can be worn over tights or slim pants

4451 St. Dennis Street TEL. 514 282 1465

Marie Saint-Pierre

WHO; A Montreal -based designer who is a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Quebec is the first Quebec designer to participate in the Fashion Coterie of New York. This designer doesn’t follow trends, SHE makes them.

WHO IS WEARING; Saint-Pierre, has seen her designs on various Red Carpet award shows and at the Cannes Film Festival. She has a great following of collectors who consider her designs works of art

ARCHITECTURE; Saint-Pierre, melds art with fashion. She once considered architecture as a career but fashion won. Her unconventional harmony of texture, colour and unusual treatment of fabric are her signature.

MUST HAVE; Movement is her goal and interchangeable pieces from various collections is her mantra. 2081 de la Montagne (Mountain Street) TEL. 514 281 5547.

Ursula B.

WHO; Polish born, Toronto raised, Ursula Babiarz, is a boutique veteran having had a shop in Toronto before moving to Montreal where she sets the bar for evening wear. With no fashion training background, depending entirely on her obvious high taste level factor, Ursula is high on the list of must go to boutiques. It’s a hotbed of the top international designers that include edgy Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Blumarine, Pringle of Scotland, Azzedine Alaia and John Galliano to name just a few.

WHO IS WEARING; Don’t be surprised to see Diana Krall, Celine Dion or Katie Holmes searching for that perfect ensemble. Directly from international fashion centre runways to Ursula’s high end boutique there’s retail therapy for those with a trust fund or a huge income.

MUST HAVE; That old Hollywood glamour is back with a vengence and that means fur especially the vest or short luxe jacket. But with Ursula’s clientele, both will probably be part of their winter’s wardrobe. Grey, black and neutrals are the colours of choice and she see these furry items being worn with just about any outfit you choose from evening to day wear.

Les Cours Mont-Royal, once the elegant Mount Royal Hotel, now houses very smart shops.

1455 rue Peel (Peel Street TEL. 514 282 0194

Henriette L.

WHO; Henriette Lamarre may have started her retail business in her basement but now after 25 years in her boutique, Henriette L. is a major force in fashion for the tres, tres, fashion conscious Montrealers. Now out-of-towners have learned about the shop. With her helpful buyer, Pierre Bournival, they both have that special eye for what’s new and wonderful . Sonia Rykiel , Yohji Yamamoto and Jean Paul Gaultier fly out of the store within a few days.

WHO IS WEARING: Since the location, Le Plateau, is made up of residents who are actors, artists plus those with a passion for fashion, these regulars shop for the no easily found styles.

MUST HAVE: Dresses are huge. Now that there are legs to be seen, the look is to cover the gams with tights, worn with high heels and platform footwear. As for colour, it’s always black but this year with touches of purple and other strong colours. No pastels to be seen. However, with the Outremont and Westmount crowd, if your aren’t a regular, there are probably empty spaces on the racks and shelves.

1031 Ave Laurier Ouest (Laurier Ave. West) TEL. 514 277 3426

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