Toronto Fashion Week Diary

Toronto Fashion Week - Fall 2006 Collections. Flare's Editors report live from Toronto!

Toronto Fashion Week – Fall 2006 Collections
Flare’s Editors report live from Toronto

Thursday, March 16th

Chulo Pony – Vancouver’s Chulo Pony turned out a feminine collection that truly defines ‘ready-to-wear’. Many of the pieces could have been plucked right of the runway and worn to work the next day. Dresses, blouses, coats and sailor pants were all done in plaids, wools and tweeds detailed with ruffles and lace. Dramatic floor length velvet duster coats ended the show, giving a romantic moody edge to the line.

Rudsak – It’s always a struggle to keep warm and chic in our cool climate. Rudsak just made that dilemma a lot easier. Evik Asatoorian created a collection of leather goods and wonderfully tailored coats that marries practicality with style. Wool was in abundance, along with leather accenting in pockets, elbow patches and belts. Tweed made an appearance as well in matching coats and messenger bags. Sporty nylon pieces made this a well rounded collection with appeal right across the country.

Pink Tartan – Canadian fiddler Ashley MacIsaac started off the Pink Tartan show wearing a bit of tartan himself. So did Canada’s own Heather Marks, the first model down the runway, sporting plaid head to toe. Sixties mod and equestrian cool were the themes here. Gorgeous cranberries and kelly greens showed up along with a mossy, more neutral colour palette in the form of silk tie-neck dresses and regal velvet coats. A long Sherlock Holmes style cape and navy velvet tuxedo pants were highlights. Pink Tartan did what it does best, sophisticated and stylish separates that work from morning to night.
– Nicole Forbes

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Mar 16 • Mar 15Mar 14Mar 13Mar 10Mar 9

Wednesday, March 15th

I’m sorting through racks and racks of ruffled bikinis for our June issue. (I’m missing Fantine at this point) I mean hundreds… funny that in an hour I’ll be previewing fall. Editors here always talk about never being ‘in the season’. So true.

I truly thought Milan was cold. I’m blowing away as I enter the Liberty Grand. Yikes. I arrive to check out the market. Elsa Reia is touting a new line of handbags called Suede – designed in Toronto. I’m loving the Olivetti bag – a large structured mock croc tote. Perfect for running about the city. Apparently Joe Mimran was by and was struck with them as well. I’m in good company. Slip by the Boutique La Troux installation where I see Jason Matlo, Lydia K and company for fall. Run into Dean Horn who gives me a preview of his line, tiny by industry standards, but he tells me he wants to keep it small and really grow the line. I’m in agreement here. His installation is slightly nomadic- all of the chunky chain-link scarves remind me of fishing net… but I do love the pretty turquoise strapless rayon dress- apparently flying off the store racks.

Andy Thê-Anh on the catwalk serves up a good collection of tailored separates- perfect for the working girl. I really am liking the charcoal and brown knit dresses- snug to the body and slightly ruffled at the neck. The charcoal-grey skinny pantsuit is nicely done- in keeping with the eighties vibe that is lingering for fall.

David Dixon, a Canadian favorite, and celebrating his 10th anniversary, put together a great show. Loved the steel blue mohair 3/4 sleeve fitted bodice coat – mixed with silvery-grey cable knit caps and a shorter version later in the show. Smart. More fantastic knits- this time an oatmeal high neck turtleneck (wishing I could wear this home). Another smart coat, this time in a bracelet sleeve sixties duster in oversize navy and grey houndstooth. Well done.
– Tammy Palmer

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Mar 16 • Mar 15 • Mar 14Mar 13Mar 10Mar 9

Tuesday, March 14th

One of my favourite shows every season is Arthur Mendonca‘s so I was disappointed to hear that he was taking a break from the runway. However, he did invite us into his brand new Toronto studio (very chic!) for an intimate look at his fall collection. I’d already had a sneak peek in New York when he showed at the Four Seasons but all of the pieces were on display today – and they looked amazing! Runway shows crackle with energy and they’re great to present the designer’s overall theme seeing the clothes up close gives one a better appreciation for the details. I loved the Parisian feel of his fall collection – the saucy bow topping a bubble cocktail dress, the pleated ruffles edging a satin mini skirt, the silk flower at the neckline or a sheer blouse, and a boldly belted chocolate leather jacket. Looks like all of those will be added to my fall shopping list!
– Lisa Tant

It was a cold and windy Tuesday night and the shows were running fairly on time! Izzy Camilleri, a Toronto Fashion Week staple, was the first show I was able to see after a long day of shooting. These boots were made for walking! Almost every outfit that strutted down the runway had a matching pair of wedge-heeled boots. Hair and make-up was Blade Runner-esque, which matched the futuristic mood of the clothes. Leather prevailed, most notably in the form of a white perforated, puff sleeve ruffle blouse. Maybe not the most practical, but definitely the most stylish.

Joeffer Coac was up next. The same flutter sleeve dresses and blouses we saw for Spring were reinvented in darker fall shades. Off-kilter seaming made simple dresses and shirts more interesting. The highlight was the oversized houndstooth print found on both wide leg and skinny trousers and a fabulous grey wool winter coat.

