On the Runway

Toronto: Mikhael Kale and Mark Fast's Runway Repartee

The touted designers team up at the Trump International Tower

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Photo by Dean Sanderson

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Photo by Dean Sanderson

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Photo by Felix Wong

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Photo by Felix Wong

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Photo by Felix Wong

“Do you have a cough drop?” Mark Fast asked prior to his show with Mikhael Kale at the Trump International Hotel. With a career moving at warp speed, one is hardly surprised that Fast is feeling under the weather. Last month, we were in London with the Winnipeg born designer and witnessed his most accomplished collection yet come together. Since then, he has been hopping between The Big Smoke, Paris, Milan (for his Pinko collaboration) and now Toronto. Yet, with his typical Fastian disposition, (ever-calm and sweetly-tempered regardless of the cyclone around him) he expressed how lovely it was to be showing his Fall 2011 line on home turf. With his Danier collaboration (all gothy leather wares) and new fuzzy mohair and fluffy wool fabrications, it was a collection that felt particularly Canadian at heart. The final look, a silver birch-coloured trumpet dress was the stuff of winter-bride dreams and proof of Fast’s words to Jeanne Beker during her talk before the show “With knitwear, the possibilities are endless.”

For his part, Mikhael Kale, who recently showed in New York, explored the rose in its various forms. The collection bloomed from a flora print he saw on a jacket in Italy. Models appeared to have had gone traipsing through a rose-thorn garden, with bits of their 3D fauna-embellished dresses getting destroyed along the way. The results were highly provocative: skirt slits, cut-outs and, quite frankly, various states of undress. “It was about the organized chaos of the life of the flower,” he said backstage. While no one can fault Kale for his painstaking details, these were not the most woman-friendly clothes. Kale himself admitted that early exits (those sharp trousers and pouf-sleeve penguin jacket looks) were his stab at daywear. They were in fact much better than tricky evening flippery. “This is the first collection where I wasn’t just thinking about the idea of the dress, I was also thinking about the woman I am inspired by. Why shouldn’t she have a piece to wear during the day?”

Check out a behind-the-scenes gallery from the Mark Fast/Mikhael Kale presentation