By Paul Gessell
No challenge, it seems, is too great for Ottawa’s indefatigable fashion designer Richard Robinson.
We all remember Robinson’s outrageous outfits for Marlen Cowpland. Probably fewer people remember that in 2007 the Hamilton Art Gallery elevated Cowpland’s skintight catsuit with diamond nipple to high art, placing it centre stage in an “art” exhibition of Robinson designs.
That was not the first, nor the last, time the lines between fashion, art and scandal were blurred so marvellously. Visit Montreal this summer, where the cone-shaped bras designed for Madonna by Jean-Paul Gaultier are the biggest hits at an art exhibition at Musee des beaux-arts.
Now, Robinson is preparing to set tongues awagging with a haute couture bicycle fashion show. It’s all part of the annual Rideau Canal Festival July 28-Aug. 1.
A fashion show will be held July 31, at 2 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. in Confederation Park. The emphasis will be on bicycle chic. Westboro’s Green Tree Eco Fashion will present some of its latest apparel. Kunstadt Sports will offer a “cool bike wear” segment. And Robinson will be unveiling his haute couture cycle fashions.
Robinson’s models will ride into the park on tandem bicycles and circle Colonel By Fountain. The gentlemen chauffeurs will be in front with the ladies pedaling from the rear seat. Both men’s and women’s fashions will be presented.
In one sneak preview photo emailed to Ottawa Magazine, the female model was decked out in the world’s tiniest fuchsia-coloured silk dress with body shorts and a matching helmet adorned with silk petals and netting. The male chauffer was wearing Richard Robinson cargo pants and T-shirt.
Women determined to stop traffic during their morning bicycle commute to work simply must attend this show.