Dina Habib and Danik Yopp describe themselves as enfants terribles of Mtl’s fashion scene. They founded DYDH (Die Young, Die Happy) Productions in 2012, and have since been putting on “underground” fashion shows under the moniker MEWS at various clubs and bars, including favourite Mile End watering hole Royal Phoenix.
This is the production company’s second year exhibiting designers at the Festival de la Mode & Design and Dina told MtlBlog they brought the guns to the gun fight for certain this year. The company prides themselves on bringing gay and trans culture to the forefront of the fashion scene, and working entire collections around the theme of androgyny. “Gays have always run the show as far as fashion goes, but always from behind the scenes. We want to bring it out from backstage, it doesn’t make sense that we’re still marginalized in the industry basically built by gay culture.”
The designers featured are all local rising stars; François Renard brought crazy colours and troll doll accessories, while Pedram Karimi brought clean solid neutrals in inconceivable game-changing clean straight lines from the future!
“At our MEWS shows we tend to go a lot edgier, but for the festival we tried to find the happy-middle-ground mainstream,” says Dina of the shows exhibited designers. “We’re definitely not as commercial as the rest of the festival, but you can’t just be ‘art’ there has to be a middle ground between black and white” In an industry where everyone is merely looking over everyone else’s heads for the Next Big Thing, busting outside of the box is expected of fashion shows. It’s clear that independent production companies like DYDH are the ones having the most fun at the Fest.
Even coming down to the casting of their models, DYDH keeps their minds open to “beautiful” in whatever way it manifests. “Too pretty is boring to us. We have some shorter girls, last year we had bigger girls.” Dina says they don’t pay any heed to “industry standards” because their alternative fashion just works better on the strange and unique brand of beauty. “We were looking for good walks, and also keeping with the androgynous look.”
DYDH’s previous shows have usually had fun mixing and matching various pieces from various designers into combined cocktails of outfits, but this year they decided to colour inside the lines, exhibiting each designer independently upon each model, only adding LaLa Yeah’s jewellery for the finishing touch.