Street activities and special presentations that pay tribute to fashion and design.
Catwalks in the street, thumping beats, champagne flutes and stilettos left and right – the annual Fashion & Design Festival can be a dizzying affair! And since we want you to get the very most out of all your Montréal experiences, we’ve cooked up your complete guide to the summer’s most glamorous experience.
Fashion and Design Festival, August 15 to 20.
What you’re getting into
A major outdoor event celebrating fashion and design at Quartier des Spectacles, in the heart of downtown Montreal, presenting outdoor fashion shows, live music shows, workshops, film screenings, presentations and more shopping opportunities that you can shake a YSL baguette at, including the famous pop-up shops on the Place des Festivals. Participating labels this year include Robert Atelier, Waxman, Alton Gray, Bestseller, Le Château, Citizen Vintage and many more, while you’ll be able to hear free live music by Dear Denizen, Archichic, Fonkyson, Paupière and buy a private night with Trouble Andrew (get your tickets here). Check out the schedule of talks and workshops here; you won’t want to miss the costume workshop presented by designers for the Cirque du Soleil.
What to bring
Like any other large-scale festival, there are a few essentials: First of all, your finery. With crowds this fabulous, brimming with local designers, fashion mavens and models, you’ll want to decked out in your coolest garb. Get creative and have fun, and keep in mind 6-inch heels may be oh-so-glamour, but you could be standing and strutting around for hours. (I’d save them for the Bingo & High Heels night on August 19 at the festival’s satellite location, the Montréal Casino.) Since most of the festival’s daytime activities happen outdoors, sunscreen is highly recommended, not to mention a reusable water bottle to keep hydrated (but not one made of glass or aluminum, which aren’t allowed on the site).
What not to bring
There are a few prohibited items that won’t be allowed on site: Any alcoholic beverages (there are plenty of pop-up bars onsite, plus you’ll be right downtown surrounded by bars and restaurants, should the mood strike) and glass and aluminum containers. Also all pets (except service dogs), even cute accessory dogs, as well as folding and portable chairs, bicycles, skateboards and roller skates.
To get to the festival: You’ll find several payable parking lots around the main Quartier des Spectacles site, including Place des Arts, Complexe Desjardins and Université du Québec à Montréal. Holders of a disabled parking permit will have access to reserved spaces in the parking garage at Place des Arts. Everyone’s best bet is to come by public transport though, especially considering the road closures. The nearest metro stations are Place-des-Arts and St-Laurent.
All that primping got ya hungry? Don’t miss some of the best of Montréal food trucks onsite every day! You’ll also find beer tents and beverage counters all over the site. Beyond that, Montréal offers an incredible wealth of food and drink options in the blocks that surround the site, with diverse eateries downtown, in Old Montréal and on the Plateau that are an easy walk or taxi ride away.
If you lose something, don’t panic: Head for the information booth, or contact one of the clearly marked employees that will guide you to the right place. You can contact 514-876-1499 or email email@example.com for help.