Canadian designers take note. Although Toronto Fashion Week has yet to officially start, Greta Constantine’s recent fall collection will be the one to beat. From the staging, setting, styling and It-heeled crowd, the Greta show represents hope for a Canadian fashion label to compete on an international level.
Designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong smartly chose to present in the downtown Audi dealership they used last season. The industrial air of the concrete showroom provided a sharp backdrop for both modern mechanics and fast-lane fashion.
The show began with nipped and tucked wool dresses in black and magnet gray. They were never banal via details like an asymmetrical shoulder pouf or a shawl shoulder swoop. Female boss-types that gravitate to Donna Karan and Lanvin would be wise to rotate in a few of these sophisticated numbers, accessorized with bad-luck broken mirror brooches and cuffs. They would certainly commanded traffic to a halt.
Signature jersey dresses (which have earned Pikersgill and Wong the moniker “Jersey Boys” among the fashion fray) fed the current appetite for all things Grecian, seen on runways as wide-ranging as Halston and Burberry, plus red carpets everywhere. There is no denying that their jersey creations are some of the best, whipped-up this season in sugar plum, aubergine and violet, but it was comforting to see their style veer to a more structured aesthetic. That being said, we still expect to see plenty of Greta’s draped evening looks during Spring’s busy soirée season. Body-flattering and richly-hued, they hold a room like no LBD can. Select shorter styles were a welcome alternative from goddess maxi-lengths.
Ezra Constantine, their menswear offering that debuted last season, showed a marked improvement, leaving bare-naked bondage behind. Calling to mind train-hopping robbers and railroad workers of yesteryear, standouts included a leather-yoked pea coat with epaulets and a slightly puffy gray hoodie that would suit the right tomboy. Cargo tweed pants and felted capes also begged to be borrowed from the boys.
The show ended with a quadruplet of backless fur vests with leather patched, robotic-patterned cigarette pants–strong looks that would give conventional black-tie dressing a highly textured, hard-edge hit.