Georges Lévesque was a women’s fashion designer known for his nonconformism, original style, and colourful, finely crafted aesthetic.
Often described in the press as the “Jean-Paul Gaultier of Quebec,” he preferred to follow his creative impulses rather than conform to the dictates of commercial fashion.
A self-taught fashion designer, Georges Lévesque began creating clothing in the early 1970s to personalize his wardrobe. He was a member of a modern dance troupe at the time, but fashion design soon took over. In 1976, he started hanging out with other designers at the boutique Beige, on Prince Arthur Street in Montreal. The following year, having joined forces with fellow designer Michèle Hamel, he opened the boutique Pur Hasard at 1567-A St. Denis Street. In the early 1980s, he moved his atelier to St. Lawrence Boulevard and, still working with Michèle Hamel, began producing ready-to-wear. Despite selling clothes from New York to Paris, the Pur Hasard label disappeared in 1984 as Georges Lévesque was not comfortable with the constraints of mass production.
To maintain his freedom, he returned to a more artisanal approach.
He started working with his life companion, Marie-Josée Gagnon, who had owned the thrift store Scandale since 1977. Clothing with the Georges Lévesque pour Scandale label gradually displaced the racks of used merchandise, until the store eventually stocked only designs by Georges Lévesque.
In addition to his work as a fashion designer, Georges Lévesque also created costumes.
He dressed performers like Céline Dion and Diane Dufresne, and worked with various Montreal theatre troupes.
When he died in 2011, he was putting the final touches on the costumes for the equestrian show Cavalia. Georges Lévesque died of a heart attack at the age of 59.
Baril, Gérald. «Georges Lévesque. Haute couture en rupture», dans G. Baril, et al., Atmosphères, catalogue d’exposition, Centre de design de l’Université du Québec à Montréal, 2001, p. 41-46.
Dumas, Ève. «De la tête aux pieds. Georges Lévesque», La Presse (Actuel), 17 July 2001, p. B1.
Lavigne, Lucie. «Georges Lévesque. Mister Freak», Elle Québec, No 136, December 2000, p. 158-165.
St-Jacques, Sylvie. « Mort de Georges Lévesque : « Il était notre Jean Paul Gaultier » » La Presse, La Presse Inc., 24 August 2011, https://www.lapresse.ca/vivre/mode/201108/24/01-4428554-mort-de-georges-levesque-il-etait-notre-jean-paul-gaultier.php.
Vincent, Julie. «Le temps retrouvé. Julie Vincent, actrice, rencontre Georges Lévesque, créateur de mode», Topo Magazine, no 36, March 1995, p. 56-57.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor