Part-time Montrealers Ralph Leroy and Helmer Joseph were among a dozen designers to show at the magnificent Église St-Jean Baptiste Friday and Saturday as part of Black Fashion Week. Leroy staged an all-white show with a stunning finale of showpieces, including one ensemble of multiple tiny ruffles that took seven workers 400 hours to create.
Leroy divides his time between Montreal, New York and Haiti, where he opened an atelier in January as a learning centre for young people. “It’s a way to give back to my country,” Leroy said.
Similarly, couturier Helmer (as he and his collections are known) divides his time between Paris, Montreal and Haiti. In Paris, he is under contract for two collections, while in Haiti he is working toward setting up a couture school. Known for his technical wizardry in hand-crafted lace and embroidery, Helmer burst onto the Montreal scene in 2007. He will show his menswear at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week in August.
Black Fashion Week is a production of Adama Paris, which also stages events in Paris, Prague and Salvador de Bahia.
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