Michel Desjardins is a Montreal designer of high-end women’s clothing. A graduate of Montreal’s LaSalle College fashion design program, in 1978 he began his career by working for Parachute (designers Harry Parnass and Nicola Pelly), John Warden, Michel Robichaud and Leo Chevalier. In 1984-1985, he decided to pursue his training in France at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. After graduating, he was hired by the Hubert de Givenchy fashion house, where he worked on a wide array of products, from fur to lingerie, in both haute couture and ready-to-wear.
When he returned to Montreal, Michel Desjardins launched his first eponymous collection of women’s clothing in 1987. For the first five years, he operated his business out of his Sherbrooke Street apartment. In 1992, he moved his atelier to a space on De Maisonneuve Boulevard West where he could both receive clients by appointment and present fashion shows. Desjardins designed two collections a year that were sold at various Canadian and American retailers.
Michel Desjardins – L’œuvre d’une vie
ModeMontréalTV, Michel Desjardins – L’œuvre d’une vie, 2013
The clientele for his custom-made clothing included figures from both politics and the arts, such as actress Andrée Lachapelle, MNA and Quebec’s first female Premier, Pauline Marois, and the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Aline Chrétien.
He won the Griffe d’Or in 1995 and 1998.
In 2009, Michel Desjardins opened a store under his name at 2155 Crescent Street in Montreal. This coincided with his gradually moving away from creating collections in advance for distribution and instead making garments closer to the season. He eventually returned to a “by appointment only” format in 2013 when he moved to a salon-atelier at Château St. Ambroise in the St. Henri district, which he closed in 2018.
Lemery, Claude-Sylvie. «Entre l’ombre et la lumière», Le Devoir, vendredi 17 July 1998, p. B4.
Ruer, Juliette. «Michel Desjardins : style direct», Elle Québec, 18, February 1991, p. 44.
Madeleine Goubau, Contributor