This was a season for brutal honesty and exposed flaws in Toronto. Canadian fashion designers are notorious for leaving the home country to become hugely popular in other markets, but the talent that stays just doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. Mark Fast, Erin Kleinberg, and BFC/Vogue Fund award winner Erdem Moralioglu are a few of the Canadian designers that have presented outside of Canada, to critical acclaim. This is not to say that designers should be leaving the country, but it certainly is telling that those who flee often do better than those who stay.
On that note, Toronto Fashion Week was somewhat disjointed this year. With labels such as Greta Constantine, VAWK, and Paul Hardy showing off-schedule, the festivities seemed to last for weeks rather than the customary five days. Fashion week proper, or LG Fashion Week hosted by the Fashion Design Council of Canada, was held this month at a new venue in downtown Toronto. Here are a few of the shows that caught the eye of show-goers.
Holt Renfrew Presentation
Holt Renfrew is Canada’s answer to the luxury department store, and each season they host an intimate media preview for the labels that they think are the best of Canadian fashion. Funny enough, none of the labels that the retailer chose to showcase were showing at the LG sponsored main event later that week. Drawing the big guns out, Holts (as is it colloquially referred) flew Vogue writer Mark Holgate down to the breakfast. It is rare to see any of the standard big players in fashion in Toronto, so those chosen for this presentation were surely thanking their stars that they went this route. Mikhael Kale, Jeremy Laing, Lida Baday, Denis Gagnon, Kirk Pickersgill, and Steven Wong of Greta Constantine showed just three looks from each of their F/W collections, but that was enough to stir some serious buzz.
The first show of the on-schedule week was IZMA, the debut of designer Izzy Camilleri and journalist Adrian Mainella’s new collection of fur and leather pieces. Camilleri, a recognized fur and leather expert, and Mainella are pushing this new line as green and sustainable by only using wild furs. Despite the overwhelming use of fur on the international runways this season, IZMA took it to the next level by showing furs and leather in unexpected and innovative formats, proving that fur isn’t just for outerwear.
A favorite of the week, Kimberley Newport-Mimran showed a cohesive and successful aviatrix-inspired collection. The label’s loyal following was treated to a sophisticated but modern collection of easily integrated separates with a sprinkling of standout statement pieces. Noteworthy looks included a new take on the futuristic shoulder that seemed to be a cross between an 80’s shoulder pad and Snow White’s puffed sleeves and tailored trousers that would suit any of the Paris Voguettes.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.