They say good things come to those who wait. Considering Arthur Mendonça held out until the very last moment to announce he was indeed showing during Toronto’s drawn-out fashion week, this adage proved to be true. Stomping away from last season’s diaphanous Grecian dressing, he offered a stellar lineup of uniform-inspired subversions. The three P’s were firmly in check: that would be peplums, patent and PVC (by way of fetish stockings, courtesy of super-stylist/creative director George Antonopoulos). Bold bijoux by Dean Davidson always complements Mendonça’s look rather than compete. Standouts included the slick-back sweatshirt, round-sleeve patent coat (in a shade oddly reminiscent of Holts magenta), patent-bodice black plunge gown, paisley silk shift and ivory tea-length wool dress with full skirt (very Rooney Mara), paired with a jaunty bowler. Last time I talked to Mendonça, he sounded slightly stressed as he spoke of taking his fall collection in a whip-strict direction and the constant quest to improve his fit. With knife-sharp evening suits, it was mission accomplished. It must be said that, for a designer who already stands head-and-shoulders above his peers when it comes to tailoring, advanced precision propelled this line to top of the class. If you need a le smoking that makes you feeling truly piping hot as opposed to a sexless corporate lemming, Mendonça is your man.
See a gallery of Arthur Mendonça’s Fall 2012 collection