Montreal designers Joseph Helmer and Claudette Floyd debuted their collections at Toronto this season. The two designers are Montreal mainstays who have shown their work around the world. For their Toronto debut, they chose to share a time slot, sending both collections down the runway.
Helmer, as he prefers to be called, is a tailor by trade and worked in Paris after completing his training at LaSalle College. His work is available around the world, including the aforementioned Paris as well as Italy and Japan.
Helmer’s collection opened up with a sporty black and white outfit. The satin culottes were black with a white stripe, matched with a top in the same colourway. After that, he sent colour down the runway – a teal highwaisted pant with matching top followed by an orange wool jacket paired with satin cropped skinny pants. After the colour teaser, Helmer went back to neutrals, sending a combination of black and grey collarless, fitted jackets; floaty grey metallic skirts (short and long), a big, black tulle skirt, a pair of fringed booty shorts and a camouflage jacket decorated with jet beads.
The collection played the severe – the grey and black wools – against dense embroidery and beading.
Claudette Floyd, who showed after Helmer, opened her show with a wool metallic dress in a very flattering shade of brown (more reddish than beige) followed by a banana yellow dress. For those who shy away from yellow, there were black dresses, both little and long.
Her collection also featured beading, as seen on a long white wool coat, cropped jackets and dresses. She also played with volume, explaining, “It’s always good to offer a little bit of everything. A little volume for fun, a little tapered for your clients.”
When asked about the similarity in the collections, Floyd says, “We’ve been friends for years and we work well together. He’s amazing!” She points to Helmer, then says, “And I’m amazing too!”