News & Runway

Canada Fashion: 2012 Year in Review

As the end of every year draws to a close (you lose this one Mayans!), expect the interweb to be filled with countless recaps of the past 12 months. Needless to say, I love a good trend, so following suit here are some of the biggest Canadian style stories that made the rounds in 2012, for better or worse. Let the reminiscing begin.

Canada's Questionable Olympic Apparel

Team GB wore Stella McCartney, USA came decked out in Ralph Lauren (albeit made in China), while Team Canada turned up to the Olympic campground in a Canadian tuxedo — that is, a jean jacket and matching pants — courtesy of The Hudson's Bay Company. It sparked debate on Twitter, leading many to question whether the overtly casual attire was appropriate for such an event.

IMG Buys Toronto Fashion Week

After consistently failing to garner international attention, Toronto Fashion Week, officially known as World MasterCard Fashion Week, was been taken over by global powerhouse IMG Fashion, which currently runs the esteemed fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Berlin, among many others.

Happy Birthday Holt Renfrew

Holt Renfrew celebrated its 175th birthday in some serious style. Not only did the luxury retailer sell all kinds of limited-edition hot pink merchandise, but it also roped in the assistance of Sir Elton John and David Furnish who launched their own limited-edition candles with an appearance at the Bloor Street store.

Snickering at Allistyle

I attended the Allistyle fashion show — Toronto Fashion week's first plus sized catwalk — but can't say I noticed anything out of the ordinary in the front row, let along anyone pointing and laughing. Even so, this story made headlines when Toronto-based fashion writer, Kevin Naulls, wrote about Fashion Week attendees snickering at the plus-size models walking the runway.

American Invasion

J. Crew, Target, and Ann Taylor all traversed North this year to open new stores on our doorsteps. Nordstrom and Free People later followed suit by announcing their intentions to open new stores in Calgary and Toronto. Now we have to wonder, which American retailer will be next to conquer the country?

Canada Fights Back

While American retailers migrated to colder climates, Canadian homeslice store Joe Fresh unveiled plans to have a retail presence in about 700 JCPenney locations across the U.S.

Ikea Monkey Fashion Highlight

He's a new face on the fashion scene, but already, Darwin the rhesus macaque monkey who wandered into a Canadian branch of IKEA in a very smart shearling coat, is topping style lists. The Guardian newspaper, for one, named him one of the year's fashion highlights, beating Karl Lagerfeld’s pampered cat, Choupette, and reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s late cat, Mercy, to the title.

Fashion Television Cancelled

After 27 years of broadcast, Fashion Television was cancelled by Bell Media, despite being one of the most notable fashion television programs in the industry. Hosted by Jeanne Beker, the weekly half hour show wasn't only viewed in Canada, but also in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and other European countries.

Jeanne Beker Among Canada's Most Powerful

Like every cloud has a silver lining, every Louboutin has a red sole and, despite the blow of Fashion Television being cancelled, Jeanne Beker was hailed as one of the Most Powerful Women in the Arts & Communications category. Way to bounce back!

Justin Bieber "Overalls Lol"

And finally, we must finish on one of Canada's most popular exports, Justin Bieber, who caused a stir for wearing overalls to meet PM Stephen Harper. Gawker hailed him as the "White Trash Prince," while he defended his fashion choice by claiming he didn't have time to change.

Images via TheBay, YouTube and Justin Bieber Twitter