The week has flown by! Can’t believe we’re already at the final day of fashion week here in Toronto. The day gets off to a scrumptious start with a ‘Media Love In’ lunch hosted by the FDCC at the Intercontinental Hotel. After surviving on energy bars and Kit Kats this week it’s a lovely treat to sit down to a three-course meal. Plus, the announcement of the new FDCC Designer Development Fund, which will give $10,000 to a burgeoning designer each year, is really the cherry on top to it all.
Feeling full and ready to battle the tents again, we head down to Nathan Phillips Square one last time after a quick stop at the office to finish all that pesky daily work which doesn’t slow down for fashion week.
A look by Kat Marks
Ryerson School of Fashion
The first show of the evening is fitting with today’s announcement – young upstarts just out of the gate showing their graduation collections. It’s great to see that they’re not afraid to push the limits with their designs. Especially Kat Marks, who led off the show with a superwoman-inspired collection that looked straight out of a comic book. Plastic corsets, balloon sleeved sequin tops, a gold architectural dress with massive wings jutting out from the shoulders. I loved the slick red puffer cape shaped like a pair of lips. Next up was Dayna Phillips who followed the heroine theme with a black dress reminiscent of Batman’s cape and a sharp blazer with a pleated peplum and branches extending dangerously out of one shoulder. David Chou went for a more subtle approach with simple shapes and a 50s wrap dress. Sara Duke showed menswear with a crafted edge and Sherwood Forest vibe. Heidi Ackerman showed oversize knits with cute oversize bird prints. Sidney Holloway finished off the lineup with his take on the season’s must-have: fur. Blending metallics and crystal beaded trims offered a glamorous finish.
The line up of the rest of the evening is all about Project Runway alumni. After a couple of seasons, we’re anxious to see if these young designers have the chops to last longer than their reality TV fame.
This Vancouver designer is all about glamour. Showing gown after gown in fluid shapes and numerous cowl neck details, it’s clear she’s gunning for red carpet access. The palette of black, cream and gold with shades of jade thrown in makes for a cohesive collection and the sequin rose print is really quite pretty and wearable. My favourite pieces were the racer-back dresses and skinny pants with ankle zips. One knee length hobble skirt didn’t make for an easy runway walk, especially when the models were already having such problems with the shoes. One poor girl completely fell out of them and went barefoot the rest of the way. Footwear aside, and scandalous skirt slits too, the pieces were wearable. But not groundbreaking.
With Jully Black in the front row and Stacy Mackenzie working the runway, the Project Runway winner is sure carving out a target fan group. And with the urban edge to his wares it’s the perfect direction to follow. For fall he sent models out with black make-up chiseling their cheeks, metallic blue lips, and square up-dos, and his robot/cyborg girls wore many a motorcycle jacket in shades of purple, acid yellow and monochromatic prints. These jackets, in all shapes and sizes (loved the anorak version) were the most wearable part of the collection and I could easily see them on the street or starring in a music video. Alongside the spiked shoes by Aldo of course. Jumpsuits, one-sleeved frocks with sculpted shoulders and trumpet gowns in a psychedelic print rounded out the show.
I had heard that models would be wearing antlers at this show, and it made me a little wary of what that could bring. But with wild teased up-dos and giant horn jewelry by Dandi Maestre, the models were gorgeous wood nymphs in printed silk dresses in shades of muted wild flowers. Not a centaur to be found – though the suede ankle coverings were a bit reminiscent of hooves. What the collection was really about though, was luxurious silks, wool, sequin shifts, sumptuous velvet in soft hues that were a welcome change to the week’s futuristic and hard-edged clothes. Plus, not a 80s reference in sight! I loved the bronze trench, printed shifts and gowns that floated away from the body. Apparently Matis had been suffering from pneumonia for the last month. Whether it was a fuzzy head, or a clear vision, he’s found something that works.
To finish off the evening, we all piled back into the runway room for a screening of Valentino: The Last Emperor. With a bag of popcorn in hand, I really couldn’t ask for a better finale.
