Simon Bélanger and José Manuel, the Québec designers behind UNTTLD, showcased their fall/winter 2016 collection at Toronto Fashion Week on March 15.
After impressing everyone with their interpretation of Princess Leia's iconic dress last season, the duo were deemed the winners of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Start-Up competition, which recognizes emerging designers in the industry. This led to the funding of the fall/winter 2016 collection and presentation.
HuffPost Québec Style caught up with José and Simon to chat with them about the collection, and got a behind-the-scenes look at the shooting of the fall/winter 2016 lookbook. Check out the interview and pics below:
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On being proudly Québécois:
"The Toronto market helps develop the business, the money is here, but there's no way we're leaving Montreal! We will always do everything here — from creation to production. This is our city and also our inspiration. To create, we need to breathe, and here it is possible. "- Simon Bélanger.
On winning the Mercedes-Benz Start-Up competition:
"It is an honour! There is a real enthusiasm for the brand since we won the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Start-Up competition. It gave us real credibility."
On the inspiration behind the collection:
"It was inspired by the Borgias and also the Kings of France. We watched a lot of movies and documentaries to get in the right head space. Our collection has been built from the intrigues of the King's Court — the various characters such as mercenaries, archbishops and mistresses.
"For materials, we used black lace with flowers that appear poisoned, double nuts and also furs. There's lots of black, but also touches of gold and khaki.
"And we can't forget the chain motifs we used for the Disney competition — there are three pieces created after the Princess Leia dress: a top, a skirt and a dress.
"The work was crazy, it took hours and hours to create. For instance, one dress took more than 60 hours to make, and for the record, it weighs 10 pounds."
On the models cast in the show:
"There are 31 models in all, wearing mostly dresses for different occasions. We're really starting to get known for our dresses.
"There is a multi-ethnic cast: women of all ages and races will walk. There are black models, Asians, white, blonds, brunettes, redheads, just like all of our previous shows. It is important for us to address all women."
On dressing Canadian singer-songwriter, Ariane Moffat and Canadian TV host, Maripier Morin:
"We created the gold jacket, as well as the black one that Ariane wore while on "La Voix." We will also dress Maripier Morin for the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards on April 16. We are nominated in the "emerging talent" category."
On their success so far:
"Ever since we met our amazing agent, Elsa Reia, who is an extraordinary woman and full of experience, she has opened up a lot of doors and allowed us to take new avenues. We will also be teaming up with Julie Pesant of the store Editions de Robes, and selling our garments there. We're very happy, we're just missing a few additional points of sales!"