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Montreal designer Danny Lamarche decided to use latex as the starting point of his collection, LAMARCHE. The resulting clothes are filled with contrast and go beyond a more traditional definition of beauty. Lamarche’s work takes latex someplace new and fresh, away from its usually sexual tone.
LAMARCHE has no gender. Its rectangular silhouettes, straight cuts and dark shades define Danny Lamarche’s peculiar aesthetics. While quite colorful as a person, the young designer unveils his intuitive, sensible and passionate self through a rather somber clothing line.
Baron: How did you get where you are today?
Danny Lamarche: It took me quite some time to find out I wanted to work in the fashion industry. I was initially studying visual arts in cégep and in college. I really liked the arts, but I came to realize it would really be hard to make a living out of them, since art is such an abstract and conceptual discipline. I had always been interested in fashion and I understood the solution lied therein. So I united both my love for the arts and fashion and studied in Collège Lasalle for three years before earning my B.A. in college.
B.: Do you believe it is easier to make ends meet while pursuing a career in fashion instead of as an artist?
D. L.: Not really. I wanted to leave a mark since I was young. I first chose the arts because I thought it would be easier to leave a tangible legacy while following this path. I want to have an influence on more than one generation. That’s why I’m always saying I want to build a fashion empire.
B.: How could you connect to future generations through your creations?
D. L.: I have no idea! In my case, creating is a way to exteriorize everything I feel. I hope people can relate to that somehow. I know fashion is also about marketing, but there’s still a part of my experiences and emotions in my collections.
B.: How would you describe your universe?
D. L.: As punk-glam? I’m always trying to make something sophisticated. I don’t want it to be trashy. And since I’m primarily using latex, I really don’t want it to look cheap and raw. I came up with clothes we’re all used to see in our everyday lives, but I made them out of unusual materials and finishes. You’ll see latex leggings paired with an elaborate wool crepe tunic. It’s neither trashy nor classy.
B.: What first comes to mind when you’re conceiving clothes?
D. L.: The woman who would wear these clothes. Of course, I find materials and fabrics very inspiring, but what really gets me going is how I envisage the woman who would wear the garment. I view her as strong and formidable, with lots of manly attributes. She’s really powerful, clearheaded and sexually confident. This is for whom I create.
B.: Does any aspect of fashion disappoint you?
D. L.: Not really. I think most people involved with the industry are very cautious. They rarely dare to do something different. It might be explained by all the marketing in and around fashion. I myself wouldn’t mind being renowned for shaking the industry with my creations. Art is shocking sometimes. This is how I see my work.
B.: Do you think there’s room in Montreal for this particular type of fashion?
D. L.: I do not believe there is. The fashion industry is slowly changing in Montreal, but it is still very “nice” or “inoffensive”. There is a lot of talent in our industry, but most of our clothing lines are pretty standard. Let’s say we’re not causing any surprises…
B.: And are you planning to start your fashion empire in Montreal or somewhere else?
D. L.: I’d like to remain in Montreal… But I’d also want to work in London and New York. I’d like to stay close to any market that cultivates an open mind towards any unusual proposition. Then again, if I had to, I wouldn’t mind making clothing with a more classic ring to it. I’ll see where my work takes me. You never know what might happen five years from now. Maybe Montreal will be the next big thing on the fashion planet!
B.: Is there an artist who influenced your work more than any other?
D. L.: I couldn’t say there is. I listen to a lot of music while riding public transport and I usually spend these moments drawing. So I guess the music can influence my work. When I think about it, I made LAMARCHE with one particular album in mind: Trust’s TRST. Looking at my collection and listening to this album makes me feel the same thing. Everything that surrounds me is also part of who I am and, since I do a lot of things spontaneously, I try to let my imagination run free.
Discover Danny Lamarche’s LAMARCHE on April 29th, as part of the collective fashion show of UQÀM’s Fashion management - design and styling graduates, at the university’s Design Center’s gallery.