Here’s a quick summary of what we’ll be seeing this fall: – metallics – zipper details – sculpted shoulders – sweetheart necklines – one-shoulder or one-sleeved dresses – fur, fur and more fur – leather everything, but those skinny pants still reign supreme – slouchy pant suits – 3D textures such as chiffon cuttings – sheer paneling
Runway photography by George Pimentel
LG Fashion Week – Day 4
Aime Luxury, Fall 09
Aime Luxury To start off the day, this Toronto designer (the first line with eco-friendly fabrics on the schedule) decided to take us to Paris for the afternoon. The decidedly girly collection began with tea at the Tulerie Gradens with a section called “Uptown Prim”. Simple shift dresses and cardigans are dressed up with ruffles and liquid metallic trims and detail. Jackets with portrait collars and cigarette pants are a nod to Audrey Hepburn in chic black. The use of tencel blends and bamboo gives many of the pieces a fluid feel, but the pieces are ill-fitting at times. But easy tops and cardigans look wearable in burgundy and cream with gold and silver details. One dress gives the crowd a surprise though, with a sheer panel at the rear, showing off a little more of the model than we expected. Definitely not wearable. But then we move on to St. Germain des Pres for “Downtown Cool”. A few curve hugging dresses and cool tunics are my favourite pieces.
Ruffian’s Claude Morais (left) and Brian Wolk
A look from Ruffian’s fall collection
Next I’m on to the book launch party for New York women’s wear design duo Ruffian hosted by Style.com’s Nicole Phelps. Finally, I’ve found the champagne! We sip on bubbly admiring models in their stellar fall collection (love the black sheer body stockings beneath each look) and I take some time to chat with the designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais (a Montreal boy), and with Nicole, who wrote the forward to the book, which captures an inside look at the design process, from inspiration to runway show. Check out my interview with them next month at flare.com/entertainment!
Then it’s back to the runway.
Nada, Fall 09
Nada With Marilyn Manson hauntingly blaring in the background, models strutted out with severe black ponytails and black-rimmed lips. You don’t want to mess with these girls. The layered massive chains hanging from their hips and necks look as though they could wrap you up and lock you in a closet if you looked at them the wrong way. But, the clothes are beautiful. Leather skinny pants galore, and lots of leather details on shoulders and necklines of jersey tops and dresses. I loved the cut ribbon vest that led off the show and a fantastic cape coat in a moody mauve with leather sleeves and cinched at the waist. The textures were great: mesh, spider web print on a soft wool coat, circle print embossed into a leather trench, fuzzy peach moto-inspired pants, herringbone effect on fur. A couple blouses tied with ribbon and a drop crotch pant that was just too tight to be flattering on anyone were a couple misses, but overall the collection was dark, brooding and beautiful. Perfect for fall.
Ed Hardy, Fall 09
Ed Hardy If you are a fan of Ed Hardy, than you’ll be pleased with the new swimwear line. The collection features all of the tattoo print and rhinestones you could ever need on string bikinis, sexy cut-out one pieces and halters. Tanned and toned models, boys and girls, took to the runway in their skivvies topped only with a few pieces from the ski and snowboard collection. The embroidered devils, tigers, snakes, and more were emblazoned on puffer jackets and vests, and nylon cropped pants. The designer Christian Audigier is supposedly partnering with Madonna for a new clothing line. Let’s hope the rhinestones and embroidery are left for the tattooed Ed Hardy wares.
To finish off the night I headed over to The Fashion House for Women X Women, a photography exhibit celebrating emerging women fashion photographers. It’s a packed house and catching up with a few friends with a welcome drink in hand caps off another day.
Photography by George Pimentel and Anthea Simms (Ruffian)
With LG Fashion Week’s feverish pace, it’s hard to imagine anyone being as cool and collected as Eddie Maleterre, official makeup artist for L’Oréal Paris and the week’s artistic director, and Eric Del Monaco, lead hair artist. But amid the backstage buzz, these seasoned pros are calmly steering a 40-plus crew of beauty experts, dolling up more than 500 models and—with time to spare!—giving me an up-close-and-personal peek at fall’s top makeup and hair trends. Here are a few of the highlights:
– Barely there lips. A departure from fall’s usual scarlet shades, nude lips let super-sleek chignons steal the beauty spotlight at Andy Thê-Anh.
