Montreal Designer Mikael D On The Art Of The Evening Gown

As a designer of intricately embellished eveningwear and bridal gowns, Mikael D (who was born Mikael Derderian) is recognized for crafting Canadian couture. The Montreal-based design talent launched his eponymous label in 2012, and finds inspiration in his Lebanese background as well the cultures of Italy and France.

Recently, Real Style spoke to Derderian backstage at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week Fall 2017. The artistically inclined designer, who describes style as a mix of “individuality and personality” delved into his creative process. From turning to the past to create his latest collection of dreamy frocks to his biggest role model, Derderian brought us into the intriguing world behind his celebrated gowns. 

Real Style: You’re known for your elaborate evening gowns. Tell us more about your theme for your Fall 2017 collection.

Mikael: It was very 1920s, Art Deco. It was bringing a hint of romance into a sort of geometric world. I was trying to bring my signature of how I believe the 1920s would be represented today. We tried to take elements, but we have modernized everything. There was a lot of what you would expect, Twenties dresses would be fringe and lots of sparkle. That’s a signature of mine as well, and a lot of bodycon dresses. I felt like this collection had to be second skin. I really wanted to bring that emphasis, with very light dresses, beaded but with an effortless kind of feeling.

Real Style: Where do you find your artistic energy?

Mikael: It really is from multiple places. Sometimes I’ll be in my kitchen; I could be watching something or looking at art. Also, lots of architecture. I really love architecture and design, and I have a very inquisitive mind when it comes to what’s next and what’s modern. I used to follow [late architect] Zaha Hadid, who passed away recently. That was one of my biggest inspirations, in terms of her shapes and geometry. There’s always the cut in the dress, something that brings it all together. I love the female figure, and I love to enhance that in my works.

Real Style: If you had to choose one, what is your favourite fashion memory?

Mikael: I love everything fashion. I’ve watched some of my favourite designers and favourite collections. Maybe something a little more personal- when I showed my first collection, for example. Those are all little moments that I think are my favourites.

Real Style: For Spring 2017, do you have any top runway trends in eveningwear?

Mikael: There’s a little bit of a vintage look coming back, which is the reason why I went back all the way to the 1920s. There are a lot of shoulders, and 1980s influences are happening all around, in terms of fashion. But I think fashion is about individuality right now. Style has become personal, rather than just a general concept. It’s what you make of fashion that makes it stylish.

Photos: Belle Bunag for Top of the Runway