For the last few years, local designer Duy exclusively created custom designs for a private clientele — Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and Karine Vanasse, just to name a few. He had previously shown his collections at fashion week in both Montreal and Toronto, winning the top prize in the Mercedes Benz Start Up competition at the latter, but hadn’t designed nor shown a collection since 2013. Six months ago, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) invited the designer to present his work at the Parliament in Ottawa, prompting him to create his first collection in years. Rather than present them with his already existing body of work, Duy created his latest designs pulling inspiration from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and what he describes as “the constant battle between reason and passion.” Duy has finally trickled back onto Montreal’s fashion scene, but unfortunately it’ll be short lived; he’s returning to his home country of Vietnam at the end of the month, preferably in perpetuity. “There’s more money in Vietnam,” he says, “also culturally, Vietnamese people like to dress well. Canadians have to deal with winter that kills fashion and also, most of Canadians don’t consider fashion as a priority.” Not only that, but the construction of Duy’s clothing requires a very skillful hand, and according to him most seamstresses in the city are retired. After seeing his collection at Fashion Preview, we’re especially sorry to see him go. Check out the glamorous chaos backstage, captured by analog photographer Delphine Lewis.

Backstage photography DELPHINE LEWIS