Government of Quebec

06/19/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2019 11:13

Jean-Claude Poitras takes over the Musée de la civilisation runway for the summer

QUÉBEC CITY, June 19, 2019/CNW Telbec/ - From June 20 to September 15, Musée de la civilisation is presenting an exhibition devoted entirely to the creative work and inspiration of the great Québec fashion designer, Jean-Claude Poitras. Jointly produced by Musée de la civilisation and the McCord Museum, the exhibition Jean-Claude Poitras: Fashion and Inspiration will then run at the McCord Museum from October 24, 2019, to April 26, 2020.

A passion for fashion

Even as a child, Jean-Claude Poitraswas drawn to fabrics and their texture, movement, and color. This tactile and visual fascination with the material became the lifeblood of his career. Poitras's creative instinct draws on childhood memories, the silver screen, and exotic new textures in vibrant colors. His inspirations for shapes and materials spring from fleeting impressions, intense emotions, and moments of sudden passion that touch the heart. Throughout his career, which has spanned more than four decades (1970s to 2000s), Jean-Claude Poitrashas shaped the Québec fashion scene with his distinctive brand and intuitive, sensitive approach. His vision of fashion, fueled by his own emotions, led to a career punctuated by successes and defining moments.

This exhibition lets visitors discover the creations and inspirations of Jean-Claude Poitrasthrough clothing, objects, archival documents, and multimedia content. Minimalist in their presentation, the collections are organized around three of the designer's biggest sources of inspiration: family and religion, muses and film, and travel. The first part of the exhibition explores designs inspired by Poitras's memories of childhood, the church and Catholic rituals, and youth. The second highlights the influence the cinema had on Jean-Claude Poitras'swork, but also that of public figures and his true muse, Colette Chicoine. The last part of the exhibition is dedicated to the designer's travels, with pieces inspired by the cultures and traditions of the world's great cities.

Cut from a designer's cloth

Renowned Québec fashion designer Jean-Claude Poitrasis a key figure in the world of ready-to-wear in Québec and the rest of Canada. By partnering with many different manufacturers, he has created numerous successful brands, including Parenthèse, BOF!, Jean-Claude Poitras, and Qui m'aime me suive.

Over the course of his career, his designs have earned him many prestigious accolades, including the Fil d'or de Monte-Carlo, two Griffes d'Or, the Griffe d'Or Hommage, and the titles of Member of the Order of Canada, Officer of the National Order of Québec, and Knight of the Order of Montréal. In addition to winning numerous awards and distinctions, Jean-Claude Poitrasis also known for his extensive work with cultural institutions and in the community. Mr. Poitras is still active in many fields, including design, communications, teaching, and visual arts.


'At the forefront of fashion in Québec since the early 1970s, Jean-Claude Poitrashas made his mark in Québec and around the world through his exceptional talent and original perspective. We are thrilled to present this exhibition jointly with the McCord Museum. Our two institutions share the privilege of having many of his designs in our collections-designs that reflect his signature finesse and elegance.'
Stéphan La Roche, Executive Director, Musée de la civilisation

'This exhibition immerses visitors in the universe of a Montréal designer who has been one of the leading names in Québec fashion for nearly 50 years. As Montréal's fashion museum, the McCord Museum is proud to partner with Musée de la civilisation to highlight the designs and inspirations of Jean-Claude Poitras, an iconic figure in the history of fashion.'
Suzanne Sauvage, President and Chief Executive Officer, McCord Museum

'In this exhibition, you will see that fashion has not only been my profession, but my lifeblood. Throughout my journey, I've had the good fortune of being nurtured and guided by my muses and little hands, the people behind the scenes and those of the spotlight, from the wings to the podiums, off the beaten track. Today I remember that, beneath the surface, our intersecting visions and shared dreams have woven a beautiful story that continues to unfold.'
Jean-Claude Poitras, Fashion Designer


  • The exhibition presents nearly 160 objects and archival documents from donations made by Jean-Claude Poitrasto Musée de la civilisation and the McCord Museum between 2001 and 2017, including:
    • 81 objects, 63 of which are articles of clothing
    • 76 archival documents (letters, photographs, advertisements, posters, etc.)
  • A selection of the most beautiful designs from the two museums' collections and from Jean-Claude Poitras'spersonal collection was chosen for this exhibition.
  • Multimedia and interactive content enhance the experience with audiovisual vignettes (including interviews with Jean-Claude Poitras), screenings of some of Mr. Poitras's greatest inspirations, and iPads with additional content about the people who collaborated with the designer.

The exhibition Jean-Claude Poitras: Fashion and Inspiration is a joint production of Musée de la civilisation and the McCord Museum. It runs at Musée de la civilisation from June 20 to September 15, 2019, in partnership with the Fairmont Le Château Frontenacas the official hotel, and then will be at the McCord Museum in Montréal from October 24, 2019, to April 26, 2020.

Related links:
Musée de la civilisation: and
McCord Museum:

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