News & Runway

Designers Go Rogue for Toronto Fashion Week Fall 2011

Canada has become known as a breeding ground for innovative talent with designers such as Erdem, Jeremy Laing, and Todd Lynn showing buzzworthy collections abroad each season. The driving force for these designers showing in London or New York is that the hometown showings are often left unseen.

The week prior to Toronto's official LG Fashion Week as become affectionately known as Rogue Fashion Week. Showing off-schedule is hardly a new concept, but as an act of defiance (whether organized or not) these designers make a point each season to show before the heavily sponsored on-schedule event. Here are a few of the designers creating buzz by going rogue:

Philip SparksArthur Mendonca

Philip Sparks: Always first out of the gate, Sparks' foray into womenswear has been widely well-received. With a reputation for showing collections filled with Canadiana, the menswear-turned-womenswear designer stuck to his roots with an oversized maple leaf print splashed across a number of looks and his signature outerwear (above, left).

Arthur Mendonça: Mendonça is beloved in Canadian fashion circles and many were devastated when the Brazillian-born designer declared bankruptcy in the height of the recession. He came back with a vengeance this season showing 70s silhouettes (above, right) with a luxe palette of black, silver, and warm jewel tones and hopefully plans to stick around for a while. 

Mark FastMikhael Kale

Mark Fast and Mikhael Kale: In a show held in the unfinished space at the new Trump Towers, the pair, both Central Saint Martins educated, showed in tandem to a crowd of avid fans. Fast presented his well-received LFW collection (above, left) and the lesser-known Kale showed a revealing story of embellished cut-outs and bared skin that is sure to amp up his profile internationally (above, right).

Rita LiefhebberGreta Constantine

Rita Liefhebber: Known for her keen eye for wearable contemporary separates, former fashion editor Rita Leifhebber showed a collection full of covetable daywear such as slouchy trousers, oversized sweaters, and long-sleeved jersey dresses (above, left). 

Greta Constantine: Renowned in local circles for their use of jersey, designers Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill showed a moody autumnal collection with a mashup of cocoon shapes (above, right) and mixed textures. There were some issues with proportion in the middle, no woman wants to look stubby, but overall there were a number of good pieces sure to sell well next season.

Photos: Jenna Marie Wakani for FASHION Magazine, Vincenzo Grillo for Imaxtree