– Dark, smoky eyes. This perennial fall fave was spotted at Joeffer Caoc in dramatic midnight-black eyeshadow and embellished with black sparkles.
– Textured tresses, as sported at Comrags. Think: artfully tousled, perfectly imperfect curls and waves, not a just-tumbled-out-of-bed bird’s nest. The final touch to set the style? A spritz of L’Oréal Elnett, a classic hairspray adored by industry insiders that is—finally—re-launching in Canada this fall.
-Wing Sze Tang
Photography: George Pimentel
LG Fashion Week – Day 3
Gaudet Fall 2009
Gaudet There’s nothing like that perfect coat for fall, so it was exciting to see a brand new Canadian outerwear collection hitting the runway. Hailing from Saskatoon, though originally both from Georgia, partners Norm and Gio Gaudet debuted their label in the first slot of the day. Using felted wool and silk details, the duo sent out a collection of colourful military and blanket coats, classic pea coats, belted trenches. Each one with a different floral arrangement: paint splattered poppies, abstract sunflowers and brushed on wild flowers. The overall feel was a bit matronly, especially the finale lace wedding coat, and the flowers were always better when not literal, but the tailoring was good and a few standout coats (the black and gold with tweed housecoat style was beautiful!) will keep us watching to see what they come up with next.
Cheri Milaney Fall 2009
Cheri Milaney No models were hired for the production of this Vancouver designer’s runway show. Instead, she gave the spotlight to women who were teachers, accountants, cancer survivors, mothers, and celebrated their individual shape. It was all about these women for me – they nailed the runway stomp in stilettos! – rather than the clothes. The collection itself felt a bit stuffy, more of the coloured metallic taffeta I just can’t figure out, and the separates were nothing I haven’t seen before. But to see the women smiling down the runway was a feel-good section of the day.
Next was a quick subway run back to the office so I could meet a deadline and grab a Zone bar. Oh the glamour! And back to the tents for more.
Comrags Fall 2009
Comrags Joyce Gunhouse and Judy Cornish are celebrating 25 years in the business this year with an upbeat fall collection. Divided into four distinct sections, the show began with an English schoolgirl look. Mixed plaids, A-line skirts, menswear-inspired suits all with crocheted neckties. The models wore pretty starburst hair pins in their massive, wild mall hair. A few wide leg trousers would do Katherine Hepburn proud. Next the palette moved from warm autumnal shades to icy tones of grey, teal and indigo. Painterly prints and slouchy grey marl softened the sharp tailoring of slim work dresses and 50s car jackets. I loved the gauzy black burlap coat and shift. A parade of coloured metallic frocks at the end was straight out of a 90s prom though which let the whole collection down.
Andy Thê-Anh, Fall 2009
Andy Thê-Anh The glitterati turned out for this blockbuster show. Fritz Helder & The Phantoms were vamping for the photographers – clearly still on a high from signing with Nelly Furtado’s new label.
Working the element of surprise, the Montreal designer sent out his first set of models from the opposite end of the runway. The group of them stomping down with big resin cuffs on both arms and Princess Leia buns immediately set a sci-fi tone to the collection. This was another run of what Andy does best: structured tailoring and glamour. Trapeze coats, bubble skirts and lean high-waisted trousers were all covetable. And the colour block eveningwear in pink, teal and black is party perfect.
Thê-Anh’s sparkly leggings…
…and Miu Miu’s
In the details: I was dazzled by the rhinestone and sequin leggings, all over this season at Zac Posen and Miu Miu for example, that amped up each look.
