Halifax fashion lovers were inspired to step up their style game after Atlantic Fashion Week took over the city last week with a bevy of runway shows and shopping extravaganzas. The annual event featured emerging and established designer runway shows at Casino Nova Scotia and an evening of shopping and mingling at Mills Brothers, complete with cocktails and live models. A weekend marketplace of the latest from local designer styles gave stealthy shoppers an opportunity to snap up runway looks without waiting. Here’s our round-up of five names on our Eastern Canada radar:
The One to Watch: Vice & Versa is the new offering from designer Veronica MacIsaac and her partner Victoria Bouchard. Embracing their individual passions for styles from the 1950s to the ’70s, the collection rocked vintage inspired looks (think high-waisted shorts, flowing maxi dresses and mod sheaths). With a decade to delight almost everyone, crowd pleasers included tailored jumpsuits and svelte pencil skirts.
The Artist: Sebastian Blagdon presented a collection unlike any other at AFW. Sebastian Couture added a touch of flamboyance with structured and dramatic headpieces balanced by models ensconced in decadent lace, bustles and jacquard patterned corsets.
The Crowd Favourite: Jade Nohels won over the crowd at the Designer Showcase Gala with Mad Men-esque frocks in shimmering baby blue, gold and steel grey. Knee length, belted and paired with elbow length gloves – these simple looks were elegant, figure flattering and a home run with the audience.
The Statement Piece: SuTa turned heads with a runway collection of bold, chunky necklaces all joined by antique brooch centerpieces. Bright colours, oversized flowers and multi-dimensional strands of baubles and pearls made vibrant statements. During intermission, masses of ladies ducked out to the marketplace next door and returned with SuTa bags.
The Veteran: Orphanage designer Kim Munson has been a part of AFW since its inception and she continues to evolve her eco savvy line of deconstructed garments. For Fall 2011, Orphanage channeled a gothic vibe of dark colour palettes, refashioned adornments like garters and chains paired with industrial fitted dresses and raised hemlines. This haunting yet striking collection received a standing ovation at AFW’s runway finale.