Atlantic Fashion Week usually kicks off with a night for new designers and fashion students, ends with the Designer Showcase, and is plumped up with a few luncheons and trunk shows in between. The Emerging Designer show is typically, hands down, the crowd favourite, but this season, the Friday night showcase veered from its usual line up of safe looks and presented some intriguing moments, thanks to a few strong designers, and some unexpected surprises.
Here are our top five moments:
1. The debut of Monday’s Child on the AFW stage: Haligonian Sarah Sowerby and Toronto’s Jody McLennan showed a prolific collection of romantic pieces created from tailored and dyed vintage finds. More couture than arts & crafts, the collection featured items that were altered and adorned into a new life, while other pieces were broken down for their fabric and re-constructed from scratch. The result was a very current, feminine collection that harks to a West Coast freedom, plays with a muted aesthetic, and gives a Victorian nod with lace, lace, and more lace.
2. A second chance to fine tune your Dreamboat Lucy wish list: For Halifax fashion followers, Friday night’s show was a repeat unveiling of the Murphy sisters’ latest collection, which they showed last month for Mercedes Benz Start Up. (Louanna and Hilary were deservingly crowned the Atlantic region’s finalist.) This time, rather than coveting with wild abandon, we were prepared: We knew we were going to love what we saw and could hone in on the details. And what we found was a rich, deep palette executed with flawless tailoring and paired perfectly and unexpectedly with Hilary’s stunning art deco sea glass jewellery.
3. The sparkly lovechild of Tim Burton and Baz Luhrmann: Or something like it. Sebastian Blagdon intoxicated the crowd with an eerie performance of gold leaf–covered faces, tulle headdresses, crinoline-puffed gowns, and playful balloons—an experience that felt a bit like Burton’s Queen of Hearts had brought darkness to the dance floor at the Moulin Rouge. We’re not sure if we liked it, but we definitely can’t forget it.
4. A blast of pride of place that feels better than bagpipes: Veronica MacIsaac, our tartaned sweetheart, graced us with another clean collection of Celtic inspired dresses and separates. Although this season’s collection was refreshed with youthful silhouettes, MacIsaac’s talents still stand out best in her elegant suiting and unmatched mastery for pleats. Knife pleated peplum? Yes, please.
5. Was that… a jewel tone?: The third look in Orphanage Clothing’s collection was a raspberry reverse-trench dress with lemon trim worn with a pair of lime green knee-highs. It seems that the queen of deconstruction and die-hard lover of black, Kim Munson, has embraced bold colour. If that’s not a moment, I’m not sure what is.