Just plain pretty: Cascading ruffles and a chic sweetheart neckline jumpsuit
Showstopper: a red and black toned giant – and gorgeous – fur chubby dotted with cut-out fur flowers
Pink Tartan Hot pink lace tights and black netting wrapped around the models’ faces and rockabilly up-dos set the stage for another 80s revival. Sumptuous fur chubbies, a plethora of shoulder pads and pop art clutches kept the mood in tact. But this seemed to be a collection of just about everything. There were boucle tweed skirt suits, mod houndstooth pants, motorcycle jackets, plain striped work blouses, bandage dresses, satin party dresses, all of which made it hard to pin down what the real voice of the line is. Plus unfinished hems and ill-fitting minis just made it feel rushed and not well thought out. A stronger edit, focusing on those adorable fuchsia satin slouched trousers for example, would have left a stronger appreciation for the fact that supermodel Kate Somers closed and opened the show.
Canuck beauty Irina at Joe Fresh
Joe Fresh Style You can always count on a Joe Fresh show to involve a superstar models and super fun clothes. Irina Lazareanu opened and closed the show, with the crowd going crazy for her, which offered a cute collection of sporty clothes perfect for the ski hill.
Sticking to a palette of black, white, grey and red was a clean and simple approach to winter gear. Patent skating boots with wool and down puffer skating skirts were totally cute, while motor cross pants and shearling pieces added a cool edge. Mixing in fairisle (adorable long john jumpsuit) and checked patterns rounded it out. This was a completely wearable (except for a men’s puffer cape that conjured up visions of Batman) and easy collection, which for the price point is all you need.
Joe Fresh, Fall 2009
Phew, the evening was almost over. And while most of us were ready to get home and into bed, there was one last surprise in store. In a tribute to the 10th anniversary of fashion week in Toronto, solo artist Leroy Emmanuel took to the runway with New Beginnings, a full church choir hailing from Buffalo, in their classic robes to encourage a little love in the tent with a serenade of Marvin Gaye and Beatles tunes. The theme of the season is Show Love after all, but it was a curious choice for this crowd. I personally loved it and clapped and sang along, which was a great end to a long day.
All runway photography by George Pimentel (except Miu Miu by Anthea Simms).
LG Fashion Week- Day 2
The second day got off to an unusually punctual start. I was barely 5 minutes late for the first show and only just made it to my seat before the lights dimmed. What happened to fashionably late? I suppose if Marc Jacobs can start on time, anyone can.
Ula Zukowska Fall 09
Ula Zukowska To start the day we were transported back to the Ice Age with a mix of cave woman (think faux fur pelts and beige fleece halter dresses) and urban nomad (bronze bubble dresses and quilted structured cocoon coats). A mix of bold shapes – was that a bubble jutting out of the back of that dress? – and slick pleather dresses was tempered with a few feminine sheer dresses adorned with layers of rough-cut chiffon. The looks felt a bit dated overall. If only more inspiration was taken from the fantastic crimped bouffants which were pulled back to have a cool aerodynamic effect.
Travis Taddeo Fall 09
Travis Taddeo For Fall the Montreal designer stepped away from his club kid tendencies and landed closer to a suped-up American Apparel feel. Skinny pants and postage stamp minis worked well with slouch leather sweatshirts and sexy mesh tops. Fur stoles were slung over many of the sporty looks for a great juxtaposing of textures. A bit of messy styling resulted in a string belt dangling between the legs of one poor model.
What I loved: skinny denim with patched pockets and knees, and the perfect pair of black sweatpants covered in leather up to the thigh.
Oops moment: A short mini dress was a bit too cheeky as it rode up to indecent exposure heights.
Zoran Dobric Fall 09
Zoran Dobric This collection was all about print. Blown up tree rings, crushed marble, close-ups of striated muscles were all shown in a moody palette of deep violet, black and grey. Simple shapes and exaggerated boat neck dresses were eclipsed by fussy drop-waist belts and too many bows. A mix of menswear in the show offered a bit more – could easily work the black blazer with diamond print lapels.
