Like Schiaparelli before him (who is sometimes credited with being the first to put ornamental zippers on gowns), Gagnon is an artist first. He obviously places a premium on inventiveness, letting the wearability of his garments and commercial viability slide. This (commendable) approach to the industry had everything to do with his shop closure and restructuring, circa 2007.
His comeback show (the 'Denise' Collection) was well-received, containing the zippered and fringed dresses that have been given prominent placement in recent spreads and editorials. While his trademark is leather, artfully swirled, pieced, and puckered...
his new vision also includes bias knits, chunky pendants with matching silver cuffs, and the interplay of heavy fringes/zippers with light silks and softly slanting hems.
His show is a striking study in comparison and contrasts, made all the more cohesive and involving for it. The pieced-together leather pants reference the concentric swirls of zippers that form the neckline of a layered chiffon dress. Articulated elbows could look like knight's armour, if they weren't accompanied by similarly structured sweater dresses that are tucked and folded just so. As a layperson who doesn't always 'get' the concept of a runway show, I adore how precise and focused Gagnon's work is. He has a vision, and he's letting us take a peek at it.