Joe Fresh always puts on an exciting, packed-to-the-gills runway show. The excitement is only intensifying now that the brand, once found only in your local Loblaw or Real Canadian Superstore, has begun to open up standalone stores, big ones, in downtown locations, that will carry more of the runway pieces. (The first opened in Vancouver late last year, the most recent hit Toronto’s Queen Street West earlier this month and another will open on New York’s Fifth Avenue.)
For spring, Joe Mimran invoked a young Jane Birkin wearing a white bikini in 1969’s La Piscine, sending out nothing like bikinis at all. (Okay, there was one: a colour-blocked navy-and-white number), but lovely clothes perfect for a summer idyll. A base of crisp white pieces in innovative fabrics like neoprene and Tyvek (yes, there was cotton too) formed shirtwaist and mini-dresses, button-up shirts and a round-shoulder coat. It was all mixed in with happy brights–most prominent among them, Joe’s signature orange. Sweet toggle trenches, shirts with contrast collars and swinging pleated tent dresses oozed a mix of about-to-be-lost innocence and modish cool that the fashion flock is currently all over. A quartet of crinkly ball skirts—in orange, white, lemon yellow and navy—were perfectly paired with a T-shirt or a sweatshirt with faux leather shoulder patches. Printed trousers, polka-dot button-ups and a crochet mini-dress rounded out the accessible and on-trend offerings.
Like any designer, Mimran runs a delicate game of impressing fashion editors and delivering to consumers—he just happens to have a cross-country distribution network where his clothes are often found between the organics and frozen food aisles. The crisp, sporty vibe that has become the brand’s signature plays beautifully to both