Joeffer Caoc Fall 09
Joeffer Caoc One word can sum up how I felt about this collection: love. It was so fresh and slick! I honestly wanted every last bit of it. For day, slouchy suits with cropped pants, sharp wool dresses and jackets with bold shoulders made it clear we’re in the age of power chic. Luxurious metallics ruled for evening in one-shoulder body con dresses, jumpsuits layered with silk and sheerings of chiffon. Everything was worn with liquid leather leggings and sleeves jutting out for a futuristic look. Zipper details, black sheer panels and fur gave the cohesive collection an edge.
Power pants: the stunning gold silk cropped trousers are on my wish list.
In the front row: long-time fan actress Jill Hennessy and fellow Canadian designer Jeremy Laing.
Lundstrom Fall 09
Lündstrom A raucous applause at the end of this show welcomed Linda Lundstrom back to the fold after a turbulent end to her eponymous line. In her comeback year, she aimed to bring a fresh perspective to the newly named label, but for Fall it all seemed a little too familiar. Blanket coats, wool trenches and trapeze jackets were all classics from the outerwear maestro. The famous Laparka returned in wool and slick outer shells. With options of recycled fabrics and a chic cropped shape, there’s a definite potential to breath new life into the coat. The rest of the collection was full lounge gear ready for the chalet, save for a few 70s hippy dresses, with beautiful fur scarves and fun coloured fur head muffs.
Bustle Fall 09
Bustle Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow brought out their preppy boys to mix up the evening. Denim suits and mismatched plaid dressed down knitted waistcoats and pinstriped suits. But what caught my eye was the cool painted duffles the models were carrying. The label partnered with up and coming Canadian artists to create the graffiti and watercolour prints for a colourful update to any guy’s, or girl’s, carry on baggage.
The Heart Truth Fashion Show The night ended with a jubilant show to benefit the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. What better way to increase awareness than with a memorable evening with beloved Canadian celebs hitting the catwalk. All decked out in red dresses, the official symbol of The Heart Truth campaign, a whole host of Canadian beauties vamped on the runway – from singer Kreesha Turner to ‘Lainey’ gossip blogger Elaine Lui. The most memorable moments included Marilyn Denis’ strut to “Stayin’ Alive” in an apple red Farley Chatto tux and Corner Gas’ Tara Spencer-Nairn skipping down the runway in a Damzels in this Dress can-can skirt, kicking it up at the very end to moon the audience in black knickers. The best dress of the evening had to be actor Natalie Brown’s Andy Thê-Anh crimson mini with a beautiful bejeweled split one-shoulder strap.
The Heart Truth Fashion Show
All photography: George Pimentel
LG Fashion Week – Day 1
The shows must go on! The international collections have wrapped, but fashion’s just getting started here in Toronto. After a warm up last week, LG Fashion Week is officially underway.
A party is the only way to kick things off right, so we headed to Holt Renfrew to toast Canadian fashion and take in a preview from a few top designers. Greta Constantine, Mikhael Kale, Philip Sparks, Jeremy Laing and Denis Gagnon were all on hand to show off three looks from their Fall ’09 collections. Kale will be sorely missed this season at the tents, so it was great to have a peek at what he put together. Loved the purpled plastic beaded confection.
Then it was on to the first show on the schedule. The white tents standing in Nathan Philips Square were lit up in pink, and that can only mean one thing this year: Barbie is in town. Before the runway show began, there were a few real life Barbies making an appearance in the crowd. An homage or just die-hard fans? Hard to tell, but they had the proportions down to a tee.
David Dixon Fall ’09 and a look from David Dixon for Barbie. Photos: George Pimentel
David Dixon took the helm of her Dream Wardrobe for Canada, but first he had his own show to do. Sticking with a palette of black, grey, white and burgundy, the designer focused on sophisticated work wear and textured frocks. Trousers were cut lean and cropped, jackets had peplum details and draped lapels. One tweed skirt suit had a bit more volume with exaggerated shoulders in a nod to the ‘80s. Organza tops felt a bit fussy. For evening he experimented with a watercolour print and jade patent leather. The more successful pieces involved texture – silk feathers and glazed wool. For accessories I could have done without the opera length gloves with everything, but loved the geometric jewelry by Rita Tesolin.
