Montreal was the first city I ever visited in Canada, and like most people, I instantly fell in love. With a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit as a good excuse to squeeze in an end-of-summer visit, I grabbed a pal and took a morning Via Rail train from Toronto for a weekend fashion excursion. I highly recommend staying Old Montreal, particularly the Place d’Armes Hotel & Suites. Owned and operated by the Antonopoulos Group, the same family behind Le Petit Hotel, Hotel Nelligan and a string of other impressively-run properties. Expect old world charm with all the modern luxuries, from the rooms to the rooftop patio’s legendary mojitos.
|Trekking through Old Montreal|
Plus you cannot beat the Place d’Armes Hotel’s proximity to everything. Designer Denis Gagnon opened his new boutique just down the street last May, so I popped in for a visit. Tucked downstairs in an old heritage building, the space showcases Gagnon’s personality and his spring 2011 collection – you remember, the one with the stripes and the fringe? (The dressing rooms sport full length ombré fringe curtains.) There are also shoes from his ALDO collaboration and a few pieces from other designers like Montrealer Travis Taddeo.
Just down the street is one of my top shopping stops in Old Montreal – Espace Pepin. The large boutique serves as a workshop and showroom for multidisciplinary artist Lysanne Pepin, but also features apparel, accessories and home decor items by other designers that suit Pepin’s aesthetic.
Having worked up an appetite shopping, I stop into Marché de La Villette for a bite. Situated across the street from Espace Pepin, the old world charm extends from the décor to the staff. And unlike the heavily touted Olive & Gourmando (also across the street), you don’t have to queue up for this deliciousness.
With a full belly it’s off to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Musee des Beaux Arts.
|Wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier dress to see Jean Paul Gaultier. C’est bon, no?|