Montreal Canada adds French sophistication to its world-class fashion

Montreal Canada for Design and Fashion

Montreal should be on everyone's list of cities to visit, and visit often. This Canadian city adds a layer of French sophistication to North American welcome. The largest city in the province of Quebec, and second largest in Canada, it is filled with great shopping and fashionable experiences alongside meltingly delicious pastries, and elegant yet friendly hotels.

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Explore Fashion

Innovative fashion without haute prices, Montreal is a shopping paradise offering funky preloved to elegant, and everything in between. Start with the Mile End Neighborhood with its offbeat boutiques and vintage stores. The designs of Montreal favorite Jennifer Glasgow and others can be found at General 54 (5145 St-Laurent). The designs of Judith Desjardins, her the BODYBAG by Jude label is often found at Montreal Fashion Week, are at her store Body Bag, at 17 Bernard Street West.

Rush Couture by Claudette Floyd is always stunning and brilliant at Fashion Week. Check out her Rush Couture boutique at 3971 Boul. Saint-Laurent Helmer's designs run the gamut -- sometimes done for shock, but always interesting. You can find his boutique at 2020 Saint Laurent Blvd.

Visit Citizen Vintage at 5330 St. Laurent Boulevard for their creative reinterpretation of pre-loved clothes. They specialize in vintage garments, manufactured over 20 years ago or more, turning pants into shorts, and cutting, washing, studding their way to reinvention. Their special events feature local artists and live music.

One true highlight of any shopping tour is the one-of-a-kind jewelry boutique of Charlotte Hosten who takes odds and ends and creates unique and intricately beautiful pieces.

Atelier b, also a staple at Fashion Week, is at 5758 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. The boutique of Denis Gagnon is at 170B St. Paul St. W.

The joy of fashion Montreal is its multitude of designers and shopping opportunities throughout the city. Keep current on the Montreal's boutique scene at

Catch THE Show

The Fashion & Design Festival is a dynamite design duo takes place in August. It is the largest outdoor fashion and design event in North America. The focus is, of course, on fashion, but there's also musical performances, design in real time and special happenings. Both events are produced by and managed by Groupe Sensation Mode. Reason enough to visit (and besides the weather should be perfect).

Want to go mainstream? Department stores such as Le Baie, better known perhaps as Hudson Bay company at 585 rue Ste-Catherine ouest, and the shops at Place Ville Marie (University and Rene Levesque) both in downtown.

Round out your trip with a visit to Museum of Costume and Textile of Quebec by the river in Old Montreal. It is the only museum in Quebec province devoted entirely to fashion, costumes, textiles and fibers. Sadly, I was unable to see most of the museum, but it looked fascinating and it's definitely on my radar for next time.

Pastry Heaven

With Montreal's French heritage, food is taken quite seriously and pastry shops abound with real butter croissants and pastry varieties that really deserve the appellation mouth-watering. O Plaisirs Gourmands at 1490 Sherbrooke West offers light flaky pastries, and sandwiches. Their croissants are fabulous.

When you're exploring Old Montreal for fashion, the Costume and Textile Museum or to investigate its charming cobblestone streets, you'll definitely want to try Maison Christian Faure -- a pastry school as well as a pastry shop. But really that doesn't do it justice when you walk inside and begin to see the delicacies available You can also enjoy their salads, quiches, and sandwiches.

Hotel Le Germain

The Hotel Le Germain is one of several owned and run by Groupe Germain Hospitalite -- a family-run business headquartered in Quebec City. The hotel is perfectly located in the center of the city, on a quiet street yet near public transportation. The rooms are spacious, and elegant. A deluxe continental breakfast buffet is included with fresh smoked fish, several types of croissant, eggs that are more like a crustless quiche in texture, cheese and fruit.

One of the my favorite amenities is the 24/7 freshly ground and brewed coffee available in the lobby. The machine grinds the beans (decaf or regular) to create espressos, lattes, and cappuccinos. Hot chocolate is also made fresh. Gourmet teas fill china canisters. Pour a cup and sit in the lobby to wait for friends, or fill up a pot and bring it up to your room. With one of the pastries you picked up while shopping. Ah!

Learn more about visiting Montreal at Tourism Montreal

Read more about travel throughout Canada

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Neala McCarten

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author

Updated: October 26, 2016

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