Then, after an intermission of Ken-like men handing out energy drinks (it was already late into the evening, we needed them!) Barbie hit the runway. Set to an ‘80s remix, models stomped the runway with rosy cheeks and bright pink lips in a collection that felt a bit like a classic wardrobe for her needs. Car coats, houndstooth suits, pink plaid and a great mosaic print on jackets for work. Then for a date with Ken, pretty party frocks with lace and ribbons. I loved the black and white vintage print (from that iconic bathing suit) and the textured ribbon coat in the perfect fuchsia. With slouchy toques and fingerless gloves, there was a bit of a downtown edge to this Barbie girl, but the gowns brought her back into her chandeliered dream house.
The vast parlor at The Courthouse, with its soaring gothic ceilings and grand fireplaces, was the perfect venue for the debut of a dark edge at Greta Constantine. For Fall the design duo Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill paired their signature draping with the hard lines of patent liquid leggings and sharp neoprene dresses. I loved the waterfall draping at the back of cocoon jackets and the fierce silver motor cross pants paired with the season’s must-have shaggy fur vest. For evening the duo turned up the goth glamour with body-hugging gowns in rust and chartreuse layered with black mesh and topped with tiny black fur shrugs. The crowd couldn’t get enough and cheered throughout the show, whooping especially at the glimmering leopard lamé pieces.
Greta Constantine Fall ‘09
Male interlude: A quick parade of men showed off the label’s first foray into menswear. Crisp silver cropped trousers looked cool with hooded coats.
Feathered friends: Black feathers were strapped in armbands and collars, which complemented the oversized earrings from Toronto jeweler Dean Davidson.
Showstoppers: Structured tops made out of seatbelts that boasted OTT accordion folds.
Philip Sparks Fall 09 Photo: Digital Fabric
As a precursor to LG Fashion Week, I hit up Philip Sparks’ Fall 09 show last week to check out what’s hot for the boys next season. The menswear designer renowned for his slick tailoring made flannel surprisingly dashing when showed his Fall 09 collection with inspiration from Sergei Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf – straight down to the soundtrack. But the twist of plaid suiting and fur-accented quilted down vests took the collection into the Canadian wilderness. I loved the dapper cutaway jackets with pleats at the back paired with jodhpurs, a slim-fitting flannel-lined jean jacket, and bow-ties with everything. Plus as they say, men’s shows note trends for women too: a gorgeous blanket coat with a knit sash and plenty of fur were two must-haves for the season that have been showing up all over fashion weeks.
PS Get clicking! Philip Sparks just announced he’s selling online! –Elisa Kosonen
To kick off LG Fashion Week in Toronto FLARE decided to test the average person’s fashion knowledge. We asked random people on the street:
“Who is this person, and what do they do?”
Name: Cathy Bidini, 35 Occupation: Photographer
A: Female impersonator B: Architect C: TV Producer D: Fashion editor E: Karl Lagerfeld F: Model G: Go-go Dancer H: Hugo Boss
Name: Bryce Martine, 27 Occupation: Photographer
A: Singer B: Graphic designer C: TV personality D: Editor E: Lawyer with wife F: Model G: Model H: Designer
Name: Erica Roberts, 19 Occupation: Student
A: Socialite B: Writer C: Editor D: Editor in chief E: Designer F: Model G: Model H: John Galliano
Name: John Warren, 53 Occupation: Photoshop Instructor
A: TV host B: VJ C: Editor D: Account executive E: Award recipients F: Designer G: Artist with work on display H: Ralph Lauren
Caption: John Wowk, 21 Occupation: Sales
A: Owns a fashion company B: Designer C: Editor for a magazine D: Something with Vogue E: Karl Lagerfeld and wife F: Designer G: Model H: Karl Lagerfeld
Photos: Adam Moco (street), Anthea Simms (Olivier Theyskens), George Pimentel (Lisa Tant, Joe and Kimberly Newport Mimran), James Reid (Joeffer Caoc).
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