On the Runway

Toronto: Fall Looks Zesty at Joe Fresh

With a New York debut on the horizon, Joe Fresh goes for bold colour

Photo by George Pimentel

Photo by George Pimentel

It’s a big, splashy year for Joe Fresh. With plans recently announced to open four stores south of the border, the brand that began as a cheap perk to making the food run is about to roll out on Fifth Avenue. And for the ever-strategic Joe Mimran, the fall collection’s purpose was to rev-up a whole new crowd about Canada’s preeminent fast-fashion label. “Because we are going to New York, I thought about the whole the idea of the Joe orange and how do we really own it?” Enter the opening look, a mod-ish tangerine elliptical jacket in stiff neoprene. Kicky skirts and dresses, also in the scuba-chic material followed, all paired with soignée metallic brogues. Chalet-worthy hand knit sweaters featured geometric landscape patterns inspired by artist Peter Doig (who has based many works on his childhood in Canada) and Joshua Abelow’s angular paintings. Gold-dusted jeans sounded like a novel idea during the backstage pre-show buzz, but on the runway they read too rocker and were disjointed with the Jil Sanderian quirky polish this collection was attempting. Speaking of designer references, one would be remiss to not pick up the Celine-esque white turtlenecks that were layered under countless looks and Louis Vuitton-like bow block-heels. As the show wore on, repeated takes on embellished minis, ski-sweaters and great oversize jackets (in unexpected hues such as primary blue and evergreen) created a zippy winter uniform and were obvious crowd pleasers. Not that the debonair brand-man ever gets show jitters, he revealed. “The only thing that makes me nervous is when the stuff stops selling.” Trust us, Mr. Mimran: Put those neoprene toppers and stacks of witty knits in your store and that won’t be an issue.

See a gallery of looks from the Joe Fresh Fall 2011 show