Comrags ended the night with lots of menswear-inspired pieces in tones of grey, black and brown. Tailored knee length jackets, slouchy suits and tuxedos, LBD’s, interesting leather harnesses and feminine peacock-printed dresses rounded out the collection. Sophisticated workwear, but a bit repetitive. On a positive note, I’m sure the models were quite happy to end the shows in flats. Wingtips and loafers abounded!
– Nicole Forbes

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Mar 16Mar 15 • Mar 14 • Mar 13Mar 10Mar 9

Monday, March 13th

Fashion Week officially kicks off today with a lunch hosted by Joseph Mimran and Loblaw’s to debut the new Joe Fresh Style collection. Our editors rave about how great the line of more than 350 pieces looks and how amazing the prices are – everything will sell for less than $40 and the average piece is just $13. Tammy Palmer, our Market Editor, loved the toile print ballet flats ($14), paisley skirt ($17) and cute striped tee ($10). There were also some great pieces for guys. You’ll find it in 40 select Superstores across Canada. Look for examples in our July issue.

When I bump into Joe and his stunning wife, Kim Mimran, later that night at Holt Renfrew‘s opening cocktail, he tells me about the exciting challenges of producing hot looking pieces that sell for low prices. This stylish couple has got the Canadian design spectrum covered – from the new Joe Fresh line to Pink Tartan, a high end collection of polished separates that Kim designs and will present on Thursday night.

The buzz at Holt Renfrew about Fashion Week is high as speakers including FDCC president Robin Kay and Moses Znaimer speak about the state of Canadian fashion. I agree. We still have a long way to go in creating a high international profile for Canadian design but everything about the week – the setting, organization and promotional materials all look top class.

This season, the main fashion stage is back at the Liberty Grand. The room is packed in anticipation of Mackage. Maria D., fresh off the runways in Paris, Milan and New York, opens and closes the show. Her closing number, a sweeping white coat, is stunning. In between Maria’s appearances are numerous coats – the best are belted with terrific collars and zipper details.

– Lisa Tant

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Mar 16Mar 15Mar 14 • Mar 13 • Mar 10Mar 9

Friday, March 10th

One of my favourite Canadians, Paul Hardy, began Toronto Fashion Week early with a show at Church of the Redeemer on Bloor Street.

Paul was inspired by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe – and his dark moody collection was perfectly in synch with the international shows in New York and Paris. It was a sombre show but with some beautifully romantic pieces like a tattered tiered skirt, cropped jacket over a draped jersey top and some standout metallics in shimmering gold and dark grey.

Paul always breaks the rules and again, he didn’t disappoint. The church aisles were his runway and in place of the latest club tunes, his musical accompaniment was the purely stunning voice of Measha Brueggergosman.

Paul Hardy has set a high standard for the rest of the week.

– Lisa Tant

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Mar 16Mar 15Mar 14Mar 13 • Mar 10 • Mar 9

Thursday, March 9th
Jason Myers, the Social

It was a rainy night, and unfortunately that kept most of the major fashion press away (bad for the hair, I guess) it didn’t stop me and a bunch of local scenesters from crowding into Queen West hangout, the Social, to catch the debut showing of Jason Myers fall/winter collection. I’m so glad I did- it was totally worth the frizz.

Myers, a very recent graduate of Toronto’s International Academy of Fashion and Technology, showed a small yet promising collection of perfectly cut after-eight gear. Think high-waisted, hip-skimming bubble skirts paired with crisp white shirts; tuxedo jackets with tails (lined with a jaunty polka dot print); and red carpet–worthy crimson silk shantung two-pieces (shown with either a swish bubble bottom or pencil skirt featuring a massive back sash). Needless to say, my mental holiday wear shopping list had begun.

Set in a bar jammed shoulder-to-shoulder with pretty young things, the models strutted their stuff along an impossibly narrow long bar (Love-love-loved that! And no, it was nothing like Coyote Ugly) to a dj spinning beats and occasionally throwing in classic carnie catchphrases such as, “do you wanna go faster?” The impromptu catwalk was a nice solution, however the lack of proper lighting was on the dismal side.

Now, when I first said the collection was small I wasn’t joking, there were less that twenty pieces in total. When I caught up with the Stoney Creek, Ontario native backstage he filled me in on why the low number, and why he chose to show now. Basically it comes down to this; when he first sent out his fall/winter ‘06 look book he got an astounding response. Buyers wanted to stock his pieces, but were hesitant because his profile wasn’t established yet. They said have a show, get your name out there, design a full collection for spring/summer ’07 and we’ll pick up your line. Not bad for a newbie. So he threw together a show with the pieces he had and voila, hype. While Myers is definitely under the radar, it’s not for long.

– Zenya Sirant

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Mar 16Mar 15Mar 14Mar 13Mar 10 • Mar 9
Check out…
> Lisa Tant’s New York Fashion Week Diary
> Tammy Palmer’s Milan Fashion Week Diary
> Liz Cabral’s Paris Fashion Week Diary