Montreal Designer’s Origami-Inspired Leather Dresses Court Controversy

Myriam Benoit, recycled leather, upcycled leather, recycled fashion, upcycled fashion, recycled clothing, upcycled clothing, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Montreal, Canada


The precise folds that transform a flat sheet of paper into the likeness of a crane may induce a Zen-like state in most people. Not for Montreal designer Myriam Benoit, however. Although her “Pliure Offensive” collection (“forceful folding” when translated from the French) was inspired by the Japanese art of origami, the dynamic between forces opposing and complementary is what drives it.

Although the line was inspired by origami, the dynamic between forces opposing and complementary is what drives it.

Color, too, has poignant symbolism in Benoit’s work, which is primarily made with recycled leather. Black is mysterious, sexy, and sophisticated, while red is provocative and heroic. “To get strength, we need black for confrontation and red for courage,” Benoit tells Ecouterre. “I love the harmony that they create together.”

But when it came to the collection’s photo shoot, Benoit was more interested in conflict. With the controversial Turcot Interchange as its setting, Alexandre Guilbeault’s photographs capture two sets of antagonistic forces: organic leather versus the manmade environment, and urban planning versus the preservation of local culture. Somehow Benoit manages to pit resistance and harmony to create a happy medium.

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