Behind the Design: Mikael D Fall 2017 Runway Collection

There’s no doubt that Canada is home to some world-class fashion design talent. Leading the Canadian couture pack is Mikael Derderian, who launched his eponymous label back in 2012, and has become recognized for crafting red-carpet ready evening wear done up in whimsical palettes and textures. The Montreal-raised designer is also no stranger to high-profile clients, with celebrities such as Halle Berry and Mariah Carey spotted wearing his creations.

In March, Derderian presented his latest show-stopping collection at the inaugural Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. True to Mikael D form, the runway presentation was unapologetically decadent and dramatic, featuring floor-length gowns adorned with intricate lace, to daring minidresses decked out in oversized sequins and loads of beaded fringe.

We recently caught up with the designer who dished on the collection’s inspiration, the Mikael D woman, and much more.

“I wanted to take my vision of fashion to a different era and back. My collection draws on the timeworn traditions of the art deco era and the roaring 20’s while simultaneously celebrating the modern, mechanized world. It isn’t one style, but a myriad of influences and characteristics. It is playful, luxurious, exotic, geometric and violently seducing. Those who lust for the elaborate fantasy and craftsmanship of couture but who prefer prêt-à-porter will surely find a niche for their whimsical fantasies.”

“My client is the idea of confident women who are not afraid to be the center of attention. They are the ladies who, before anything else, appreciate a beautiful design aesthetic and strive to have the best in what fashion can provide them: the best quality, fit, finishing, workmanship and embroidery, and the best fabrics. Money is rarely a factor. They are after that one-of-a-kind piece that nobody can get their hands on, and dressing to satisfy an inner passion for everything fashion. They are never afraid to be pioneers in fashion, or leaders in their social group.”

“I wanted to recreate a woman from the 20’s for today’s modern world, while embodying elegance with striking seduction.”

“I rely on two of the main body senses: the touch and the look. I have always preferred using silk chiffons, crepes and satins as I believe that they add a feeling of luxury while staying current with today’s fashion trends. I also selected silk tulle as another important fabric for the season, as I was mesmerized by its’ lightness and its’ capacity to outline any silhouette regardless of the shape of the body.
Lace is another one of my favourite materials to work with. It’s one of the oldest forms of luxury knitting techniques that has survived the test of time, and every piece is an artwork in and by itself.”

“A moment captured from a roaring era. It was meant to offer the viewers a glimpse into the creative process that went into the design and inspiration of the dresses.”

“I chose Leonard Bernstein’s 1976 rendition of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It embodied the deco era and that period of time. It has many levels within the orchestra: it’s lively, flashy, bluesy, and intensely romantic in feeling. These positive characteristics no doubt contribute to the feeling and mood of the collection.”

Watch the full Mikael D runway show below, or flip through the gallery above to see 22 stunning runway looks.