Montreal designer Mariouche Gagné has carved a cosy little niche for herself and called it “Ecoluxe.” At Harricana, her beautiful all-white boutique near the Atwater Market, shoppers can sift through racks and shelves of re-cycled fur products: everything from full-length coats to chic aviator hats to cuddly teddy bears.
Last season, Mariouche also added a line of recycled wedding dresses, from which she makes the cutest little tops; but seeing that the weather in Montreal is getting cooler – I’ve been told to brace for a heavy snowfall this year – my gal pals and I decided to check out what’s new in the winter warm-up department.
Move over, Lara! Check me out in my Snow Princess look: the ever-popular La Canadienne coat ($2,500) features an extra fluffy coyote fur hoodie, hem and cuffs. My creamy moccasin boots ($635, also available in tan and black) with matching coyote skins surely would’ve made Pocahontas look twice. For style that’s a little more urban, girlfriend Ashley liked the Tireak bomber jacket ($2,400) with Norwegian fox trim, and Thérèse cut a stunning silhouette in the Perfecto ($1,600), in brown leather and coyote.
New in store are some interesting collaborations with fellow Canadian designers, such as the sweater dresses and cardigans from Preloved (love the fur pompoms!), waterproof boots from Pajar and necklaces by Charlotte Hosten. FYI: Harricana also features select non-fur pieces from up-and-comer Mélissa Nepton, urbanite Ève Gravel, and retro-influenced Annie 50.
Alternatively, if you have a fur coat already and it needs a makeover (Don’t you raid Grandma’s closet without her permission!), you can opt to have it completely remodelled, or have it re-purposed into a – much less pricey – hat, purse, earmuffs, boa, vest, or hand-warmer. The mezzanine at Harricana is reserved for private consultations with Célyne (who does the re-designing) and fittings.
As a little treat, the Harricana staff also allowed us to peak downstairs and visit the private atelier – where some of the Ecoluxe magic happens – and the awesome storage room where literally a wall of fur coats is just waiting to be Ecoluxed-out.