Life in lockdown: Montreal designers are making masks fashionable
Here are the stylish offerings of five local creators.
T’Cha Dunlevy • Montreal Gazette
May 03, 2020 • Last Updated 2 months ago • 4 minute read
Montreal clothing designers are are taking artisanal mask-making to a whole new level, pitching in to help meet the growing demand now that the Quebec government and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante are recommending the use of masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Jennifer Glasgow, of General 54, 5145 St-Laurent Blvd.
Mile End designer Jennifer Glasgow started making masks for friends a few weeks ago. She posted a photo on Instagram, and was soon flooded with requests.
“(My partner) Dan said: ‘We should be making masks. This is a community need.’”
They have since sold more than 2,000 masks and are fielding requests from grocery stores and a school board in Gatineau.
Pattern-wise, Glasgow uses ends of rolls of textiles from her collections of the past few years.
The cotton masks come in three sizes and include a sleeve to add your own filter.
Denis Gagnon, of Boutique Denis Gagnon, 170 St-Paul St. W.
Denis Gagnon didn’t want to make masks, initially.
“I didn’t see the point,” said the Old Montreal designer. “Then I realized I would have to wear one, and I didn’t see myself wearing other people’s masks.”
So he made one for himself, then more for his employees. Last Saturday, he launched a line of masks online. Styles range from a black velour model at $29.99 to red and black triacetate ones at $39.99, and starkly funky, glitter-adorned masks at $49.99.
“They’re more haut de gamme,” Gagnon said. “We can’t reinvent the wheel — they’re protective masks. It’s all in the conception and the finishing.”
Gagnon’s masks are adjustable at the nose, and have an extra elastic under the chin.
Sizes: S, Mdenisgagnon.ca
Judith Desjardins, of BODYBAG by Jude, 17 Bernard St. W.
Judith Desjardins first made a mask for herself out of material from a new collection, to make a matching outfit. The she started getting calls from clients, asking if she was making masks.
Three weeks later, she has reached the limit of what she can make in-house and is sub-contracting to local seamstresses.
“We’ve had so much demand, we’ve had to go to the next stage of production,” she said.
Marc Patrick, of Sartorialto, 5025 Papineau Ave.
Better known as the tailor to the stars, Sartorialto began making masks when one of his clients asked for one.
“He had meetings with people, and said he would be more comfortable if he had a mask,” Patrick said.
Patrick made a few, posted pictures on Instagram, and then things got crazy.
“We have over 1,000 sold, and 10 days of production ahead, completely filled,” he explained.
In keeping with the store’s ethos, masks are made to order for each customer.
“We have over 50 choices,” Patrick said. “All the fabric comes from Italy or Switzerland; it’s fabric we had in stock before the crisis.”
$44, or 3 for $99
Marie Saint Pierre, of Maison Marie Saint Pierre, 2081 de la Montagne St., and Rockland Shopping Centre
Quebec designer Marie Saint Pierre has four sophisticated styles of protective masks.
“For me, there are always three main factors,” she said. “It has to be comfortable, it has to be technical, and it has to be beautiful.”
She has black or grey masks in cotton sponge with mesh finishing, available with slit for removable filter, and striking masks in pleated organza (black) or pleated lurex (gold), with lining in techno-jersey.