Design & Style, Street

Style Spectator: Festival fashion

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Festival du Voyageur time is my favourite time for Winnipeg’s stylish.

It is the one time a year when style statement meets practicality and they merge harmoniously into one delicious display of Canadiana.

Hudson’s Bay Company stripes, ceintures flechees, red toques, moccasins and Sorel boots are all out in plain view, and no one is ashamed, wary or doubtful of the way they look.

The highlight of the whole thing is seeing the club circuit lose their minds dancing at Club St. B while bouncing on moccasins or toe-tappin’ in Sorels.

It isn’t reserved to the young adult demographic either: men, women, and children of all ages enthusiastically don their best impersonations of Voyageurs for the ten days long – a style which undoubtedly came from a need to break the fiercely aggressive wind of our winters.

Surely, a true style maven would motivate our citizens to keep tripping over ice in four-inch heels and to dress moderately, but I see things differently: dressing for the weather with reference to our history makes us stand out on the style front and allows us to accept the brutality of the winter with some efficacy and joy. Layer on, homies. HE HO!


Brenlee Coates is a writer, stylist and costume assistant on movies. She is the surveyor of Winnipeg style for our Style Spectator segment and likes to write about the best dates she goes on with her city.