Shop Talk

OPENING: Sussex Drive lures Montreal’s Melow par Mélissa Bolduc

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

People sometimes say the best thing about Ottawa is that it’s just a short drive to Montreal. We won’t deny the fact that Montreal still bests us in terms of shopping and nightlife, but Sussex Drive is becoming adept at luring Montreal labels. Can you say, petit Montreal?

Melow par Mélissa Bolduc is the latest shop to bring avant-garde designs to the capital. On a recent visit, SHOP TALK found baggy skirts that continue the look popularized by Kaliyana just a few doors down. But rather than draping, these pieces hug the body in all the right places, complementing a variety of body types. Mélissa also uses asymmetry to give basic garments a unique flair.

And for locally designed goods, the product was affordable: tops start at $75; skirts and pants at $100.

In store, the focus is kept on the sleek designs. Melow indeed, there aren’t too many clothes on display to overwhelm. Instead, the exposed-brick walls are adorned with photos showcasing clothing from the current season.

Also sold at Melow are gorgeous bags by Veinage. Unique (featuring wooden accents), handmade, and made with recycled leather, they’re by Montreal artist Violaine Tétreault.

Mélissa has been selling her designs since 2007. She started out with a store/atelier, but things grew quickly and Melow needed a separate retail space. Attracted to Ottawa’s steady economic climate, and the Sussex shopping district, Mélissa is happy to be bringing her funky fashions to the capital.

Melow par Mélissa Bolduc. 457 Sussex Dr., 613-688-2597, www.melowparmelissabolduc.com