Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, the duo behind Montreal-based label Martin Lim, brought a full set of wares to Toronto Fashion Week for the first time last night. (The pair had shown a winning capsule collection last season as part of the Mercedes-Benz Start-Up competition.) The fall outing built on last season’s soft silk offerings in fluttering shapes and candy hues, outlined in hard black lines that were inspired by the work of French conceptual artist Daniel Buren. The softness was strengthened with a handful of coats, cropped jackets and dresses in stiff jacquard. “We wanted something tailored, but fun tailoring,” says Martin. The best pieces had the least fuss: the modish black and white leather dress that opened the show, and a final trio of long dresses, including a white gown that the pair have already sold as a minimalist, modern wedding gown.
See the full Martin Lim collection
Soia & Kyo & Lundstrom
This pair of back-to-back shows focused on outerwear, but were from different worlds. Ilan Elfassy’s line-up of hip, accessibly-priced puffas, leather jackets and cloth coats (many with the urban-ubiquitous fur-lined hoods) appeal to a downtown crowd. The puffa bags are sadly not available off the runway come fall (accessories are coming next year) but look for the great mustard bomber at a store near you. If Soia is downtown, then Lundström Collection is most decidedly uptown. Think nubby wool coats and capes in light grey, charcoal, powder blues and pinks and the softly rounded shapes found on ladies who lunch. The lineup was the kind of subdued elegance particular to that set, with skirt suits and a trio of voluminous evening gowns also in the mix. A pair of striped pieces and the shock of a fuchsia fur wrap injected some lightness.
Matis by Lucian Matis
Lucian Matis’ target demo is Canada’s small pool of socialites, party-hopping starlets and others whose social schedule and step-and-repeat access allows for the opportunity to don one of the designer’s fanciful and dramatic evening dresses. With a new diffusion line, Matis by Lucian Matis, he seeks to clothe a wider range of women for a wider range of events. (Matis also has his career wear line, Daphne, on The Shopping Channel.) The bulk of the new range involved jersey dresses and career separates in a mix of digital prints: blown-out leopard, digitized houndstooth and multi-coloured grids to name just three. Signature Lucian touches were there in the lace peplum skirt suit and embellished cocktail dresses, including a blazing red sheath with a black embellished neckpiece that would not be out of place in Matis’ main collection.